Back home and in debt: life after university tuition fees

Aug 30, 2016 by

The first students to pay £9,000 fees graduated last year. Was it worth it?

When university tuition costs nearly trebled from £3,375 a year to £9,000 in 2012, students were promised value for money, more choice and higher lifetime earnings than non-graduates. But the first students to pay the new fees, many of whom graduated last summer, are not having it easy.

According to the National Union of Students, nearly half of those who graduated in 2015 are back living with their parents. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that the “graduate premium” – the difference between graduate and non-graduate earnings – is likely to shrink as more people get degrees.

And there could be more bad news on the horizon. Sharon Walpole, the chief executive of Not Going to Uni, says some large employers plan to reduce their graduate intake when the apprenticeship levy — a tax on employers with a wage bill of £3m or more – is launched in spring 2017. “Businesses forced to pay huge sums to fund apprenticeships are planning to replace some of their graduates with apprentices to recoup their investment. There’s a real risk that they will be cutting jobs just as graduates are coming out with debts equal to a third of the average mortgage,” Walpole says.

So we asked recent graduates if university is still worth it.

Source: Back home and in debt: life after university tuition fees | Education | The Guardian

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