Image: Flickr - Antony Bennison

University: a price worth paying?

We’re living in a day and age in which higher education isn’t exclusively for the rich and privileged. What’s the catch? Well, you will have to meet the entry grade requirements set by the university, go through a fairly lengthy UCAS application, possibly go through interviews. Oh, and you must also be willing to take up an extraordinary mountain of debt.


Studying a three-year undergraduate degree currently costs £27,000, however that sum only accounts for tuition fees. Add onto that the price of course material and living costs and the average student will find themselves in excess of £44,000 of debt by the time they graduate, the highest amount in the industrialised world.


On top of this, the financial support provided to those from lower-income households is barely adequate. The fact that tuition fees are likely to rise further – a breach of the promises made back in 2012 when the fees were hiked to £9,000 – paired with the planned scrapping of maintenance grants in preference of loans seems like a step backwards. It is almost as if the government is trying to discourage the working class from university through making higher education exclusive and unattainable.

Students will find themselves in excess of £44,000 of debt by the time they graduate, the highest amount in the industrialised world

So to answer the question – is the cost justified? At both the current and proposed costs for the future, no. After ranting about the price of both tuition fees and maintenance loans, my little sister commented “that is so stupid”  which really sums up my views towards the costs.  But is going to university worth it? A totally different question, and the answer is absolutely.  Attending university and getting a degree does offer myriad advantages.


Having a degree is likely to play in your favour when it comes to potential employers. Various reports do show that a graduate is still likely to earn significantly more than those who did not attend university. Whilst the effects of having a degree may not always be seen immediately after graduating, in the long-run it is likely to pay off.

Is the cost justified? At both the current and proposed costs for the future, no

However, there is more to university than just a degree course alone. When graduates were few and jobs were plenty, there was an obvious advantage of going down the university route. However, now that attending university has become the norm in society, having a degree alone is arguably not enough. This is where all the extra-curriculars of university come into play. Whilst taking part in sports clubs and societies may not seem to be too significant at the time, it is essentially factors such as these that really make graduates stand out from the crowd.


Taking the serious elements such as career prospects aside, going to university is not only about the job you will have by the end of it or what employers want to see from you. The whole experience is unique. You get to learn how to be independent, whilst meeting people from all around the UK as well as other countries, making new friends with people from various walks of life. Though it is priced ridiculously, the experience itself is more than worth it!

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