With all of the recent negative press around rising tuition fees and poor job prospects for graduates, it is little wonder that many students are shying away from attending University, choosing instead to seek employment opportunities straight after college, or simply falling into a downward and depressive spiral of unemployment at the tender age of 18. Seeing less and less individuals attending University is depressing for those of us who know how much can be gained from a University education; a solid academic grounding, an opportunity to build social networks, a chance to manage money and to learn the importance of self motivation. It is also I am sure incredibly depressing for individuals who had always dreamed of studying at University and who now feel that their chances of fulfilling this goal have been lost due to forecast financial constraints and poor career prospects. Importantly though, it is equally worrying for our country and our economy at large. With a growing population, we need the youth of today to be able to bring a whole range of skills to the economy in the future. Some of these skills can be built up through on-the-job training yes, and not all of them need to be grounded in academic education at University level. However a wide pool of skills and knowledge do need to come from academic education. As less and less students attend University, so the resource available to deliver these needed skills dwindles.
So, University is important, both to the wider economy and to students, or should I say potential students, themselves. Let’s have a look at some key, positive reasons for attending University:
– University provides you with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about one or two specific subjects. This level of knowledge is difficult to gain through your own self study.
– Most University courses require you to produce essays, dissertations and even theses as part of your course assessment. By attending University you are therefore able to improve your academic writing skills and your research skills. This in turn helps you to learn how to construct an argument, use other people’s research to support your own opinions and develop your own research methodologies.
– Some University courses are ‘Sandwich Courses’. This means that you are given the opportunity to complete a work experience placement as part of your studies. Not only does this add a bit of variety to your time at University, but it also equips you with some great hands-on experience in the industry that you are hoping to build a career within. Work experience of this level looks fantastic on your CV or Resume too.
– University provides an occasion to enjoy and build a social life! Forming new friendships, new relationships and networks is all part of growing up, and University provides the perfect place for you to enhance your social development.