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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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February
M T W T F S S
     
17
       


       

Is a degree really worth it?

Sat, 17 Feb 2007

Another open day and another good article by Mike Baker on the price of a university degree. He notes the relief from the government with an increase in UCAS applications even after the introduction of top-up fees. This is good news for Tony Blair as, importantly, it shows that students are voting with their feet and going to university. However there are some interesting anomalies. More women, a drop in numbers in Wales/Northern Ireland and large gains in more vocational courses. A 35% increase in tourism for example (although this is probably against a lower base), against a 3.5% increase in geography.

At the end of the day then, the government wants us to take on board the (disputed) figure of an extra 400,000 over a graduates lifetime. However life is harder for the current generation (financially) and is it really worth the payback? A hard question for any 18 year old (or mature student for that matter) to answer, but ultimately comes back to whether they will be better off than their peers. I have a lot of sympathy with the current student crop; I never had to pay student fees and received a grant. I didn't have the plethora of courses open to me that are available now. However, and I will harp back to this point, I did the subject I enjoyed and subsequently succeeded at it. So please, anyone wanting to go to university, do the same.

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