Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

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.......

Squitten Mon 07-Oct-13 10:53:50

Our eldest DC is only 5 so goodness only knows what state the higher education system will be in by the time we have to start thinking about it.

When I was studying, university seemed to be what everyone was aiming for and if you could at all get there, that was what you did. Now, however, I would still encourage my DC to consider it but to really look at it as one of many options and to think about how it is going to help them rather than spending all that money simply because they can't think of anything better to do.

As far as payment goes, we are trying to save as much as we can for them but that would be strictly towards tuition. They can fund their own living like we had to (unless they turn out to be Oxbridge geniuses smile)

Bonsoir Mon 07-Oct-13 10:53:05

"They can get a grant of up to just over £3,300 which covers most of the cost of halls."

DSS1 has hall fees of £5,500, plus various extras, plus sport pass = £6,000. Before any meals.

cricketballs Mon 07-Oct-13 10:48:40

he will have to take up a part time job there is no question about that

There are bursaries, grants, additional support for those from lower income families; high income families have more chance of being able to afford to support their DC; we fit into neither of these categories

nomorecrumbs Mon 07-Oct-13 10:47:22

"What is also very noticeable though, is that jobs you might have entered into with A-levels, some 30 years ago, are now asking for a degree to even apply, so I still think it's worth it, if you are able."

Exactly, BackforGood...like nursing, where you could train as an apprentice at 16 in the 1960s...is now a degree-level profession shock maybe they start a little higher up the chain, but I doubt it's much.

BackforGood Mon 07-Oct-13 10:45:30

I'm not discouraging ds - indeed, we were at an open day this weekend, but I have been presenting different options and getting him to consider different ways of doing things, as well as looking at universities.

I think we need to get our heads round it not being a 'debt' in the traditional sense, but an extra tax to pay once you earn more money, and, as someone said several pages (and months!) ago, our taxes are SO much lower than they used to be in the days of no tuition fees and grants, it just means that slightly more of the tax burden falls on people who have taken out of the system to be educated to a higher level.

What is also very noticeable though, is that jobs you might have entered into with A-levels, some 30 years ago, are now asking for a degree to even apply, so I still think it's worth it, if you are able.

nomorecrumbs Mon 07-Oct-13 10:32:59

Living costs are the bugger. Have you considered him taking up a part-time job, if his Uni allows him to do this? (Oxbridge don't allow).

cricketballs Mon 07-Oct-13 08:23:33

Its not so much the tuition fees that are my concern for DS but the living costs. Our income is above the rate to gain more than the minimum maintenance allowance. Accommodation rates however are very high and I am worried about the costs he will be facing (currently looking to start Sept 2104). We will help him when we can, but we don't have enough disposable income for him to be dependent on this.

ImpOfDarkness Mon 07-Oct-13 07:08:07

Cory, you'd have to break those figures down a bit more for them to be meaningful: are the jobs in question full or part time, long or short term, and in any way related to the degree course?

InsultingBadger Mon 07-Oct-13 06:55:28

OU is a good alternative - my degree will come in at 2.5k a year part time, so 15k total

WednesdayRebel Mon 07-Oct-13 06:53:21

I worked with a woman who actively discouraged her 17 yo son from applying for uni courses (in accounting/finance). I was genuinely horrified (which sounds so facetious but I truly could understand why you wouldn't encourage your children to follow their dreams.

I'm half her age, earn twice as much as her, and have the capacity to increase those earnings exponentially over the course of my career. And I wouldn't be in my job without my degree.

cory Sun 06-Oct-13 20:36:54

We've just had the latest employability statistics for our university (RG, not Oxbridge). Apparently the number of students unemployed 6 months after graduation was 2.2 % for history, around 2% for MFL and just over 3 % for English. So hardly a ticket to the dole queue then.

Obviously most of those students won't be getting jobs directly related to history or English. But that's the point about many academic degrees: it's transferable skills. A friend's dd who went to a reputable stage school then got a job with the council. Perhaps wasted in one sense- but she wouldn't have got that job without qualifications.

curlew Sun 06-Oct-13 10:43:18

My dd has come to the decision that if she doesn't get into one of the "top" universities, then she's not going at all. She isn't listing a "safety". She says she's on,y going into that much debt if it's for one of the best.

But she doesn't have a particular degree requiring career in mind- she would be making different choices if she was, I think.

pixiepotter Sun 06-Oct-13 10:39:14

It's the price of a couple of new cars.Is an investment in yourself not worth that?

Rebecca101 Sun 06-Oct-13 07:49:19

I worry very much about the cost of going to university both as a parent and as a teacher. Paying £9K for a course and ending up with a qualification which isn't that highly regarded is a great concern. In years gone by it was only the very brightest who went to university and the government would pay. Now it seems you have to have a degree to compete in the job market, even for traditionally non-graduate roles.

