23,500 GBP – A Guide to Today’s Degree Debt
August 2009 saw some of the best UK-wide A level results in history, with more than one in four students (26.7 percent) receiving A grades, and an impressive 97.5 percent passing, according to the BBC. However, as the continued increase in students receiving good grades pushes up the number of applicants for degree courses, they are also being faced by the prospect of building up the biggest debts of any generation before them, when it comes to graduation.
According to research published by (the self-proclaimed ‘ruthlessly independent guide to UK universities’), the average student who starts university in September/October should expect to owe a massive £23,500 – the biggest debt ever had by graduates. Such projections during the past year have caused the UK Government to set aside £5 billion for student support.
The comprehensive data analysed many of the UK’s major universities, and not only projected the amount of debt incurred year by year, but also highlighted the regions in which the biggest average debt were most likely to be. Perhaps predictably, students based in and around London are likely to experience the biggest regional average at £20,397 with those attending the University of London likely to pay £33,773 and Imperial graduates mounting up over £6,000 a year.
The research goes some way to highlighting the importance distance learning and online degrees may have to students over the next few years. Students now have more of an opportunity to enrol on courses in cheaper parts of the country – whilst living anywhere they wish to do so. And there is also the benefit of cheaper fees, as well as the flexibility of being able to continue a part-time job while they study.
With careful planning (of course, there is every possibility students can build up debt from expensive rental areas and indulgent lifestyles whether partaking in a distance degree or not) there is no reason that a student wishing to experience the London lifestyle, but to attend a university in neighbouring East Anglia without having to travel there. Alternatively, students may also wish to live in one of the cheaper areas of the country, such as Scotland (with a regional average of £9,844), but studying at a university in a higher-debt region.