Following the Confederation of British Industries’ claims the government should cut its support to students and debt levels set to hit £23,500 for this year’s freshers, graduate recruitment website Milkround.com asked its users for their views on the cost of a degree.
More than 100 students replied and nearly two thirds argued degrees are not worth £23,500 of student debt. A near unanimous nine out of 10 students lashed out at the introduction of top-up fees, stating the potential cost of £5,000 per year was too expensive.
One respondent said: “It all depends on how you spend your time at uni. If all you do is study, then your degree isn’t worth it but if you get into extra-curricular activities like student politics then it definitely is worth it.” Another added: “Most probably aren’t [worth it]; the selection of a good course which is valued by employers is vital.”
However, students accept that as much as they’d rather not pay for a degree, it is vital to find work in today’s economic climate. Nearly two third feel a degree is crucial for starting a career and will do what they can to afford it.
Some 63 percent vow to keep to a strict budget and 61 percent claim they will restrict nights out. Working part time is suited by 55 percent and 36 percent saved before university so they could afford the expenditure.
The NUS slammed the CBI for suggesting students be given less support from the government to save on Higher Education spending. The student body has called for a Graduate Tax to replace tuition fees, which students paying money towards Higher Education based on their earnings. However, students are split 50/50 on the idea according to Milkround.com’s survey. Students do not think much of the way universities spend their cash: nearly three quarters say tuition fees aren’t spent well.
Milkround.com spokesman Mike Barnard said: “The cost of Higher Education has been creeping up steadily since the government abolished grants, but they have taken a leap with top-up fees and it’s understandable that students are becoming increasingly concerned by how much debt they will find themselves in after three years of study. With the recession biting this year’s graduates hard as they struggle to find jobs, the sweetener of a high starting wage in a first graduate job is no longer considered a certainty.
“While students can help themselves by doing all they can to work and study to offset costs, the majority are going to find themselves in considerable debt at the end of their course. Now more than ever it is vital for students to go some way to exploring employment opportunities when they are at university through internships and placements to add to their CV and build up contacts. This could be the difference between having a job prior to graduating or being jobless six months later. Students will be far more comfortable with a job to go to at the end of their studies: their friends who have done nothing to prepare themselves for the world of work may well kick themselves for not doing the same.”