Half of students regret going to university

Half of students regret going to university


Students across the UK are regretting going to university, according to new research by Barclays Apprenticeships. The survey had more than 2,500 respondents - current university students and those who have left university in the last five years, parents whose children went to university as well as views from employers.

Almost half (48%) of students and graduates who left university in the last five years say they regret their decision to go to university and 44% say they do not need a degree to do their current job. 

The study reveals that 65% of young people felt under pressure to go to university, with a third (34%) citing this as coming from their parents and a fifth (19%) saying it was from their friends. A shocking 70% felt their parents would have been disappointed if they had not gone to university and when asked their reasons for choosing university, almost a fifth (18%) admitted they only went to please their parents.

Despite their offspring’s worries, over half (54%) of parents of students and graduates say they would not have been disappointed had their child not gone to university and instead considered other routes. In fact, 71% said they would actually encourage their child to do an apprenticeship over a university degree, revealing a significant shift in attitudes compared to Barclays Apprenticeships' 2016 survey, when 65% of parents felt university was the best option for their child. Parents are also becoming increasingly knowledgeable about higher education with 64% of those polled now aware of degree level apprenticeships, compared to only 17% in 2016. 

Fear of not being able to get a job after university was a prominent worry for 42% of young people who did (or are doing) a degree and 58% cited improve their job prospects as the reason for obtaining a degree. However, 70% of employers said they valued degree apprenticeships as highly as a university degree and 96% say they would hire someone who had done an apprenticeship or a degree via the apprenticeship route.  

Educators’ attitudes are changing too, with almost half (42%) of those surveyed saying teachers discussed apprenticeships as an alternative career route, compared to under a quarter (24%) in 2016. 

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays and a member of the Government’s Apprenticeship Delivery Board comments; “The significant increase in tuition fees and student debt has created a significant shift in attitudes towards university, as illustrated by our research. It’s encouraging to see that students, parents, employers and teachers are all considering alternatives to the traditional university route, especially with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy opening up apprenticeship opportunities across the UK. 

“We now need to work hard to further banish any stigma attached to apprenticeships, especially amongst students who may worry their parents perceive this as a ‘disappointing’ choice, which is simply not the case.”

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said: “Our universities are world-class, but there are other routes to a successful career. We want to change the perception that one route is better than any other. Doing an apprenticeship brings amazing opportunities..."


Monday, 30 July 2018

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Ed Date: Aug 3, 2018

I generally agree with the message here, and feel that for a lot of people (myself included) time at Uni could have been better spent working, travelling or living in another country. I would like to see this research conducted by someone who wasn't invested in seeing a pro-apprenticeship outcome too. Has the ISE conducted any similar surveys?