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Will university applications plummet next year?

(47 Posts)
Erebus Tue 06-Sep-11 10:18:37

What do you think? Do you think we will see a wild reduction in applicants; huge pressure on apprenticeship type courses (or local Technical colleges in general!)- will we see grade requirements fall?

Do you think that universities will close, or at least reduce in scope dramatically til all they're offering is highly academic, 'pure' courses or actual traineeship degrees like Nursing, only?

LovetheHarp Tue 06-Sep-11 10:39:18

I think that Ex-Polys and lower league type universities will see a drastic reduction in applications. They will have to reinvent themselves and/or find a way to reduce fees as it will not constitute value for money anymore for students to pay 9k for a degree that will not give them an edge.

I would also expect a drastic reduction in student housing demand as many students will be opting to stay at home to save on accommodation.

That's my two penneth worth!!!

Erebus Tue 06-Sep-11 10:49:29

Hadn't considered the housing situation- that's quite a biggie, isn't it? Lots of chancers landlords bought up big in the student rental market when we all thought that Blair's 'University for All' scheme that would see the entire country's 18 year olds in digs would last forever- instead of 5 years...!

gramercy Wed 07-Sep-11 10:27:53

Yes, you could argue that the Government are playing the long game: instead of saying, "Right, that's it - all crap institutions to close forthwith" they're hoping that they'll waste away due to lack of applications.

senua Wed 07-Sep-11 11:25:17

Last year there were 673,000 applicants for 487,000 places source. That's an awful lot of leeway to 'plummet' before anything drastic happens.

dreamingofsun Wed 07-Sep-11 11:33:57

i'm interested to see if it affects some courses more than others - for a student with low earning parents doing a degree leading to a high paid job (eg law) the effect will be much less than a student with higher earning parents doing a degree leading to a lower earning job. So are we going to see less people applying for teaching courses for example?

Happymum22 Wed 07-Sep-11 12:27:56

The ex-poli unis will have to make sure their degrees and courses leave students with vocational qualifications or have guarenteed jobs, perhaps by linking up with local businesses. But yes, i reckon lots of the polis will close because they already struggle to fill some of them. And realistically theres currently little point in many of the degrees at polys if they arent very career orientated.
Friends daughter has gone to work on a management training scheme on a cruise boat and is loving it, another did yacht manufacture at southampton solent and got a job as staff on a very rich celebrity's yacht and this summer travelled the med. He's leant lots of skills because was taught plumbing, capentry, electrician... He is about to go into a job where he will be building the yachts. He hopes to set up his own company building yachts as well as spending each summer like he did the past one!
So uni will still definately be worth it for some, but the type of course will be what needs to change. And while 9k is what the goverment says, unis can choose, so polys may be cheaper- although doubt they will be able to survive unless they put fees to 9k.

dreamingofsun Wed 07-Sep-11 13:35:42

happymum - agree with your comments. But if its a job where you earn high 20's would it be worth the debt? I can see the sense if you are a high earner, or a very low earner at less than 21k.

Erebus Wed 07-Sep-11 15:07:35

Yes, worth the debt! That's teh thing!

senua - whilst I'm sure your figures are correct, my thoughts are the entire landscape of HE has now changed. A lot of those 673,000 DCs weren't what I'd call 'university material' anyway, were they? They were doing it because everyone else was as even if you wanted to become the secretary to the under-manager of the Golf Club paying £12,000 pa, rising to £22,000 after 7 years- you needed a degree in 'Golf Course Management'- well, no one's going to apply for those courses any more, are they, accruing a £21k tuition fees alone debt! What will happen- I think, is we will see other 'providers' setting up 'Golf management academies' and such people will go on day-release to gain a diploma in 2 or so years. They'll have the same skills as the degree qualified person but without the debt.

I'd say this move will sweep away a good half of those applicants in one fell swoop, myself!

omydarlin Wed 07-Sep-11 18:17:04

talking to the students - the majority are not that bothered about the debt - they still want to go to Uni - there may be a slight reduction in some courses I gather but there is still a bit of a social stigma prevailing about to those without degrees - only time can tell.

We are a small Uni hardly any Science /professional courses but another big factor is a large proportion of our students still live at home. Feedback from students for 2012 entry is that if we offer the course they will still apply - I mean it's not like there are many entry level jobs or apprenticeships for post 16s anyway!

TalkinPeace2 Wed 07-Sep-11 18:56:19

Hopefully there will be a HUGE fall in numbers.

Too many degrees taking the place of paid apprenticeships.
And the sooner HMRC STOP the unpaid Intern thing, the better will be the employment prospects for all.

When I was at Uni, 5% of people went.
Bliar the Godfather wanted 50%
Around 15% is the right figure

fivecandles Wed 07-Sep-11 19:05:53

You don't pay back the fees if you don't get a job so it's still worth going, even more so if you're never going to get a job or one that pays very much.

It's also far cheaper for the Govt to have people in university, learning (and paying for it) than on the dole and being funded by the state.

cat64 Wed 07-Sep-11 19:21:39

Message withdrawn

fivecandles Wed 07-Sep-11 20:33:16

Yes. Which is why increasing the fees is not actually going to generate any more money for the Govt. So it was a bloody stupid idea on all levels.

fivecandles Wed 07-Sep-11 20:36:39

However funding someone through 3 years of university (and in the process making them more employable) is significantly cheaper and a better investment than funding them for the equivalent time on benefits.

