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To believe £27k University debt will put children off?

(233 Posts)
Mitmoo Sat 06-Aug-11 10:02:15

I am a graduate so value education but now we've seen that so many universities will be charging £9k a year that it will make todays pupils think that a degree just isn't worth the cost?

I know it doesn't have to be paid back until they are earning £21k or thereabouts but they are looking at 20 odd years of debt, more for some and no option to pay it off early if they get a windfall.

Add that to so many graduates not in graduate jobs and others out of work.

AIBU to think we are going to go back to the bad old days when university access won't be based on how smart you are but how much money your parents have?

G1nger Sat 06-Aug-11 10:05:18

How on Earth we're going to put them through university (while aiming to cover 50% of the costs) is likely to be the main consideration in whether we have three children or stop at two.

I'd have been absolutely bricking it to think I'd have faced those fees as a student. I don't think it would have stopped me, but it will stop others.

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Aug-11 10:07:03

I hope it doesn't put people off and it really shouldn't.

It is actually made University more accesible than when I went. When I went, fees had to be paid up front and the only funding avaliable was a small loan that would not cover fees and accomodation so if you didn't have another source of funding, you really were going to struggle.

Now the funding is avaliable and although it is a debt, if you do not earn a decent wage you will never pay it back and the course will essentially have been free. If you do earn a decent wage, you will pay it back at a rate comesurate with your earnings.

Sadly I do think mis-informaiton and political hype will blur this message and people will be put off when they shouldn't be. Likewise some sections of society are (or were it may have changed) more debt adverse than others and this could put people off. Of course in an ideal world education would be free and I am no big fan of the current system, but I do not believe it should be a barrier.

squeakytoy Sat 06-Aug-11 10:07:49

AIBU to think we are going to go back to the bad old days when university access won't be based on how smart you are but how much money your parents have?

I would disagree with that. I think part of the problem is the increase of pointless courses and degrees which will rarely lead to a job that is guaranteed to acheive the sort of salary that comfortably pays off debts incurred during education.

Being a "graduate" means sod all if you graduated in some mickey mouse subject, and the sooner people realised that the better.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 06-Aug-11 10:08:50

I would imagine most simply dont pay it off so it wont matter anyway. Many wont take employment that takes them over the threashold and others will have children and not work.

FabbyChic Sat 06-Aug-11 10:08:59

It never put my eldest off, he said the amount of money extra he would be earning because he went to Uni is worth it. He finished his degree this year and is in a £50k a year with bonuses job. If he had not gone to Uni he could never have hoped to earn anything like that.

Mitmoo Sat 06-Aug-11 10:09:32

The question also has to be asked is if the degree is worth it? Is it going to get them access to a better job? Are only career focused degrees now going to be worth it?

Labour were being ridiculous wanting 50% of children to go to university, but this is such a mess it will put normal children off from aspiring to go to university. sad

hatwoman Sat 06-Aug-11 10:10:26

it's not debt in the true sense . to all intents and purposes it's a graduate tax and, imo, it was a massive mistake not to call it a tax - because it is the language - loan, debt - that will put people off, rather than the reality. Putting people off is, of course, a great shame and may well lead to a situation less meritocratic than currently.

BlackandGold Sat 06-Aug-11 10:10:39

Well it hasn't put DS off for next year but I do really hope it puts an end to some of these "Micky Mouse" degrees.

I feel that if you are paying that sum then you ought to end up with a respected qualification, not something that should really be a college course or an apprenticeship.

altinkum Sat 06-Aug-11 10:11:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Sat 06-Aug-11 10:11:28

After being made redudant from a company I worked my way up in for 11 years, I was wanting to finally go to uni after ds is born but the fact is I will mow probably be looking at other careers because I don't see how I can justify the fact I'll still be paying it off when my dcs will be heading there! This is inspire of me still having another 30 years at work.

