This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Is it worth going to uni in Sep 2020 or better to defer until Sep 2021(92 Posts)
We are wondering if it's worth DS starting his degree in Sep 2020, as it islikely to be online and there won't be the opportunities to join in with freshers' week, meet new people etc as it is likely that his course will start online.
We don't want to have to pay for accommodation (which he is unlikely to live in) as money is really really tight, as it is for most people I suspect.
I'm also not sure that DS working from home in his bedroom, is worth paying all those tuition fees either. He is currently building up his own online business so deferring for a year could help him concentrate on making that successful. He is on his gap year at the moment so it would mean two years out of education. To his credit he's been devouring books and research related to his chosen subject so it won't be a problem to get back into the swing of study.
I just think that one of the biggest benefits of studying for a degree is to use this as the opportunity to spread your wings and become independent. It looks extremely likely that this years intake won't have that opportunity as, without a vaccination, I don't see how lecture theatres. halls of residence and student bars will manage social distancing.
What do others think?
I wouldn’t bother this year, it’s likely to be a stunted experience between social distancing, possibly more lockdowns, financial challenges etc.
Deferring seems very sensible. It would be a shame to miss out on the social/independence side of things. But more importantly I'd be terrified of him being caught up in another Coronavirus peak when universities are so crowded and accommodation so cramped. And, as you say, you wouldn't want to be paying for a room he can't use.
DD will not be deferring. She's finding it hard enough without the routine of her 6th form day and the thought of another 18 months at home with little chance to travel and few jobs available except in the local supermarket would push her over the edge. The sooner she can start the next stage of her life the better. She's holding an offer for the place of her dreams and she should get the grades she needs, so there is little point in putting things off, especially as unis will be keen 6o get as many through the door as possible.
If he doesn’t end up going to uni until he’s 21, wouldn’t he find all the 18 year old malarkey in Freshers week all a bit much anyway? He will have been out of school two years and the same age as those facing their final year, but those on his course would be fresh out of school.
God I would defer in a heartbeat. Uni is going to be rubbish for at least the first semester.
I went at 20 (work - travelling - work = two gap years) and still loved Freshers week. It helped that my uni grouped together 45 of us who had taken gap years in one accommodation block so we were all on the same page, ish, but even without this it would still have been fine.
Even aside from the social aspect of uni, trying to adjust to university style learning and living away from home is a big deal for most people, it is going to be really rubbish with whatever form of social distancing that's still going on by Sept. Virtual lectures etc. Rubbish.
I personally wouldn't defer. If he does it will be a wasted year doing nothing. It ll be so much cheaper as well. He ll still have the opportunity to go out, socialise and drink etc in year 2 if that s what he recently wants to do. I must say i find the whole social aspect quite strange . You can do all of that whatever you do (school, work, holidays. Yes it s fun but at that price?!
DD won't defer. She is keen to get on and would rather socially isolate in Edinburgh with new flatmates than with DH and I in the village we live in. She did a online course with the OU and would be fine with online lectures. Would like some seminars and tutorials face to face but I think she could manage online for a term or even a year.
DD will not defer. She would go nuts not doing anything for a full year and I think I would worry about the competition in 2021 would be too much and she wouldn’t get in to her chosen university on her grades.
Am encouraging dd not to defer for reasons mentioned by previous posters.
Why would the default be do nothing? What about working?
In my son's case he his setting up his own online business so will have work to do. He is lucky that he has an unconditional offer already as he is on his gap year and only made the application this current academic year, so he could put in for a deferral now.
CheriLittlebottom because we are plunging into the worst recession for decades, people are taking pay & hours cuts, even the supermarkets are now starting to lay off the staff they took on a few weeks ago. If you live in a tourist area like me, there is little for teenagers to do apart from seasonal tourist trade jobs, which are non-existent. The alternative is to work in a care home. I doubt if many would encourage their DC to do that.
Cheril - thanks for your reply. I think this is a personal decision and I agree with you, that in your situation your DD would be better off starting in Sep.
I wouldn't defer. First, no one knows what will happen in two years. The virus may stay with us. Online teaching may become a norm. Does your DS prepare for this scenario? Second, the economy won't be improving if universities again have to go online teaching. I cannot imagine young people would get a decent job in such tough conditions. The past experience is people go back to study during economic recession in the hope that later they will be more competitive than those who do not. Third, university experience is not just about social activities. The fundamental goal for universities is to learn new knowledge. Young people are expecting too much despite only paying 9000 a year. The reality is without the high tuition fee (15000-20000) international students bringing to the UK universities, local students would have to pay much more to enjoy what they have enjoyed so far.
My dd is not going to defer. Like others she's keen to get back to some sort of structure.
Travelling for a year is going to be highly unlikely and she thinks she would struggle to find work with all this going on.
I think there will be many who do defer so there'll be a real fight for places next year.
dd deferred last year & is due to start in September. She's been working up until this point (furloughed last month) & has already 'left home' & is living with workmates in a shared house. She obviously won't defer again but is fairly resigned to it being a strange year. I'd be cautious about encouraging deferment unless there is a good plan for the year - the kind of work that gap year ppl get is going to be in short supply & travel with to be difficult.
My DD is not deferring, shes 21 now and taken awhile to get to this point so is not willing to wait another year. Shes got an unconditional (but could have chosen any of her choices with her predicted grades). Shes joined a few groups online and has met quite a few people who will be at the same uni in September whether it be in person or online.
DS won't defer. He's due to start a 4 year course and wants to get on with it. It might not be the start he'd hoped for but it what it is.
He doesn't want to work or travel before he starts. I'd be cautious about deferring and assuming everything will be normal in 2021. It might but it might not and another year will have gone by.
Definitely defer. A lot of the part time bar work type work that is great for students just won’t be there. And the social aspect will be really muted.
If he can earn now he should do that and delay.
A gap year is a luxury that the majority can't afford. Companies are scrapping their graduate programme for September or at least putting them on hold. All those lovely gap year internships will be abandoned as companies try to retain their skilled workforce and still have to use flexible working, part time hours & working from home. I know of at least one big-name employer who has furloughed it's entire 2019 intake of around 250 graduates as they can't work unsupervised. You can't take on a fresh faced 18 year old on a 12 month contract if there is nobody there to train & support them.
If the 2020 university intake go now, they will hopefully benefit from their low birth year and less competition in 3 or 4 years time. I agree with user that some push the whole purchase of a student experience too much. There seems to be an assumption that universities will be falling over themselves to let students automatically defer to 2021. However, the current year 13s will be up against a whole new year group and overseas candidates applying for fewer places, as courses and potential some universities are no longer financially viable. Anyone hoping to defer may find they are simply told to reapply in the autumn along with the rest.
My son is going to defer but only because he's having major surgery in July and we think the risk of infection is too great at that point.
Otherwise he'd be getting on with it as he's had enough time doing nothing (his job went early in lockdown).
Sounds eminently sensible Schoolcook.
Is a deferral guaranteed? They may be asked to reapply next year and compete with 2021 cohort. Universities do not want students deferring; they need students this September otherwise they will lose money, which means redundancies, less money to put into facilities, research etc.
Most likely students will be doing blended learning in September and campuses will not be fully open. It's not the experience that they have been looking forward to but I'd say it depends what their other options are.
I work for a university .. nothing to do with admissions!