Parent Blog: Lauren – The Benefits of Higher Education
Lauren has four children, three of which have attended University and the fourth is considering a degree or degree apprenticeship to start in 2019.
I’ve encouraged all my children to consider a university education. Although my husband and I didn’t follow this route immediately after we left school, I’ve gone back to university as a mature learner and I’m passionate about the doors it opens.
Today’s working world is so competitive and the more qualifications and knowledge a young person can gain, the more choice they will have regarding their career/ job options. There are some really exciting career paths opening up as our workforce becomes more global but unless you’re very lucky, you really do need a degree as a passport to travel with work. If your son or daughter prefers to stay in your home city or town, having a degree is more likely to give them the opportunity to have a better standard of living.
Going to university means they will meet hundreds of other young people, from all over the UK and around the world. They can pursue any hobby or sport they love with other young people who share their passion and try out many new activities too. As well as university led societies and events, there is so much opportunity to socialise informally and they are very likely to make life-long friends during their degree. Once they all graduate and go off in different directions, they will have a wide network of friends to visit, near and far.
Doing a degree requires a lot of organisation. If your son or daughter moves to university away from home, they will need to learn how to look after themselves, plan their studying, their finances, their shopping, their social life and much more… they will grow up fast. The best thing about university is that there is always staff support on hand and fellow students are generally very helpful too. So although it can be a steep learning curve, it’s not like they are doing it alone.
I know parents and students are often concerned about student debt. In reality, paying student loans back is affordable once they have secured a job and none of my children have ever talked about this as a problem now they are working. Another myth is that they will spend all their time partying. My children chose challenging degrees with a lot of placements. They enjoyed socialising but they had to work hard on their studies and placements, and so they had to keep a sensible balance.
My children have the world at their feet because of the subjects they have chosen. They could work in any English speaking country because they have useful and desirable professional skills. I am proud they have also developed a lifelong love of learning and trying new things, be it reading widely, taking on marathons or climbing mountains. They are tolerant of people from different cultural backgrounds and are contributing to society. Above all they have become very independent. Although I miss them because they have chosen to live, work and study in the four corners of the UK, I am happy that university gave them the wings to fly.