Times are tough for the wannabe student. Like a prophecy of doom, a new story of rising debts, tuition fees and budget cuts rumbles from the media almost every day.
The student loans system is the most common bugbear of the university applicant, with institutions charging up to £9,000 in fees. Should the Tory government decide to remove the fees cap, larger establishments will run the risk of becoming no-go zones for working class people.
Universities UK, which represents all universities, are actively campaigning for the fees cap to be removed, claiming that the value of fees has been declining in real terms.
For many in a lower wage bracket, four years of expensive studies with no guarantee of a job upon graduation feels like spinning a roulette wheel and crossing your fingers. When money’s too tight to mention, a lack of safety net can warn you off further education for life.
All this doom and gloom can make it easy to shrug off degree qualifications and hope you can cope on the dog-eat-dog business ladder. But there’s hope just around the corner.
Those who have struggled through secondary school will linger in employment purgatory if they don’t have a degree to bolster their skills. Yet some lose confidence in their ability to even enter university.
Staying trapped in the starting box is easy when you’re young. You grow rudderless and remain without a plan.
Understanding the clearing process
But the right university offers a clearing programme that is more likely to accept students who didn’t make the grade the first time round.
Anglia Ruskin University’s Anglia clearing programme, for instance, can offer a number of vocational degrees that increase your chance of finding a job at the end of your studies.
Although clearing won’t reduce your fees, it’s the perfect option for those who were initially reticent about why they should attend university.
Where uni fits in
With that in mind, there’s probably still one question reeling through your mind – just what is the function of university in today’s society?
Outside of the calumny that the media rains down on institutions, the fact remains that vocational jobs still require a degree – especially if you want to elevate yourself to a higher wage bracket.
Even humanities and arts degrees, which are widely derided by the press, can still help students gain a great salary.
The humanities, in particular, can give students the chance to think in more abstract terms than more technically minded science or mathematics students. Where the responsibility of the student lies is in emphasising how their less easily definable skills can help an employer.
In many ways, university is still a gamble. You’ll still be saddled with debts. But if you know how to tackle the employment arena effectively, it’s a spin of the wheel that will pay off.