Following tradition has been at the forefront of most schools in the UK since the formation of the education system in the 19th century. At ages 16-18, students are forced to make decisions that will have a major impact on their future careers. Since the beginning of this process, many flaws have been exposed. One of those being that only students from Independent schools and privileged backgrounds are more susceptible to a University offer. However, times have now changed, we now live in an evolving world where the opportunity to study at university has become more accessible to anyone from any background. With inflated grades at A level over the last several years, one could argue it’s never been easier to secure a place however with the introduction of Covid 19 and the Economic crisis, the main question on everyone’s tongue is simple.

‘’Is it worth it anymore?’’

After numerous discussions with students at Russell Group Universities, it is safe to say that the quality of student life has taken a massive toll, and pressures to sustain good grades in poor living conditions have had nothing but a negative impact on students physical and mental health, therefore making the process not worth the substantial tuition fees and the extortionate costs of living. One key point to mention is that students are key members of our society that have suffered heavily due to increases in rent, heating, electricity, and many other things. However, one thing that hasn’t aligned is the student finance/support systems in place. One student explained that at the beginning of her course, she was paying £80 for accommodation and has now been paying close to £120 per week in response to inflation and the cost-of-living crisis

In addition to dealing with the effects of the cost of living issue, this year we will witness 70 000 staff members walk out for 18 days in protest of wages, benefits, and conditions at 150 institutions throughout the UK in February and March. While most students I've spoken to support the motion, they can't help but feel like they've been given a raw deal because the service they are receiving falls short of their expectations. A student told me that experiencing such disruptions during the second semester would make it difficult for her to finish her dissertation, which accounts for the majority of her degree, risking all the money she had invested up to this point.

So it goes back to my original question, ‘’Is it worth it anymore?’’

Though the number of apprentices is growing and there are many other alternatives, the university is still the obvious choice for pupils following 6th form and school. But given that our world is always changing, will a degree be necessary in 2023? I think the value has decreased because there are so many other paths that might result in success. Also, because of the lack of attention given to them by people in power, students have developed greater resourcefulness and forward thinking.

We are the people of tomorrow, I encourage you to exercise your right to speak out about being let down by powerful institutions. Speak out, affect change, and don’t let yourself be neglected.