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Is University Still Worth It?

A Third of Graduates Regret Going to University

A cheery new study has found that a third of under-35s regret spending three years half-pissed, half studying psychology, because of debt.

by Joel Golby
10 August 2016, 11:40am

An image of regret (via Jake Lewis)

Yes it turns out all those late nights in the libraries and all those times you put a funnel of alcohol into your body to try and impress people and all those dress up events you put so much effort into attending and all those time you walked home, your shoes held in your hands because you'd danced them into agony, your feet wet and cold on the pavement beneath you, eating toast from the Christian Union, overall just completely disappointing your parents, and all of it for a just-about-2.1 in History, all that: turns out that was all absolutely not worth it, because a survey of graduates has found that a good third entirely regret going to university at all, mainly because of the debt but for other good reasons too.

According to a study from the insurer Aviva – and I'm not sure why Aviva are getting involved, really, like what does insurance have to do with the deep cuts of regret that sear through your life – but according to Aviva around 37 per cent of graduates under 35 regret getting a degree because of the enormous debts they accrued doing it.

Additionally 49 per cent of graduates think they could have got to where they are without their degrees (this is just a statistical rewording of that uncle you have who spends every Christmas getting drunk and telling you, "YOU WANT TO SPEND A FEW TERMS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LIFE" because you're so "WET BEHIND THE TWAT"), with those in the south east less likely to regret going to university, and those in Wales, the West Midlands and north east more likely to regret the whole thing/reckon they could've got where they got without it.

This is all tacked on to the announcement last week that university fees are expected to rise next year, tenuously in line with inflation, to £9,250 per year – plus the idea of university debt being tied to the already financially doomed future of most millennials, who basically will never buy a house, never afford to retire, and are basically struggling just to keep a Netflix subscription going at the moment. It's all good. It's... it's all good.

"Millennials are plagued with uncertainty about the outlook for their financial futures, an issue which has not been helped by the uncertainty of today's economic and political climate," Aviva's Louise Colley said. "The financial hangover from university has also led many in this age group to question whether in hindsight they made the right decision and how much value it has brought to their current position."

I personally reckon we should just start a knowledge pool of all the stuff we can just about remember learning from our degrees, undercutting the higher education industry with one big forum thread, outlawing the need for this system and its inherent debt altogether. I'll start: pretty sure the word 'beef' is part of the English language because of the French invasion of 1066 (we, the English, just called beef 'cow' back then, before the French came in with their fancy words and their fancy ways), and also the aftermath of the plague was basically the advent of the middle class (poor field workers were in short supply post-plague, so were able to barter houses and land and stuff for doing their jobs, and then when they got them they got bang into Whole Foods and holistic schooling). That's it, that's all I learnt. Oh, and a psychology student once told me picking the label off your beer means you're sexually frustrated. Right. That's, like, eight grand's worth of knowledge right there. Pretty sure you can blag your way through a job interview with that. Done. We beat the system. Done!

@joelgolby

Coming soon on VICE: Is University Worth It?

From 18th August, the day that thousands of sixth formers find out whether they've got a place at university, VICE investigates whether it still makes sense to be a student. As tuition fees rise, maintenance grants are scrapped, and research finds that graduates from a number of universities are less likely to find work than school leavers, we look into whether higher education can still provide a transformative experience for your mind, your prospects and your social life.

More on university:

What It's Really Like to Go On 'University Challenge'

Cider Casualties and Angry Stoners: A Night with Exeter University's Campus Security

What the Hell Are Britain's Universities For?