Many A-level students will have experienced a nerve-wracking night waiting to find out their A-level results and determine whether they have secured their favoured university place. 200,000 students are predicted to have no university place this year with at least 7 students competing for every 1 place through clearing. There has also been a 12% increase in university applications so students missing out by only one grade in their results could lose their university place.
The news is also full of discussion about the introduction of the new A* grade but this in itself has been controversial – only 13 institutions including Cambridge and Imperial have decided to recognise it, but many other institutions such as Oxford have not. The whole subject of university has become an increasingly hot topic as pressure from all angles is increasing. It is expected that universities will need to undergo the “biggest cuts since the Great Depression” with 35% cuts predicted over the next 5 years, meaning that the current £5,441 annual government subsidy will be cut to just £3,537. So if this is the case, is it really necessary to go to university in the first place? Is it really worth the average £25,000 debt that students are now expected to leave university with?
There are several incredibly successful keynote and motivational speakers such as Simon Woodroffe, Theo Paphitis and Richard Branson who either never went to university or left early on. There is no question that university can be an incredible experience and yet for these speakers they gained the skills that they needed in the workplace, and other business leaders from Bill Gates to Steve Jobs and Simon Cowell have done the same.
Simon Woodroffe who founded Yo! Sushi was talking this morning in a discussion with Justin Webb on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about the importance of giving self-confidence to youngsters - be that through university or apprenticeships - and that he himself doesn’t regret not going to university. Simon also spoke about the need for universities and industry to talk more so that businesses have more involvement in education, thus ensuring that vital skills in the workplace form part of education. This has led to calls of a so-called cultural shift about the way we think of university, apprenticeships, and education in general and the need for more collaboration with industry.
So if you need a boost or would like to hear from somebody who succeeded without taking the conventional route, we are here to help.