Graduates could have their own children at university before uni debts are repaid

The decision in the Commons today on whether university tuition fees will rise to an unprecedented £9,000 per year, will be taken against a backdrop of protests from student campaigners who face the prospect of debts in excess of £30,000. Combined with rising graduate unemployment, which hit its highest levels for 17 years at 8.9%, students are furious that by the time they pay back their debts they could be old enough to have their own children at university.

Since the speculation regarding tuition fees notgoingtouni  have seen a 35% increase in visitor numbers. Enquiries to the website have not only come from students but concerned parents and careers advisor, seeking other ways that young people can kickstart their careers now that so many feel priced out of university.

“ highlights an extensive variety of alternatives to the traditional university route from apprenticeships to foundation and sponsored degrees to distance Learning,” explains Communications Director Sarah Clover who believes that there has never been a tougher time for the undergraduate market. “What we want school leavers to know is that there are some great ways to achieve your career goals without a full time degree course so explore your options before you make a decision and you could find a way to gain your chosen qualification debt free.”

Researching the alternatives can provide some shocking insights. Aside from the oft-quoted statistic that graduates can expect to earn £100,000 more in their lifetime, another report shows that taking an apprenticeship can be just as advantageous for earnings. Steven McIntosh from the University of Sheffield, revealed that the Net Present Value for those who complete an Apprenticeship is estimated to be around £105,000 over a career and there are substantial increases in earning for those who take the vocational route too. offers an extensive range of alternative routes to university including Apprenticeships, Foundation Degrees, Gap Years, Distance Learning, Volunteering and Employer Funded Study as well as training courses in over 40 different sectors.  For free and impartial advice about all the alternatives students, parents and careers advisers should visit  

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