The rise of consumerism within education has had several effects but none have been more significant than those upon the students and their relationship to their universities and their teachers. Against a background of an increasingly commercial and consumer-dominated culture, the provision of free higher education has been abandoned along with most maintenance grants. Many reasons were given for this, some more convincing than others, but the consequences were not fully appreciated. Now students enter education knowing that they are going to have to pay for it. They expect to take up loans and build up considerable debts in pursuit of a qualification that is getting more common by the year.