Mitmoo Sat 06-Aug-11 10:11:28

Fabby good for your son, well done to him but his fees were £9k for the degree as of next year that trebles for most universities. Young people will be going into that at a time when many graduates can't find work at all.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 06-Aug-11 10:13:13

YABU... University, even when it was allegedly 'fully-funded' in my day, has always been an expensive business. There may not have been fees but grants were so low and so difficult to get hold of that most of us finished our courses in a lot of debt that was secured at going rates, not specially low rates.

I too hope it makes people think a bit more before applying for a course rather than just going to university as a way to put off real life for a few more years.

hatwoman Sat 06-Aug-11 10:13:20

why aim to cover 50 per cent of costs? it makes no sense at all to do so. Even if you could afford to cover the lot it would be mad. use the "loans". and if you really want to bung the contribution you can afford in a high interest bank account.

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Aug-11 10:13:41

I have to disagree with those saying only the rich can now go. It is MORE accesible now than it was 10 years ago.

TheSecondComing Sat 06-Aug-11 10:14:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dreamingbohemian Sat 06-Aug-11 10:14:25

In the States, students who go to the best schools often graduate with $100,000 debt or more (although there are a lot more grants and scholarships as well). It doesn't seem to be putting anyone off though. I would hate to see the UK go down that road!

DH is French so our solution to this problem is to have DS go to uni in France and hope it is still free by then. (well not completely free, I think it's a few hundred euros per year) German unis are practically free as well. (I guess teach your kids French and German?)

I think the £9000/year is a travesty. Okay fine, maybe an Oxbridge degree is worth it, but it looks like everyone is going to start charging that, which is just ridiculous.

Mitmoo Sat 06-Aug-11 10:14:25

hat unfortunately it actually is debt because that is how the government have wrapped it up. We don't even know how the mortgage companies will treat the debt when deciding whether to give our mortgages or not.

FabbyChic Sat 06-Aug-11 10:14:52

No his fees were 3k, but his bother starts this year, he too will follow the same career path.

If you take a Maths degree the job market is vast and the pay comensurate with the degree, both my children will have left Uni securing jobs with a salary of in excess of £50k. By the time my eldest reaches 30 he will be on bonuses of 500k a year. That more than pays for the degree.

WannaBeMarryPoppins Sat 06-Aug-11 10:15:46

I definitely think they are.
I wanted to do a PGCE next year but am not sure I am even going to apply. It will be 9000 for one year and living costs etc and I am just not sure it's worth it, especially as jobs are scarce.

And I think it's the same in almost every field now and people might consider working in a low paid job right away instead of spending 30000 pounds first and then working in a low paid job (as loads of graduates do).

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Aug-11 10:16:01

Why is she frightened of the debt second? She will only repay it if she is in a position to afford to and only then at a rate which will have minimal impact on her take home pay. It will not attract commerical interest, will not affect her credit rating or be counted in anyway when she seeks to obtain a mortgage.

LineRunner Sat 06-Aug-11 10:16:22

Have a gander at the Hughes Report.

I agree with having a graduate tax, if that's what it takes to fund decent universities. I think that Simon Hughes's proposals are fair. Also I think that worried parents need to get their heads around the idea that this is not going to be the parent's debt; it is the student's debt. The student needs to get their head round the concept of choosing the best degree course they can find at the best university they can into.

That being said, I find it weird that the [over-complicated] bursary system will means-test the student's parents, and not the adult student.

Mitmoo Sat 06-Aug-11 10:16:54

catgirl It has been more accessible but that is changing, courses have been slashed this year, prices trebling next year. The fact that the ordinary teen is being put off is where my concerns lie.

Mitmoo Sat 06-Aug-11 10:18:26

Catgirl not affecting credit ratings or mortgage the last time I looked into it was at the discretion of the mortgage giver there is no ruling on it.

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Aug-11 10:18:39

They should not be put off though. It is the language being used that is putting them off, not the reality.

People think nothing of saddling themselves with £100k + of real, actual debt to buy a house but worry about £27k of debt they might never have to repay to go to university. It is not a sensible way to look at things.

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