A recent study by social mobility charity, Sutton Trust, has highlighted the amount of debt graduates are in when they complete their degree compared to their American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts.
The study, entitled Degrees of Debt, confirmed that English university graduates who left university in 2015 had an average debt of £44,000. This is compared to other English speaking countries where the debt ranges from £15,000 for Canadian graduates to £23,300 for New Zealand graduates. It’s thought the £9,000 fees regime, implemented in 2012, has contributed towards this increase in debt.
The charity is also asking for there to be consideration given to the complexities present between countries in the UK; Scotland university students benefit from a different fee structure and Welsh students have access to a grant meaning they can attend an English university for less than £4,000, compared to the £9,000 an English student is required to pay. The high fees makes university inaccessible for many, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those looking to become part-time or mature students; the very areas where numbers are declining.
Leaving university with this amount of debt will have a knock on effect on a graduate’s ability to save towards other life changing decisions, such as saving for a deposit to buy a home. Sutton Trust are therefore reaching out to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to review and monitor higher education funding.
There are other options for people to gain a degree; one of those is through an apprenticeship. Degree apprenticeships have recently received a £10million boost towards their implementation and development, as well as support for universities on delivering them. Opposed to building up debt once qualified, a degree apprenticeship will achieve the same qualification while the student is earning a living and learning valuable on the job skills.
Aspire Training Team offers bespoke apprenticeships in childcare, business administration and health & social care. To find out more about becoming an apprentice you can contact the team on 01202 551553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.