My first blog will be dedicated to the question that concerns me for a quite a long time. It all started when NU students were charged a fee for laundry. This fee was announced as mandatory rule and breaking this rule would lead to expulsion from the dormitory. It had a bomb effect. Students suddenly recalled their rights, they started to cite Student code of conduct, they provided examples of “really free-choice” American universities, they created so many memes like “at least USM will be billionaires in this country” or “seems like somebody from administration wants new jeep or house” and so on.
We all know that our NU is tuition-free. Actually, not only tuition – almost everything is free. I would say unprecedented free. Students don’t pay for study, for dormitories, for meal plan (during foundation year), books (as they are fully provided by library), applicants don’t pay for admission tests, senior students are provided with free IELTS, junior students are regularly sent to partner universities. Is there any university in Kazakhstan with the same conditions? Are there a lot of universities with such conditions at all? The answer is no. So for me establishing fee for laundry is absolutely reasonable. First, if the university provides free dormitory space, it does not mean that it has to pay ALL services. Secondly, some students (pardon me) do not change their bed-clothes for several months. Sure, charging a fee doesn’t resolve this issue fully, but might do it partially because of the “not to pay for nothing” approach. Moreover, I would say that it will be logical to charge students not only for laundry, but for parking, sport facilities, and dormitories as well.
Comparing with KBTU where I got my bachelor degree, I would say that we never had complaints about fees. We were grateful to pay for place in the dormitory, because it was much cheaper than renting an apartment (and our dormitory was half-city away from the university). We never had cheap meal plans. We didn’t have wi-fi. Our library was small and books were not always available.
So here is a question: why NU students having the best conditions in Kazakhstan are the most complaining ones? What if providing free services spoils students? I do not have an answer for this question, but hope that one day those complaining students will realize how privileged they were and that their complaints were unreasonable.