Report suggests low university enrollment will affect economy

University Application by Justin Villamil

Student enrollment this year may drop by as much as 30,000, and the economy may suffer a loss of about £6.6 billion over 40 years as a result.

University think-tank Million+ and consultancy firm London Economics released a report on Thursday detailing the economic benefits of the UK investing in higher education.

The report, What’s the Value of a UK Degree? breaks down the numbers behind government spending on education and the benefits the UK reaps as a whole.

Among a host of startling numbers, the report revealed that by investing in an undergraduate degree, an individual British citizen stands to gain up to £115,000. This is a net figure, which includes the initial spending on the degree.

According to the report the government stands to gain a return about £94,000 from the same undergraduate degree after their initial investment.

For a Master’s, that works out to about £59,000 for the individual and £62,000 for the Exchequer.

Million+ suggests that investment in education is nearly always beneficial for the individual and more generally, the economy.

The report suggests the sweeping changes to tuition fees for 2012/2013 and consequent decreasing student enrollment may hamper the progress of the British economy.

“The reduction in student numbers that has been forecast to occur in 2012/13 will have an impact over a lifetime,” Million+ writes.

If the higher education system enrollment figures are reduced by the projected 30,000 students, says the report, the economy could suffer a total loss of about £6.6 billion.

However, the report notes that higher education not only provides financial benefits: University education is also linked to confidence, upward mobility, and increased involvement in community work.

Reacting to the figures, Collingwood student Rizwan Chaudry commented:

“Any policy that discourages people from carrying on their education is never a good one.”

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