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View from the House: Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 August 2017

Archant

Going to uni is worthwhile investment

Congratulations to students across Redbridge who collected their A-level results last week – as well as their teachers who feel every bit as invested in their success.

The vast majority of those students are heading to university. After a summer of negative stories in the press about our universities, some may be asking if it’s really worth it?

There’s no doubt that for the vast majority of students, going to university is a worthwhile investment. Graduates still tend to earn more than non-graduates and a good university education broadens horizons, builds confidence and leaves graduates with better life chances and prospects overall. That’s why I encourage all young people to work hard, aim high and seriously consider going to university.

But government and universities have become worryingly complacent, even arrogant, in the face of public concern about our universities. Our students graduate with the highest levels of debt in the world and too many struggle with the costs of studying – like rent, books and materials. Interest rates on those loans are now at 6.1 per cent – better than a high street loan, but higher than mortgage interest. Some courses and some universities have poor contact time, high levels of drop-outs and poor employment outcomes for graduates.

I truly believe we have one of the best higher education systems in the world. But I will continue to challenge our universities to make sure that every talented student who sets off to university gets a world-class experience, wherever they study.

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