The university bonus?

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Tony.Williams
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The university bonus?

Post by Tony.Williams » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:46 pm

An interesting discussion on Newsnight the other night about the value of going to university, prompted by a poll which showed that more than half of recent graduates regretted the expense. They had prospective students (including one who was a Barclays apprentice) plus staff arguing the case for both universities and apprenticeships.

The university chap trotted out the usual statistics about how much more graduates earned over their lifetimes compared with non-graduates. I've always been sceptical about these figures, because the substantial increase in the percentage of 18 year olds going to university over the past couple of decades must surely have reduced the rarity and value of a degree to some extent, but the effect won't become clear until that generation is hitting their maximum income potential, i.e. in middle age.

Furthermore, there is possibly some confusion between causation and correlation. On average, by and large, with exceptions acknowledged, it seems reasonable to assume that those who go to university are probably more capable and intelligent than those who do not. Therefore they could (on average etc etc) be expected to be more successful in their careers, and earn more money, even without the degree certificate.

What is more, if apprenticeships take off as a serious rival to universities for able students, it should then be possible to judge how incomes compare between graduates and apprentices of roughly equal ability. I suspect that the difference will be very much smaller (if it exists at all) than the figures being quoted today.

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chaggle
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Re: The university bonus?

Post by chaggle » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:30 am

Yes, agree. I have wondered about the value of a university degree vs its cost.

It was bad enough back when I should have gone when students got grants but now with loans and fees...

Is suppose vocational degrees must be worth doing.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

Tony.Williams
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Re: The university bonus?

Post by Tony.Williams » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:48 pm

I remember from years ago that some big companies had reached agreements with some universities to offer a "sandwich degree" course. The students were given salaried trainee manager posts and expected to learn their jobs in parallel with studying for a relevant degree. The degree course lasted for four years rather than three, so obviously the students had to work hard to become managers in the same time frame.

The advantages were considerable: instead of leaving university with no work experience and a large debt, the students left with four years of management training, no debt, and had been paid a salary throughout. The downsides? Takes an extra year, and less time for university social life. Also, less flexibility if their career plans changed. The advantage to the company is that it had the option of employing a management graduate who they'd been able to get to know over four years, rather than the usual "pig in a poke" post-uni job selection process.

That scheme wouldn't be for everyone, but it sounded like a great idea for those who knew they wanted to follow the particular career path being offered. I've no idea whether this is still on offer anywhere.

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