This scenic history of 900 years of British student life for BBC Radio 4 looks at the diverse experiences of higher education from the student perspective. Click here for the full series
We looked for a new presenter who has just experienced student life. Over 80 students and recent graduates applied for this freelance assignment, and after a tough selection process we chose Ellie Cawthorne.
Ellie recently completed an MA in History at the University of Nottingham. Her research interests sounded like great subjects for radio programmes in themselves. One was her study of male sexuality in the 1930’s seen through newspaper problem pages. The other was a Victorian child sex scandal with strong contemporary reverberations. She also produced a fact-based drama, about female internees suspected of being Nazi sympathisers in World War 2, for last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Just the kind of social history which we’re looking to illuminate in Scenes from Student Life.
We have 900 years of history to consider. Some themes recur, like social mobility, protest and ‘bad behaviour’ and some come controversially late to the party, like the participation of women.
Above – a tea party in a Victorian ladies’ study bedroom. Something of a rarity. This series puts student lives past and present into perspective and frames perennial questions: Who goes through it? What was everyday life like? Was it worth it?