Negatives of university now outweigh the positives, according to study


There are many reasons to go to university. The growth you get from moving away from home, the ASOS discount, freshers' week.

But, according to a new study by the Intergenerational Foundation, the main reason people go to university - to graduate with a degree and hopefully get a job - is being "mis-sold".

We know that tuition fees are continuing to rise and now instead of grants students have to take out loans, but the report makes the situation seem a lot worse than that.

graduates graduate
Probably not worth going to university just for the student discount... (Chris Radburn/PA)

"Time and again, successive governments, both left and right leaning, have bandied about a £400,000 average lifetime graduate premium," says the report. "But as the latest research has highlighted, the average graduate premium has been reduced to around £100,000.

"This paper argues that this estimate is still too high, but even if you accept an average lifetime graduate premium of £100,000, spread over 45 years, it only gives an annual premium of just £2,222 per year, before Income Tax and National Insurance. That is simply not enough to cover the interest accruing on the average loan - bad news for young people."

The report goes on to suggest this is also bad news for the Government: "Poorer students borrowing an average of £53,000 will accrue interest of £282,420.75, if their student loan is left unpaid for the full 30 years and then written off, as the current system promises. No wonder the government is so keen to sell off the loan book!"

Students getting rained on at graduation
Ominous: Students getting rained on at graduation (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Angus Hunton, co-founder of the Foundation, argues that as more and more people receive degrees young graduates have to embark on post-graduate studies to improve their chances of standing out in the job market, taking on more debt as they do so.

"We risk encouraging our young to enter nothing more than a self-perpetuating debt generating engine with lower and lower entry standards that enriches those inside but blights the financial futures of our children by loading them down with debt. Where is the political will to stop what has become mis-selling by our Government to our youth?" he said.

The report goes on to suggest that unless you're going to Oxbridge or becoming a doctor, your degree could leave you forever owing money, while also being less likely to own a house.

Read the full thing here.