Anyone discouraged kids from university in light of tuition fee rises?

(382 Posts)
Officedepot Fri 04-Jan-13 09:14:46

In light of uni fees now being £9k per year (so £27k for three year degree) plus living costs students starting uni now would be coming out with debt over £40k

Anyone actively discouraged kids from going to uni on this basis?

I can understand if they are going to a top uni to study medicine or law etc, but AIBU to suggest if they are going to a rubbish uni to do a pointless degree it should be discouraged.

I have lots of friends who did degrees at second rate unis in random subjects and are still earning a tiny amount in their early 30s.......

timidviper Fri 04-Jan-13 22:24:28

According to my economist friend, most students will come out with a enormous debt under this new system but will pay back less than students who have graduated under the old loan system due to the higher level at which payback starts and the writing off after however many years.

When the huge amount this will cost the country hits, it will cause a major problem.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 04-Jan-13 22:26:02

I attended uni as a mature student and found that many young people whose family had funded their studies really didn't care, failed the first year, dropped out or at best didn't show up to lectures etc.
The ones self funding did no better as the poor things were working every spare hour to pay the fees and having no time for leisure or extra study.

With this in mind I would/ have told ds1 and ds2 about the above and about paying back the debt etc, but the decision was always theirs.

The thing to remember about paying back the debt is that whilst you can earn quite a bit before payments come out you never know when the goal posts can be moved.

DS1 is paying back now and on its own is not a huge amount but when added to all the other out goings he has it tips the balance and he is struggling.

landofsoapandglory Fri 04-Jan-13 22:28:59

DS1 has applied to the Universities that are local to us so he can carry on living here to reduce costs. We are a one income family, I am disabled so it will be a struggle, so living at home is a sensible option. He has applied for this Autumn, but is thinking of taking a year out.

DS2 wants to be a nurse, and will be going in 2 years time. He wants to go locally too.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 04-Jan-13 22:32:23

I have 2 DSs 1 doind A and I doing AS levels this year.
Neither can enter their chosen field without an initial and then probably a further degree.
I'm so worried about how we will manage the parental contributions that I've buried my head in the sand and don't even know how much we'll have to pay. We have a massive mortage so our 'disposable' income isn't that much unless we move house. sad

Even posting this is bringing me out in a cold sweat.

cuillereasoupe Fri 04-Jan-13 22:39:24

most universities would be well advised to change 3-year/6 semester courses to 2-year/4 semester

ponders when do you suggest academics do their research then? You know, the stuff that goes into the courses they teach...

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 04-Jan-13 22:43:33

i think it totally depends on the course.

Scrazy Fri 04-Jan-13 22:56:47

All the high earners richer parents who think that there should be no-means testing for higher education. Don't you realise that government funded higher education would escalate if that was the case, therefore, nothing for lower income students. How can that be fair ever?

Nice tory theory hmm

mathanxiety Sat 05-Jan-13 06:54:49

I would never, ever turn down the chance of a degree, though I would be choosy about what I did and where.

DD1 graduated from an excellent US university last summer having managed to work part time all through her degree and throughout all holidays, and thus paid off one of her loans in its entirety before she graduated. I know US universities take four years to complete a Bachelors, but this was a really selective university and her coursework load was enormous -- no light lecture/seminar schedule any year. And the American GPA system means that your work from day one counts towards your degree, so if you slack off or don't hit the ground running you are sunk. She went to class, studied, worked, ate, partied and slept. Actually she didn't eat much, or sleep.

I think governments can be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to third level education and that is a pity.

For some degrees now if you are in England/Wales it's worth looking into the Netherlands at their English language unis (Maastricht I think), UCD in Dublin and even the US can work out cheaper with live-in bursaries

-- I agree Weegiemum.

funnyperson Sat 05-Jan-13 07:03:22

Ponders I totally agree with you. 8 hours contact time a week could be easily contracted to span 2 years not 3. Alternatively include provision to go onto an MA for an extra year for those who want it.

Academics teach key basics to undergrads anyway. In the sciences. No idea about humanities.

nagynolonger Sat 05-Jan-13 07:20:43

Richer parents set up a standing order for living costs and then pay off the loan as a graduation gift. I know several who have done this. They are from a generation who had free education and grants and signed on the dole in the summer hols.

Young Camerons, Cleggs and Blairs etc won't be paying their debts off in their 30s and 40s but plenty will.

My eldest DC went to university in the late 1990s so they had modest loans compared to the ones their 17 and 16 yearold DB will have if they go.

No matter what they say it is a debt, and one that keeps on growing. If the graduate can't find work or is in a low paid job compound interest is still added. It is also a debt they will still have if for any reason they drop out of their course. Even one years debt will grow out of control if ignored for years. It might not be at a high rate now but no one knows what the rate could rise to.

My 17 and 16 yearolds are well aware of what going to university will cost them.
They will be aiming like the older two for maths/science/engineering courses so like their older sibs will not have much free time for a term time job to ease the financial pressure. They also know that DH and me will help out but any debt will be theirs. Living close to home will help if they live in halls just for the first year and then commute. My nephews did this so that they could carry on playing sport for their local clubs. It as worked well for them.

alreadytaken Sat 05-Jan-13 07:24:42

yes, I have, although not my own children. I have also encouraged young people who were concerned about the cost and helped them consider e.g. gap years, jobs, going to a uni close to home to save money. We have an excellent university nearby. If a young person has the ability to study and a reasonable prospect of benefiting they should be encouraged to go. If they are not currently showing much dedication to study they may be better off getting a job, maturing and if they find a degree would be useful going to uni later. Some degrees are less use than 3 years experience in your chosen career.

