This Thursday, MP’s in the Commons walk into the famous chamber to vote on tuition fees which could see average charges for course fees hit £9,000 per year. Response to the proposed increase has been well documented with students up and down the country protesting against the rise, some sparking violent clashes in London as undergraduates make their voices heard.
Whatever people’s views are on the proposed increases, one thing is clear in that for many prospective students and their parents an average debt of well over £30k for a three year course (when you take into account living costs) will undoubtedly make many people think twice about going to university.
The impact of this is something that won’t immediately be felt. However, it will be businesses in a few years time that will start to see the affects of having fewer and fewer graduates to choose from.
In previous Governments, one of the core focuses has been to ‘upskill’ the UK workforce, to allow us to compete on the international stage and to retain the best people to work in UK businesses. Graduates are a key part of that strategy.
It will be interesting to see how the current Government will address this before the next general election, when UK PLC is moaning about the lack of talent available to it, as people turn their back on university and the enormous debt that comes with it.