This Govt seems incapable of thinkign long-term or even thinking about what makes financial sense.

HighNoon Wed 07-Sep-11 20:43:17

I saw an item on TV about Golf Course Management degrees. Apparently it was actually quite useful and did / does lead to jobs in golf courses!

fivecandles Wed 07-Sep-11 20:51:52

It always makes me laugh when people talk about keeping people out of university because they never include themselves or their kids in with that.

Also the idea that university is purely to get a job is vile.

I don't get the notion that some people are more deserving of education than others. It stinks.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 07-Sep-11 20:52:36

I rented a house out to students
they were SO THICK
"Yacht Management and Design" at Southampton Solent.
What a waste of taxpayers money on the lecturer salaries for that course

omydarlin Wed 07-Sep-11 21:42:09

I must admit over the past eight years I have noticed with alarm increasing numbers of school leavers/uni entrants with just a general lack of independence and common sense this seems to correspond with the rapidly increasing amount of parents who seem to want to do everything for their child - i.e filling in UCAS applications , applying for student finance, calling up to find out how they access timetables ..the list is endless. Some parents will come and enquire and literally speak for their child - who is standing next to them. I just can't fathom it? Surely it's a good thing for your child to have independence especially at adult age?

When I went to Uni my mum put me in a cab and waved goodbye (Surrey to London) i'd earlier in the month complained to her that I couldn't find my birth certificate - gave me a copy of the yellow pages told me who to call - which i promptly did ,travelled by train and foot 15 miles to the Registrars office and sorted it. I could not imagine many of the 18 year olds we see today doing that!! As you were, i'll be saying "in my day" next!

TalkinPeace2 Wed 07-Sep-11 22:37:54


a bit like my hall of residence - one payphone between 120 of us
it was great - I did not have to talk to my parents for weeks
and they NEVER found out about some of the people i went out with :-)

timidviper Wed 07-Sep-11 22:48:43

Our hall of residence had one phone that tooks calls in for about 50 girls and there were a few payphones dotted about for God knows how many students! You did have to learn how to be independent of your parents pretty quickly!

FWIW I think a university education is always worth it for those who are academic enough to appreciate it and use it well, whether for jobs or whatever. I suspect if people are put off it will be those who might go to the lower ranked universities to do courses that may be less likely to lead to good jobs.

Having said that the fees increased from £1k+ to £3k+ just before DS went and everybody wailed that numbers would drop and they didn't. Whether this price hike will or not I don't know.

Happymum22 Wed 07-Sep-11 22:50:51

dont know if you saw my above post! If not, read up!
Ironically, Yacht management and design turned a friend's son around, he's got a very well paid job having just spent the summer on a very rich celeb's yacht working (getting very well paid)
adminttedly despite being very lazy during gcse's and a levels, he found a course which he was hugely passionate about (he'd never even been on a yacht!) and has made a huge success. He has the potential and ambition because of that course to earn a huge amount in the future.
So maybe yacht management and design at solent isn't all that awful!

But agree there are many similar courses which are a complete waste of govt money!

Erebus Thu 08-Sep-11 08:26:01

fivecandles- I must challenge some of what you said here: "It always makes me laugh when people talk about keeping people out of university because they never include themselves or their kids in with that."

Nah, I am more than aware than my DS2 in not university material. He's not very academic at all and is unlikely to get his Eng Bacc because Spanish will be beyond him. I want a vocational apprenticeship for him (if that isn't a tautology!). He does not need to be 'kept out of a university', rather, he needs a road in to a technical college- where his level of academia and skill is met with a City & Guilds, not a tin-pot degree.

"Also the idea that university is purely to get a job is vile."- 'vile' seems a strong word but the world has certainly moved on from the Dreaming Spires of a university education of say the 1950s. There are still some DCs who go to uni for the fun, the social life and a bit of educational polish. Largely they do Art History and live off their Trust Fund.

"I don't get the notion that some people are more deserving of education than others. It stinks."

Where has this been mooted on here? And I could suggest that the idea that 'an education' is only worthy if it's been gained at a university a bit hmm . What would be good is a wider selection of appropriately aimed courses for DCs to do.

I note a remark about Golf Course Management Degrees being useful to get a job on a golf course, to which I'd respond that this is a gold-plated example of the silliness we've reached! Fwiw, I recall back in 1970 when the local tea shops in Salisbury were demanding A levels to become a waitress- why? Because that was what was available- unemployed, usually pre-university grammar school girls in a time of mass unemployment. We increase the 'base-level' entry point when the base is heightened for us. Which is why no American employer will look at anything less than a post-grad degree for a professional job! First degrees are no longer seen as being high enough.

chill1243 Thu 08-Sep-11 11:34:43

Yes, I suppose they are bound to plummet.

fivecandles Thu 08-Sep-11 19:40:33

I don't get why 'increasing the base level' is considered a problem though, Erebus. Why is it so horrific to think that more young people will be more educated?? Why is this such a disturbing thought? In the US 50% have gone on to HE for years.

FWIW, I never said or thought that HE is the only answer and have respect for other sorts of education too. But if young people choose to go to university and are admitted to university I see that as a good thing and not a bad thing. If they find it's not for them, they can quit. If they can't get a job or a well paid job then they don't pay back their fees. Their business then.

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