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No need for a degree to get a great job, say business owners
By Mimmie Wilhelmson KINGSTON graduates’ degrees may count for nothing when they come to apply for jobs, a survey of business owners has revealed. Out of the 551 respondents from a variety of businesses, 44.3 per cent said that having a degree qualification was of no importance when candidates applied for the job, a survey carried out by XLN Business Services showed recently. Barney Jones, spokesman for XLN Business Services, said: “Hopefully this study is going to be a sort of call for more research in this area and that people will want to look seriously into this question. The revelation by XLN emerged along with a report by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee suggesting that apprenticeships should be considered as important as studying at university. The report supports the apprenticeship programme proposed by the UK Government, but argues that some areas of it need to be reformed in order for it to be more effective and considerable as a valid alternative to a university qualification. Areas of the apprenticeship programme that the Committee found in need of reforms were delivery and funding, the engagement of apprentices and employers, the quality and value for money.
It is argued that some areas of apprenticeship should be reformed REX FEATURES
It was however revealed earlier this year by the Office For National Statistics that graduates earn £12,000 more per year than those without a university degree. Stuart Archbold, Head of Kingston University Business School, said: “Although employment for young adults is very difficult at present, we know that graduates do very much better than non-graduates. “I doubt very much that apprenticeships will replace graduate entry for high level post.” Advertisement
Chris Lowfoon, operation manager and responsible for employment at the Kingston-based company Store Point International, said that although having a degree is a major advantage, they also have hired apprentices before. He said: “I think it’s a good way of getting into the industry, getting your career started. “There are so many options these days; it’s so many routes to take. Just pick one, stick to it, and keep banging on doors.”
Calem Trevor, 20, an ex KU international relations and journalism student who dropped out after his first year, decided to do an apprenticeship and work his way up in the film industry instead. He said: “I realised that what I was studying wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t enjoy it and I actually didn’t feel like my time was being used sufficiently, I felt like I was wasting my time.” Mr Trevor started as a camera trainee at a production company. After his apprenticeship ended, he stayed with the company and worked on a paid basis as a camera assistant, as well as a freelance. He highly valued his time as an apprentice. He learnt much about how the industry works and made many different connections. “It was different because I didn’t feel like I was wasting any time. I was learning so much every day and I was only there for about two months. I learnt so much that I use now, whereas when I was at uni I just felt useless.” Mr Trevor considered going to film school after he dropped out but now believes that having a degree is not that important. “There are pros and cons, but to be honest, all the people I’ve spoken to who have been in the industry for a long time said ‘don’t bother with film school’,” said the ex KU student.
Fees rise for Jersey students JERSEY students are set to pay more for their university education following a change in the island’s grant system. As it stands, Jersey students can obtain a grant from the States of Jersey based on the income of the parent the student currently lives with. However, education Minister Deputy Patrick Ryan has now said that both parents’ incomes will now be taken into account. Bakhona Hawes, 20, a student from Jersey currently studying at Kingston said: “If this goes ahead I think it will affect me greatly as I’m struggling with my fees as it is.”
Fees set to reach £15k By Alex Sunier
THE TURMOIL of the higher education system in the UK is set to worsen as fees are due to rise to an unprecedented £15,000. A recent report stated that the cap on tuition fees might be removed, allowing universities to set their own fees, which could reach £15,000 by 2025. The report by researchers at the University of Bath and the University of Twente in the Netherlands also suggested that UK’s higher education system may be clearly split down the middle, between research intensive and teaching orientated universities. Kingston’ s Vice Chancellor, Julius Weinberg, responded to the report, saying that he felt some of these predictions could well happen, although he was quick to point out that these reports were just educated guesses. Mr Weinberg said: “We review regularly the changing horizon as we make judgements about how to develop the university. Some of the findings, such as a smaller, more focused research-intensive university sector, seem plausible as does the suggestion that there may be a greater variety of funding models with more private providers.” Another report found that the UK’s postgraduate system aims towards overseas students who pay higher tuition fees. Many of these overseas students leave the country after completing their course which leaves the UK lacking skilled workers. The UK is becoming the “education outsourcing capital of the world”, training international students rather than local talent for UK companies. This is forcing businesses to look abroad for skilled workers, or relocate which could cause long term problems for the UK economy. The report identifies the scale of the growth of overseas postgraduate students, up 200 per cent since 1999, compared with a rise of 18 per cent for UK students. Likewise, over the past eight years the number of Kingston University international postgraduate students has almost tripled, while the number of UK postgraduate students has doubled. Over the past five years, just over a quarter of all postgraduate students have been international students, paying overseas fees. This is compared to undergraduate figures, where international students make up less than seven per cent of the 20,000 undergraduate Kingston University students.