There are still a few ways to avoid the hefty fees though, scholarships are available at some universities, these might be based on; academic ability, social background and even sporting talent on occasions. But for the very hard workers there are also sponsored degrees. These are usually offered by large firms who pay for the tuition fees whilst also offering work experience, under the condition that the student works for the firm upon completion of the degree and on a part time basis whilst studying.
Personally I think this is the way forward and it's my recommendation to any of my students who are concerned about the fees. Of course competition is tough but the hard workers have a good chance with the right application advice. I usually direct them to www.sponsoreddegree.com which has a pretty comprehensive list of the opportunities available as well as some application advice. Hope this is useful to you all.

mummytime Fri 11-Jan-13 09:25:28

Proper international students do pay their way (non EU) and more, which is why some institutions really like having lots of them; and most advertise heavily overseas.

My kids do have some savings (thank you Grandad), they will have to mainly live on loans, our income is high enough that we will have to contribute on top (we will draw down from the house if we have to). The better Universities can help more (it could be cheaper to live at Oxford Uni than Exeter for example). My DS may end up at a less prestigious Uni, but studying a highly employable subject. DD1 wants to go to the US, fortunately very competitive places, so if she can get in she should receive financial help (and will have to work, but systems are more set up for it there), DD2 is too young to know yet but has expressed interest in: Oxford and Yale, we'll see.

Scrazy Thu 10-Jan-13 18:10:13

Excuse the double negative. blush

Scrazy Thu 10-Jan-13 18:08:50

mummytime, are the increased fees here expected to put off EU students studying here?

When I said about our students going abroad and having to find living expenses, I wasn't meaning that I didn't realise that international students don't pay their way here btw. I think it's a good thing that they keep our higher educational system/economy going. What I meant was in my DD's case, I don't have a penny spare. She is thankfully studying here on the full grants/loans.

mummytime Thu 10-Jan-13 17:11:28

Welsh students get extra help with fees in England see this page from student finance, EU students can get some help but do still have to pay fees and repay their loans if they exceed the repayment threshold for their country.

BTW Surf Science degree sounds Mickey Mouse, but actually has a very good rate of future employment (and includes a lot of business skills).

FigaroHere Thu 10-Jan-13 17:10:21

Time to move to Scotland ..

dreamingofsun Thu 10-Jan-13 16:29:35

little - i think she can go to an english uni and not pay fees still. my son goes to a welsh uni and pays the english fee system. it is determined by where you live. people from europe get free tuition in england. its just the english who don't

littlewhitebag Thu 10-Jan-13 15:53:48

I am so luck that we are Scottish and DD1 attends a Scottish University so no fees for us. I suspect when DD2 (now 15) goes to uni we will have to pay fees for her - or she may want to go to an English uni.

Whatdoiknowanyway Thu 10-Jan-13 15:23:18

Who can say what degree is pointless? When I was a teenager I was put off degrees in Maths or History as I didn't want to be a teacher so what was the point... Lots of point of course but there was no one around to tell me about the different career options available.

More recently a highly intelligent, but inarguably elderly, friend of mine queried my daughter's choice of degree (English and History) suggesting she might find it hard to get a job after. That's exactly what my parents'(same generation) attitude had been but ignores the skills acquired in finding, dissecting relevant information, identifying and backing up arguments, presenting research, interpretations and conclusions in clear accessible format. I'd employ her, even if I wasn't her mother smile.

I think media studies and sports science suffer from being relatively new disciplines so employers have less history about the relative merits of the different courses and are therefore slower to translate into perceived benefits for their organisation.

RedToothbrush Thu 10-Jan-13 13:21:59

Media Studies
There are currently 10,000 jobs within the entire media industry in the UK.

There are also about 10,000 university places for media.

So it doesn't take a genius to work a pretty big problem with those figures.

HOWEVER, as someone with a degree in media myself, I don't think its pointless. It CAN be a degree which has a lot of practical applications (understanding marketing, understanding politics, understanding how to persuade people). It depends a great deal of the quality and content of the media course you do. Its also not always a 'soft' option degree. Some media degrees are very academic and very difficult. Some are not. It varies widely.

If you know that and understand that before you you take a degree in media, I don't see what the problem is.

FigaroHere Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:43

I wouldn't call a degree in sport pointless - if it is a good academically based course. It is not the subject as such, it is quality and depth of learning.
Creative writing course which accepts people with D for English sounds a bit pointless. People always joke about Media Studies - I wonder if there is any statistics available for how many graduates end up working in the related industry?

dreamingofsun Thu 10-Jan-13 12:36:07

Figaro - ah but what do you call pointless? one of my kids was looking to do sport -which historically i might have thought pointless - but then there would be no PE teachers - and the population might become ever less mobile and well.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now