A new poll, conducted by UK’s think tank, showed that a third of young people think that going to college is “a waste of time.”
On Wednesday, the largest industrial action in over a decade took place in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 500,000 workers across multiple industries participating in the strike.
On strike were teachers, government employees, train and bus drivers, border control personnel, and university staff. They sought better compensation and working conditions in the face of rising inflation and energy costs, a situation that the IMF has projected may have been made worse by Brexit.
Amid these developments, a new survey of 2,000 participants revealed that one-third of young adults between 18 and 24 years of age consider obtaining a university degree as “a waste of time.” Conversely, only 22% hold a different viewpoint.
This marks an upward trend from the previous year’s results, where only 27% of the same age group held the same viewpoint.
58% of respondents to a study conducted by the UPP Foundation and the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) felt that “a university degree does not prepare students for the real world.”
On Wednesday, 70,000 university employees started a historic protest over salary, working conditions, and pensions, canceling classes.
According to the University and College Union, 2.5 million students would be impacted by the 18 days of strikes in February and March.
The survey also revealed that over half of respondents think that the government should provide students with more financial aid, and 71% feel that the rising cost of living and economic crisis would discourage people from attending university in the coming years.
Despite this, only 10% of respondents ranked students as one of the top three groups they would prioritize for assistance with the cost of living. This is in comparison to 57% of respondents who placed those earning minimum wage, 47% of respondents who prioritized pensioners, and 42% of respondents who prioritized families with young children.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents agreed with the statement “students should expect to work part time to cover their living costs while in university.”
Over half of the individuals from the lowest social grade (DE) had never been to a university, and just 18% of respondents had done so this academic year.
“A sustained advocacy job will need to be done either side of the next general election if more people are to understand the true value of higher education,” said director of HEPI Nick Hillman.
“One of the most dispiriting findings,” according to him, “is how many people have only very rarely, or never, knowingly visited – or even apparently engaged passively with – a university. It is clear universities need to do more to welcome people onto campus and to make their activity more visible.”
Image Credit: Getty