1) Do you feel that when you were a student there was enough funding and interest from the city supporting the University?
(response) “Its a while ago since I was a student. But even then there was little in the local media about the achievements of the local university and its achievements. (pause) At the time there seemed to be fairly good funding and when I was a student the first time it was a college of The University of Liverpool and was looking to secure the university status. Ermm there didn’t seem to be any huge problems with funding.”
2) When you were a student do you feel there was enough support towards the housing of students, whether it was you or people you knew who were students?
(response) “(pause) No, I know that there was student who I did my course with who were struggling with poor accommodation and there was not enough student accommodation to go around. Erm, there should of been plenty of, erm, purpose built student accommodation closer to the University. Some of the student rooms on site were very old and were of a poor standard.”
3) As a graduate and still living in Chester have you noticed a positive approach from Chester residents towards students of the university?
(response) “No! I think the city as a whole are very negative towards students. All young people seem to be lumped together as trouble making students. And even people i know who’s children have gone or are at university in other cites are critical of students living near them in Chester. Erm I think the relationship between the university and the city can be mutually beneficial, the university does a lot of research, and the students do a lot of charity work and a lot of that goes unreported to the locals. There are thousands of student at the university who help to prop up the local economy such as bars and housing etc… And people complain that there is not enough money spent in the city centre and a lot of the student drift out to Cheshire Oaks to shop, but really a lot of these student don’t own cars so the majority of their money is being spent in the city.”
4) Do you feel Chester council do enough to support student housing?
(response) “No, they could be much more pro-active in backing the provision of accommodation. Erm the student village outside chester should have gone ahead in my opinion. Its short sighted of the city not to push for more purpose build student housing. Apart from erm being good for the University it also creates jobs. You go to Sheffield and they seem to have really embraced the University and theres lots and lots of brilliant accommodation, Liverpool is the same.”
5) How do you feel about Chester not having a Theatre and a Cinema?
(response) “I think its diabolically! How they had the nerve to apply for The City of Culture and then criticised Hull when they won it is laughable. Chester have not even got an art gallery. The museum has not been changed for years, it seems like chester is stuck in a bit of a time warp, relying on the shops to bring in people. They would do well work with the university and collaborating with student in the appropriate departments to develop cultural services with a younger slant.”
6) If Chester had a cinema, art gallery and theatre how do you think it would benefit the city?
(response) “I think it would bring in more tourism and younger people. Look at how Liverpool has transformed itself in the past few years with fantastic architecture blending the old with the new and looking to the future. Chester relies far to much on its past without looking forward and without sounding negative the city seems fairly closed to new ideas. Chester gives a lot of publicity to its ‘mystery plays’ which I’m sure are good but again they attract an older crown and aimed towards younger people. Erm there should be a really state of the art concert venue in a university town, not just for students but for the young and old people of the city.”
After I had transcribed the interview response I had my interviewee read through to check if I had accurately represented what she had said. If Helen agreed that my transcribe was accurate I had her sign her signature to prove she was fine with what I had written. Here is a copy of that: