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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.......

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 09:09:12

How much you owe does not affect how much you pay back each month. Therefore it does not affect your net income, and does not affect your applying for mortgages (see LRD's post)

Scrazy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:34:09

Mortgage companies usually go by gross income too so it shouldn't affect the amount you can borrow. They will look at it if doing a budget plan to see if you can afford the repayments though.

Lifeisontheup Thu 10-Jan-13 10:12:29

When I started work in the mid 80's basic rate tax was 29% I think whereas now it's 20% so I suppose that's one of the reasons that the loan has to exist. Only one of the reasons and I'm sure someone who works in/actually understands the tax system can explain it.

My 2 DC's who are at uni seem to have loads more money than I had and they only get the minimum loan. We pay their accommodation but don't give them anything else. They ask for textbooks from FIL at Christmas and birthdays.

Scrazy Thu 10-Jan-13 11:04:58

Thing with taxes is that if they give it back to you in one hand they snatch it out of the other. If we add up how much of our pay goes back to the government, it's staggering.

The loan repayments are just another burden that our young ones will face, no matter how it's dressed up.

It will mean a further 9% tax for 30 years for anyone who wants to make enough noney for a comfortable lifestyle via a profession where a degree is essential.

Scrazy Thu 10-Jan-13 11:05:46


Scrazy Thu 10-Jan-13 11:08:16

Also, I'm not against paying taxes as long as the money is distributed to help for a fairer/safer society.

FigaroHere Thu 10-Jan-13 11:50:48

Pointless degrees in rubbish unis should be discouraged. But what can they do instead?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Time to move to Scotland ..

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).

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.

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

Excuse the double negative. blush

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.

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 which has a pretty comprehensive list of the opportunities available as well as some application advice. Hope this is useful to you all.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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