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“Todays students are tomorrows Leaders”

 

Erm yeah…if you’re lucky enough to have parents bank rolling your education. Now, I’m not getting well jel over those lucky few whose parents can afford to pay for resit upon resit, then finance three years of higher education at the university of said offsprings choice. I’m not…honest. But for the unfortunate many whose parents do not have that kind of money University may well be becoming more and more of a unlikely option.

 

Of course there are bursaries and overdrafts and loans to help lighten the burden but the true extent of the “problem” may not become apparent for some years yet.  With tuition fees rising to an average of £6000 and living costs rocketing just how are you supposed to finance your education?

 

More than a third of final-year students at the top English universities say they would never have started their courses if they had been forced to pay the new “top-up” tuition fees despite admitting that a University degree has given them an advantage in the job markets.  Money- it would seem-does indeed make the Western world go round. But what is the true cost of a University education and is it really worth it?

 

Those living away from home have additional costs and whilst a part time job may help with money matters many students are worried balancing work, studying and socialising may become detrimental to their grades. Food, travel, housing, books and the tuition fees themselves can easily amount to over £35, 000 over the three years of studying. Ofcourse there are maintenance loans, grants and scholarships available but with 2012’s September intake of students comes an estimated debt of £50k by the time they are ready to don their gowns and head off into the big bad world.

 

With a degree comes better job prospects and with that comes higher socio-economic status, right? Well…no actually. The unemployment rate for graduates has been on the rise and those lucky enough to have found work are often  employed in a lower skilled job than they are qualified for.  Granted university graduates are still earning statistically more than those with no HE qualifications, but still….are we a nation that is simply just settling?

 

The UK has one of the most expensive higher education systems in the world- one which sees students from far and wide compete to gain places. However it is us Brits who are being pushed out of the running. Not because of low grades or poor performance….but simply because a degree it too expensive and in a world where money talks our poor British purses are remaining firmly silent.

 

In a society where the PM aims to have every school leaver attend university, It seems- to me at least- that University is instead becoming the preserve of the elite.