The interest rate on uni debt is now substantial. Student may pay for it for 30 years, that's a lot of payments. They have also lost out on 3 years earnings and 3 years pension contributions, making the financial impact greater than they may realise. They still get "life experience" outside uni and at 21 their sort of experience may put them ahead in the employment stakes.

nagynolonger Sat 05-Jan-13 07:32:58

I wouldn't want a DC of mine to just do a degree for the sake of it straight from school. If they have no 'plan' they shouldn't go IMO. I would definately say a job.....any job to start with is better than 'any degree'.

My middle two have done apprenticeships. A brilliant route if they can get on a good one. Some companies run proper training schools so DC also get the chance to live away from home for extended periods as part of their course (all costs paid!). Do be very careful and check firms out. Some apprenticships are crap one year affairs......just labour on the cheap and very little proper training.

poppy283 Sat 05-Jan-13 07:41:15

My dcs are still tiny, so who knows what it'll be like in 16 years' time? Maybe it'll be free again!

My thoughts on this is that the loan and repayment system seems fine, but it's theswitch in the govt's attitude from, do go to uni, you're worth it! to actively discouraging university attendance that is damaging.

Not nearly enough is made of the actual repayment system, it's all about the bottom line in the press and that's what puts people off.

My DM was a SAHM until I was 6, she then worked part time, my parents have barely an "O" level between them. I went to University with no fees on a full grant (most of which I sent home to help out with bills as I worked to support myself)
My DSis went to University the first year of fees, but has paid them all off in a good job since graduating.
My DB is currently at University, he gets a full grant and is covering his living expenses, he does a few gigs for fun money.
My point is, despite my parents lack of university education and income, they have put all 3 children through University successfully. Between us we have different levels of debt, but our reason for going to University wasn't about money, it was about improving our lives. We have been successful in this, but all in different ways.

mumzy Sat 05-Jan-13 08:09:26

I think it's really sad that dc today don't have the "freedom" of studying something interesting but completely random like " Old Norse " without the dark cloud of debt hanging over them. However I've also met too many graduates who have been to universities and studied courses which would never get them a graduate level job. Does the UK have enough graduate level jobs for 40 % of the population? Or is 20% much more the target?

Molepom Sat 05-Jan-13 08:39:24

I would LOVE to got to uni but as a carer for DS I can't afford to.

BoffinMum Sat 05-Jan-13 08:39:44

We have a different plan in this house. We're sending the DS's to a bilingual school to prepare them for applying to German universities, where it only costs £1k a year. We'll also be advising them to apply for US Ivy League universities and scholarships. We've gone global in this house, and unless things improve for young people in the UK I imagine my lot will be building careers overseas as well (indeed one has gone to New York this week to do exactly that). The UK clearly resents investing in the young, that's clear.

Snog Sat 05-Jan-13 08:58:27

Re Independent student status - presumably if 18 year old students married each other they would be exempt from fees and entitled to full loans then?!!

cuillereasoupe Sat 05-Jan-13 09:02:41

<Academics teach key basics to undergrads anyway>

But they still have to do research, otherwise they'd be called teachers.

BoffinMum Sat 05-Jan-13 09:07:59

Some of them don't do research, as they are in teaching only contracts. They regurgitate any old rubbish that appears in print and spout it to the students in a suitably warm and cuddly manner. The students think they're getting the friendly face of tertiary education but they are actually getting a sub degree level uncritical approach to the subject. It's dreadful, and an insult to the students paying all that money.

amillionyears Sat 05-Jan-13 09:10:09

BoffinMum, how good does their languages have to be?

I know someone with a PhD in mechanical engineering. He had a very good job. He swapped jobs in his 40's and retrained. He is now a plumber, self employed and earns a lot more! He loves it.

I think I read about him in the paper. If its the same guy, he was working for a pittance as an academic and was astounded when he compared P45s with the plumber he called out.

BoffinMum Sat 05-Jan-13 09:28:42

They have to be able to pass something called the Deutsche Sprachdiplom which is slightly above AL, I think. The Goethe Institut would be able to advise.

cuillereasoupe Sat 05-Jan-13 09:29:59

amillionyears I'd get my kids to do the language to A-level, then send them to be an au pair / do bar work / pick grapes for a year or two to immerse them in the language. An undergraduate degree in France costs about 300 euros a year. After a couple of years they could even be a language assistant and get paid.

amillionyears Sat 05-Jan-13 09:48:57

Thanks for the answer cuillereasoupe.
As I said upthread, mine have or are nearly through the system now, though, between them, they may want to do some more postdoc work in the future.One is doing postdoc work abroad, but English is fine there.

I was partly asking out of curiosity, and partly because I know of others who might find your answer very iseful.

With mine, languages was an area they were not brilliant at.
I tried to make it fun when they each reached 5, and again when they were 7, but were not much interested.
I thought school would help out at 11, but, the school was weak in this particular area, and I am not convinced it would have made much difference anyway. They all gave up languages at 14.

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