The true cost of university

By Ian Dunt

As thousands of pupils across the UK wait for their A-level results, two separate studies are published today showing the true cost of a university education in Britain.

A National Union of Students (NUS) study published this morning showed the hidden cost of expensive degrees, with the cost of books, equipment and fieldwork, for various courses revealed for the first time.

Hidden costs of expensive degrees revealed

Maths and computer sciences came out top, with £1,430 of additional costs. An education degree came in last, with a £432 average.

Meanwhile, independent university guide Push published figures highlighting the level of debt the average UK graduate incurs.

Graduates owe ‘up to £23k’ for study

The figure has risen to £5,000 a year, with debt expected to soar by a further 10.6 per cent in 2009/10.

That means some graduates could face up to £23,000 of debt after completing university.

The figures, which cast a dark shadow on the government’s tuition fees programme, come just days after Michael Gove, shadow education spokesman, revealed the Conservatives plans for school reform.

Tory call to replace league tables with ‘points system’

Mr Gove wants school league tables replaced by a points system, which would be weighted to favour traditional disciplines, such as maths and science, over so-called ‘softer’ courses, like media studies.

Comment: Hands off media studies

The government already has plans to reform the league table students. The current assessment will probably be replaced by a grade which offers a more holistic representation of the school’s performance, including pupil behaviour.

Yesterday, think tank Civitas warned the A-level qualification risked becoming defunct.

End A-level ‘monkey business’ – report

On a happier note, a new report out today painted a more favourable picture of university.

The study revealed that graduates have more jobs than those who didn’t go to university and one in five of them settle down with their uni love.

University students ‘have more friends’