Going to university is officially not worth it, says study

More great news for UK students

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Skint and burdened by debt forever. Good timesRalph Daily via Wikimedia

It’s a shit time to be a student. We know this. We talk about it on this website practically every day. Whether it’s the stifling rents, the rise of mental health issues, or the obliteration of all financial support, the UK government seems to really have it in for anyone hoping to attend university. 

Unfortunately, though, that’s not where all the bad news stops. According to a new study from the Intergenerational Foundation (IF), the situation in the UK is now so bad that students are struggling to justify the cost of their education. Apparently, because of the soaring average rate of debt (which can be up to £60,000), the price of university could be destroying your prospects in the long term. 

The research claims that – unless you go to Oxbridge or become a doctor – your university degree could be leaving you perpetually out of pocket. “There is no guaranteed graduate earnings premium for the many young people entering higher education,” says the study, published last week. “It begs the question as to why the government is encouraging 50 per cent higher education participation rates if the employment market is not providing graduate-level pay in return for student investment.”

It goes on to suggest that debt-ridden graduates will be less likely than ever to own a house, subjected to higher taxes, and more likely to be left with a wrecked credit rating. Also, due to the insane amounts of borrowed money and the rising interest rates, it is unlikely that students will ever be able to repay the cost of their degree.

“The UK now finds itself with more over-qualified workers than any OECD country other than Japan, with graduates under increasing pressure to undertake further post-graduate study – MAs/MScs – in order to further set themselves apart from their peers,” continues the summary. “Thereby incurring yet more debt.”

It concludes: “The UK risks creating a self-perpetuating debt-generating engine that serves only those who run it, while leaving graduates from poorer background to pay an extra nine per cent graduate tax on earnings over £21,000 for the next 30 years.”

Still think it’s worth it? Read the report, titled “The Graduate Premium: manna, myth or plain mis-selling?”, in full here.

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