Brighter UK students opting not to attend university
The website notgoingtouniversity, which offers young people advice on opportunities, says deciding against higher education can be a difficult decision for young people.
Some graduates are struggling to find work in the current economic climate
“There is an awful lot of pressure to go to university, which is why the drop-out rate is so high,” says its communications director Sarah Clover.
Annual performance indicators from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show 7.4% of young undergraduates left university after one year in 2007.
“The one-size-fits-all approach is not working and we’re there to show there are other perfectly valid routes,” said Ms Clover.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts says the government recognises that there is more than one route into “well-paid and fulfilling work”.
“Further education and on-the-job training are of vital importance, which is why this government is investing in further education and has provided 50,000 extra high quality apprenticeships,” he said.
But the British government also says university graduates, on average, have better employment prospects and can expect to earn a lot more than non-graduates over their working lives.
And it is hard to imagine making it to the very top of many professions without a degree or avoiding snobbery and barriers along the way.
A spokesperson for Universities UK said students “clearly appreciate” what university provides and value their student experiences.
“University is a life-changing, long-term investment that has benefits both for the individual and society generally.
“It helps individuals hone their thinking and analytical skills, gives them confidence, and the ability to re-skill as life changes.”
But for Das Gakhal, going straight into employment while gaining qualifications is the obvious head start.
“The whole general route appealed to me - when I did my research, I found most employers wanted experience and through this route, I’ll be able to gain experience and still get this qualification.
“I’ll get a much better experience of accountancy and I’ll have a head start on people who come out of university.” -