As a student ploughing his way through prospectuses for further education, I’ve become blind to the fact that going to University in the UK now costs treble what it used to be. As my other posts will probably tell you from, I have a deep interest in sport (that’s your cue to read them after this one if you haven’t already! Subtlety isn’t my strong point…). I have such a keen passion for writing about sport that it’s something that I want to pursue in my future career. So I want to go to the promised land of “Uni” to help me achieve this. But is it all really worth it? £27,000 for a nice sheet of paper after three years to hopefully propel myself into the outside world. Quite often, I’ve come across people who slave away at degree and can only find jobs which have absolutely nothing to do with what they studied.
But University isn’t just about the money or the business connections you can build, it’s about the experience. Many people move away from home to an obscure place that may never have even heard of before, having to live self-sufficiently for the first time. It’s also where you will make completely new friends. It’s like being thrown into nursery by your parents unwittingly to try and acquaint yourselves with the other children, only this time at a degree level. University cities and towns are often a hive of activity unto themselves, with Oxford and Cambridge often ditching cars altogether in some areas. One Good University Guide even rates night-life in University Towns. Bonkers to some, necessary information to others!
It’s also the time in life where you can experience (completely legally!) clubs and pubs for the first time and actually be able to buy yourself a drink… or seven. Just because you can. And it won’t be relying on the one 18 year old in your social group to pull in all the beer to sell on for a huge profit to themselves. It’s odd how shrewd you can become when alcohol is involved, if we were always this smart “The Apprentice” may get some contestants that are normal people, just for a change. They may even have a shred of self-respect as well, but let’s not push it.
I know that the dust has pretty much settled on the great tuition fee debate, but I bring good news! I heard that if you are willing to learn a few languages, there are European options: Learning Flemish would mean you can communicate at Belgian Universities, which cost around £1500 per year. Also, there is a free option in Denmark. Martin Lewis, money saving expert who?!
In any case, the point of this is in the title: University is surely priceless in its own way. I personally haven’t been yet, but if films across history and stories that I’ve been told are to be believed, it’s the best time of your life. So many of us these days won’t have pockets deep enough to even contemplate paying the (rather large) living costs and the crippling tuition fees. But I suppose that’s what student loans are there for. You don’t pay the money back until you’re earning enough to be able to pay it back. And best of all, the interest is the inflation rate so you aren’t paying too far over the odds either. And with your degree, it’ll put you in a better place to apply for jobs afterwards, so the extra money per year you could be making may nullify the cost of the loan anyway.
Anyway, I think University is a worthwhile investment, and it can be the best thing that ever happened, so definitely consider applying if you weren’t going to, I certainly will be.