Life is a magical adventure and your time at university is definitely part of that. For starters, you get to tackle a degree which you’re passionate about, while you’ll be let loose on the world and given your first real taste of independence. University can provide a great social life, learning curves and genuine career prospects, if you’ve got the right attitude! It does come at a cost, with many aspects of uni requiring a significant financial outlay, and that’s been put down as one of the main contributors to the 4% decrease in applicants this year. It’s not all doom and gloom, however! It’s important to remember that there are two sides to every coin…
Rising tuition fees
Tuition fees have been a contentious subject for a while, especially since the fee cap was increased from £3,465 per academic year to £9,000 on September 1st 2012. That sparked protests all across the country, but those efforts achieved little, with fees increasing by £250 for students starting this September. There are reasons for optimism in terms of change, however. Wiping out tuition fees for students was the basis for one of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s most talked about policies for the 2017 general election, while the Conservatives have accepted that they may need to review their current approach, with a national debate possible.
As it stands, total student debt stands at £76bn and the current crop will graduate owing £50,000 on average, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). £50,000 is certainly a lot of money, but if you look at the bigger picture, it’s less scary. You might take heart from the fact IFS predict almost three-quarters of graduates will end up with £30,000 of debt written off, and loans taken out from September 2012 onwards (England and Wales) are wiped out after 30 years. On the flipside, if you do end up repaying all of your loan, that means you will have earned a substantial living over the years, so get you!
For most students, going to university means moving out and living away from their parents for the first time. It’s a big step. You’re without some of your home comforts and things you may have taken for granted – like not having to do your own washing! Then there’s the rent – and it rarely comes cheap. In fact, a study by Spareroom.co.uk found that rent prices rose by as much as 10% in 2016, with some students paying as much as £600 a year more than others. But, it can be worth the outlay if you embrace it. You get to live with your mates and, as a result, spend all of your free time doing things that you all love, whether that involves getting angry on FIFA, gorging on Domino’s pizza or hanging out at the park.
Going to university is all about getting yourself a good degree to prepare you for the working world. But the social side of university life is a huge draw for many, as you get a rare opportunity to reinvent yourself and begin mixing with an entirely new set of mates. Club nights will surely be a frequent source of evening entertainment, whether you’re hitting up The Warehouse in Leeds or Mint Lounge in Manchester. There are ways of keeping costs down, however. Every university city will have student nights being run by nightclubs and there are usually plenty of offers on drinks, while student discounts are available in many high street shops. And, if you’re partial to a “cheeky” Nando’s, our Scoff It Like It’s Hot competition could bag you a year’s worth of free trips to the chicken fanatics.
The education and experience
There’s no getting away from the fact that choosing whether to go to university or not is a big decision, and if you do go, it could cost a lot of money. However, many students, past and present, are happy to have attended for numerous reasons. For one, the experience can broaden your horizons and help you uncover a world, or passions, that you never knew about. You may well find friendships and relationships which will last for the rest of your life. But above all, you could get the very best education experience, learning about an area or subject which is important to you. After all, there are many occupations which require a degree, so it really could be worthwhile.
University can be a lot of fun, as you’re given the chance to truly find yourself. It can also be stressful, with exams and coursework often piling up towards the end of the academic year. You don’t need more stress on top of that, which is why student insurance from The Insurance Emporium could be a shrewd purchase. Policies are Pick ‘N’ Mix and come with Contents cover as standard, which you can then add to with as many Optional Benefits as you want, including cover for Gadgets and Mobile Phones, Valuables and Bicycle, potentially keeping your uni life on course should something go wrong. There’s even the chance for a 30% discount for new customers, so head on over to the Emporium today to find out more!
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