http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8205539.stm details how students will be at least £23K in debt due to studying for a degree.
Last year, I (and I know others) had students stating “I pay £… a year for this.” before starting to dictate what and how I should teach. This was difficult to manage, and reflects the financial stress that students are under. I had one student suspend studies this week, citing the cost implications in his reason for withdrawing. This is regrettable, but understandable. While we are not in a consumer product service industry, seeing articles like that above is likely to make this attitude of “service in a restaurant” more prevalent; we might not mind so much if there were tips!
Learning is a mutual activity. I think that this more than anything else should be on our lips and in their minds in September/October. Would welcome suggestions for how that can be done.