It stroke me today, that many people are using the "go to university instead" line, to try and reduce the youth unemployment rates. This comes with the news that a great number of eligible applicants will be turned down from university because there is not enough places. However, I think those arguing this need to think for a minute about what university is there for. It is not just there to help reduce the unemployed statistics. People do not necessary want to go to university, this is another flawed conception many people have. It should not be seen as the ultimate career path for students, that is just elitism and tradition at its best.
For more people to go to university instead of going on benefits, which this article is suggesting, there needs to be changes to the university system. For one, the tuition fees will ultimately mean that the poorer students will be in an even worse financial situation than they were before they went. Therefore, recommending students to go university, will mean that those who are going as a route B instead of going because they want to, will be more likely to feel as though the debt they end up with was not worth it.
There is also the culture and attitude around top universities that needs to be tackled, which I have wrote about before in previous blogs, such as one about the Sutton Trust Report.
Therefore, it is not as easy to suggest that university can be used as an ultimate replacement for jobs. We have to think about what suits different people best, and education after all is not for everyone. There needs to be more concentration on helping create more jobs, and saving those that are collapsing. Curbing the big bonuses of bankers, with things such as a high pay commission, would help provide more money to keep more ordinary workers.
Therefore, it needs to be considered that university should not just be used as an escape route. It is in itself a trap, one of financial hardship. Therefore, it is not just a simple alternative.