Is university still a good thing for our children?… Today’s debate

In the past decade graduate salaries have fallen by almost a quarter, according to a new survey, so it seems that having a degree is no longer the passport to a great career and high earning power that it once was.

Researchers from Warwick University have been tracking 17,000 students from 2006 and have compared their fortunes with those of graduates from a decade before and their findings reveal that earnings for the younger group have fallen by 22 per cent compared with their earlier peer group.

Moreover, the recent graduates are struggling much harder to find meaningful employment, with 40 per cent failing to get work matched to their qualifications and 10 per cent spending at least six months on the dole. Unsurprisingly, those taking professional degrees, such as medicine, dentistry and law are faring far better than those taking more general arts subjects.

All of which does make us wonder whether, aside from those youngsters with a very clear vocational calling, we should be encouraging school leavers to go to university and take on the considerable debt this now involves… Except that university has always been about far more than text books and lectures and has usefully allowed young people to broaden their minds and experience. And surely having a mass of graduates steeped in English literature, history, geography, anthropology, classics and the like is a great thing for the cultural fabric of our country?

What’s your take? Is university still the best option for securing a good future? Tell us in the comments box below.

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