Crushing debt and extortionate tuition fees have sent many university-leavers back home, claims a depressing new NUS report
Remember when the UK government decided to treble university fees for no apparent reason? Or that time when they slashed student support and abolished course grants? What about when they allowed the cost of private renting to rocket through the stratosphere? Well, according to a not-so-surprising NUS study, these may have all been terrible decisions. New research from the organisation claims that half of the students who graduated post-2012 – as in, the year the £9,000-a-year tuition fees came into play – have now been forced to move back in with their parents.
The report, published today (August 17), reveals that 47 per cent of university-leavers were still living with their parents six months after graduating, in a bid to save money. Seven out of 10 said they were “concerned” about their student debt, while half thought their degree was not worth the extortionate course cost. 46 per cent had also managed to build up further debt since leaving university, through credit cards and outstanding consumer debt.
The research also revealed the shocking income disparity between genders. According to the results, three times as many men were earning over £30,000 in full-time work than women, while double the number of women were earning less than £15,000. Additionally, in news that will shock absolutely no one, creative arts graduates were among the lowest paid and the least employed (only 42 per cent had apparently managed to secure work).
The results were pulled from an online survey of over 500 full-time university graduates.
“This research shows many graduates are without work, badly paid or in precarious and casualised employment, especially women,” explained NUS Vice-President Sorana Vieru, once the study was published. “The majority are in debt, not just with student loan repayments, but they also owe money to banks, credit card companies and loan sharks.”
“The graduates face a double jeopardy – they enter the world of work having paid far more for their education, with the debts hanging over them,” she added. “Yet they receive far less benefit from this education in the labour market compared to previous generations, while living costs keep rising and the welfare safety net is shrinking.”