National survey dispelling some of those graduate myths
Enrolment week has only just ended but prospective university students across Lincolnshire are already making decisions which will determine where they are next September.
The period between now and Christmas is when sixth formers across the country begin visiting university open days, perusing prospectuses and composing their personal statements for their UCAS application forms.
At the University of Lincoln we know just how carefully young people weigh up their options at this time of year.
The introduction of higher fees in 2012 has changed the way people talk about higher education, even though it has not triggered the drop in demand for university courses some commentators anticipated. In fact, the past year has been a remarkable success story for the University of Lincoln.
Get hi lites or low lites and a cut & blowdry with Hannah or Daniel between 10th and 14th December for only £40.00 please contact the salon for more details, just let us know its with this voucher.
Terms: terms and conditions apply and limited spaces
Contact: 01522 305178
Valid until: Saturday, December 14 2013
Undergraduate applications for courses starting this September increased by more than a quarter – considerably above the national bounce of three per cent.
One thing that has changed is how students and their families weigh up the value of a university degree.
Universities need to ensure potential applicants are equipped with accurate information to make reasoned decisions about whether university study is for them.
This week is the national Make Your Future Happen – Discover Higher Education campaign.
Led by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and supported by Universities UK, the campaign aims to highlight the benefits of higher education to people of all ages and backgrounds, and debunk a few myths.
Of course one of the primary concerns for students and their families is graduate debt. Going to university is, and always has been, a major investment.
We need to be careful not to enter the realm of Doublespeak, but equally, we need to explain the student loan system is not debt in the conventional sense.
For example, it is not taken into account when applying for a mortgage. The repayment terms are also very different to a commercial loan. Only graduates earning in excess of £21,000 a year repay anything, and then repayments for someone on an average salary of £26,000 would be about the cost of a mobile phone bill – £30 a month.
If you never earn above the threshold, you never make a repayment. In all cases the balance is written off after 30 years.
The Government also provides additional grants and bursaries to cover living costs while studying for people from low income households.
Universities offer their own scholarships and bursaries, in addition to the help available from government. At Lincoln, our support package is worth up to £3,000 in the first year, depending on household income.
So funding is there to enable anyone with the ability and ambition to study at university to do so, regardless of their finances.
Understanding the student finance system is just one part of the picture. Another concern for students and their families is what comes after graduation. They rightly want to know that they will get a return on investment.
There is a misconception that graduates are struggling to find jobs, and that many end up in low-paid roles. The reality is that graduates are faring well despite the continued tough economic conditions.
The national survey of graduate destinations asks all university leavers what they are up to six months after finishing their studies.
At the University of Lincoln, more than nine out of 10 of our most recent graduates are in work or further study with two thirds in graduate level roles.
Over a 40-year career graduates earn considerably more than someone who does not have a degree. They also enjoy access to professions and career opportunities closed to others.
Although higher education has changed a lot over the past few years, the benefits it can bestow have not.