Several bad news stories for students have emerged this month.
A report (‘Payback Time’) published by the Sutton Trust in the UK, sets out to analyse the impact of recent changes to student loans and fees. Under the new regime, under which tuition fees rose to a maximum of £9,000 a year, students will leave university with almost £20,000 more debt on average than under the previous system.
The report concludes that most students will still be paying back their loans into their 40s and 50s. Many will never clear their debts. The study uses the example of an ‘average teacher’, who would still be paying back the student loan into their early 50s.
Meanwhile, as the cost of an education increases, the value of a degree is declining.
According to research by The Complete University Guide, over the last five years, the value of a degree has declined by up to a third. Researches analysed data based on graduate employment and earnings six months after leaving university. They found that the average starting salary for graduates in professional employment dropped by 11 per cent in real terms between 2007 and 2012.
However, some degree courses, including librarianship and information management, have bucked the trend.
Meanwhile in Sweden there are moves to amend existing student loan guidelines. The proposed changes would mean that student loans will no longer be written off when graduates reach the age of 67 and that fees for ‘late payment reminder’ letters will double.