What Matters? 1

Mimi ON Oct 15, 2010 AT 11:20 am

Stressed Students

How much will student's degrees end up costing?

Tuition fees
Getting a degree just got a hell of a lot more expensive. You could even compare it to getting a mortgage. Former BP boss Lord Browne this week published his long awaited review of England’s higher education system. The main headline from his report is that there should be no limit on fees charged by universities. Browne does however recommend a levy up to £12,000, but then says there is no ‘robust way’ to identify an upper limit. Graduates will only have to repay their loans when they earn over £21,000 rather than the existing limit of £15,000. The rate of interest will go up, described as a ‘real rate’ – but who knows what that will be?

Is it going to be even worth going to university then? What will be the average debt for the average student? I reckon about £30,000 – £50,000 depending on the university. That’s a house deposit! It’s just so much debt to be saddled with before you’ve even started working. We also need to remember that graduates don’t walk into a job paying £30,000 and upwards. If you’re in a highly sought after field, you could be earning £20,000 and the interest on that huge loan will be rising, rising and rising. I really feel for students that will be considering whether to go to uni. It’s so competitive out there at the moment and no one has really any idea of what direction the economy is going to take.

I also find it laughable that Vince Cable thinks students should live at home to soften the huge debt they will be faced with. This is from the man who enjoyed a free education by the way. Why should people be forced to live at home with their parents? Going to university isn’t just about the course. It’s about flying the nest and leaving home for the first time. It’s about managing your own finances, your time, and starting a new chapter of your life without your parents. Staying at home would ruin that – it would be similar to an extension of sixth form.

I’m also bemused that Mr Cable has advised people to study in their home towns. You shouldn’t choose a course that’s going to shape the rest of your career because it’s close to where your mum and dad live. What a ludicrous ‘piece of advice’. Does Mr Cable want a generation of graduates with mickey mouse degrees, because they’re making their choices based on geographical locations?

I also think it’s unfair on Mum and Dad, who will then become the Bank of Mum and Dad for the next 5/10 years. Thousands of graduates are already having to move back home to save because they can’t afford to get on the property ladder. Poor Mum and Dad will have their ‘children’ at home until they’re about 30. Maybe, we’ll have a new generation of apprentices and university could be a thing of the past, because of the huge financial burden that comes with it.

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