Prices rise, applicants fall... so is your degree worth it?

According to the latest figures from UCAS, there has been a 10% drop in the number of university applicants from England planning to start University this September, as the higher fees kick in. Right now, 46,413 fewer students have applied to continue their higher education than this time last year.

Many of you reading this are current students or graduates, all of us have avoided the new £9000 fees that start this coming academic year. So, looking back on your time at Uni, would you still have gone if you’d had to pay three times what you have done? How about those of you reading this who didn’t have to pay a penny? In hindsight, how much debt would you be prepared to take on to get your qualification?

Check out the BBC article on these new UCAS stats here. It doesn’t make for pretty reading though, when we discover that England is “the most expensive country in the world in which to gain a public degree education”. I’m not comfortable with the class-driven, elitist vibe our education system can have at the best of times, but some serious work had been done to get our Universities more accessible for all.

Does this drop in UCAS applications signify the slide back to a time when money, not ability, was the crux of the university application process?

I remember talking to a couple of my school friends about whether a degree was the right step forward for them, after we all left school. Perhaps it is just as wise a decision not to go to University, as it is to go? Neither decision should be taken lightly, after all it’s at least three years if your life, a huge shift into an all-consuming world and culture, and a heap of self-motivated study. You’ve got to be sure enough you actually want to commit to it, otherwise you end up overwhelmed, uninspired and pretty sure you’d wanted to be a ski-instructor all along...

And with the current job climate, and work experience seeming to count more in interviews than that 2.1 you invested in... what’s the future of the University degree for the UK? Where do we go from here? And if we have a sense of calling  from God to be a student at Uni, does money or circumstances come into consideration anyway?

So, over to you, the people actually effected by this and also the people who could have a say in changing it one day. What do you make of the rise in fees and fall in applicants for Uni, and do you think a degree is money well spent or a rip-off?

Does God also set limits on how much is too much when it comes to the cost of higher education?

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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