I got a scholarship as an undergraduate, so cost neither the tax payer or myself a fortune to get a degree I never really used, despite it being in applied science. Grants were £440 p.a. (net) against a cop’s starting pay of £950 p.a. (gross) plus rent allowance. My scholarship was £660 plus fees. I earned about the personal tax allowance from part-time work and match fees each year. I doubt I was ever as well off again!
Your average student is now looking at three years fees of £12K and £10K to live – maybe a debt of £60K if they don’t work. I’m not sure there is much work for most. Courses outside science and technical subjects are usually crap, and even IT subjects are likely to be dated.
Go to work instead and you should earn £60K instead of accruing the same as debt. You’ll grow up more too and be less of a teenage twat. If you must have a degree, sign-up with the OU or another distance learning provider – why not Empire State College, the New York State people – which might make people think you actually studied there? Electronic libraries are better than ‘real’ ones and you’ll get better course resources than at most real universities.
Or join the armed services as an officer or the cops? You’ll see more of life in a few years than most will ever. This may not be a good thing. Life is crapper than teenagers think it could be. Or join up to get a trade education. Much more valuable than degree piss, unless you have networks into banking and such.
Degrees were a better idea when they were more or less free. Higher education will take anyone breathing into any course they can pay for. You could work until you are 25 or so and then take a year out to do a Masters. Only fools think these are harder than degrees, or degrees harder than A levels and so on. HNCs twenty years ago were harder than degrees now. Maybe do an MBA – I teach them and they are utter … I mean wonderful. A full time year at university might be much better for shagging and the real reasons for being there.
When there were still grants, I used to recommend people came to university and worked part-time (more or less tax free). I still rate this if you can get a grant or want to doss out of work for a bit. Now you should work and do university part-time. No employer in their right mind thinks a degree is worth shit – except maybe the personnel idiot who last got laid when she was getting her 2,2. The problem in not having one is that job specs will ask for them. Hence do it part-time.
Say you work as a trainee Sainsbury’s manager of some kind and do three years with the OU or ESC. You are debt free at 21 and could get into most university degree final years by credit transfer. Choose one that lets you get your classification based on final year work only. Work your balls or other off for a first or 2,1. You graduate at 22, like someone who took a gap year. Unlike the 21 year old drongos, you have real work experience.
You will work harder than anyone full time at university, but this is generally a good thing. Mostly it’s so boring they want to be pissed or drugged up and can’t afford it, so sit around moping or failing to have gratuitous sex of any quality, even with the Palm Sisters. They watch Neighbours. You can miss that. Work will also teach you that if you’re crap, don’t turn up or get out of bed, you won’t do well unless the boss’ daughter or son, or very shaggable and put sniffs of it about in the right places. This is still harder for men than women – equality issues suck!
I know of no university course that ever fitted anyone for a job – not even doing PhDs in order to teach in universities, and certainly not doing teacher education, which is mindless crap.
My own belief is we should de-school and get back to accrediting experience and real subject knowledge and research ability (not poncey, clique-claque journals). At university you are likely to be taught by someone who had so little experience she believed what was in the textbooks was sophisticated and would work in practice if everyone read it, did a PhD that wasn’t read by anyone and never will be and is really as dumb as its possible to be for someone who can read and count. She probably doesn’t use red in her Death By Powerpoints, having heard it upsets Hindus and would find Elizabeth I crude because she swears, until she realised this was the Queen. She will be a snob and talk about you as shit behind your back, having already forgotten she couldn’t write essays worth a toss not long ago. I still can’t, so there must be other ways to cheat your way through.
Get a job instead. We should have alternatives in place for you, but ‘we’ don’t give a toss about you – we just want your bum on the seat and your money – you haven’t got any money so we’re indenturing your future. If you are going to pay up, see if you can get abroad. I mostly teach mature students. They already know most of this to be the truth and that life is a crock unless you do something to stop the worst of it. The younger 18 plusers think I’m a mad old fart until it’s too late to save them from themselves and what the sausage factory is doing to them. I let one or two into my evening classes, if they don’t ask if they’ll need a note from their parents.