September 2018

Seven Benefits of Attending University


Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has spoken this month about the value of Great Britain's universities at UUK's annual conference in Sheffield.

He spoke about what he saw as the benefits of attending university, which I'll delve into below.

In addition, he spoke about the three cornerstones of what a better-educated population could lead to for the country as a whole:

1/ A country whose economy is driven by knowledge and by innovation, one that harnesses our spirit of ingenuity and endeavour to enrich its people and to improve the lot of humanity.

2/ A country with a skilled, educated population, where everyone has a chance to get a good education. A prosperous country, and one where that prosperity is shared across the country.

3/ A country where no matter where you were born or where you grew up, you will have every opportunity to fulfil your potential and be who you were meant to be.

It will come as no surprise to you when I say that thriving, world-class universities sit at the heart of this vision. This is a vision of Britain that draws on each of universities’ three traditional missions: teaching, research, and wider engagement.

You can read the full text of the speech here.

 

Delving into Seven Benefits of Attending University

With the new semester fast approaching at LSBM (and other higher education providers), now is a good time to remember why it is that getting a degree is a worthwhile endeavour.

So, let's take a look at some benefits of progressing to higher education and reflect for a moment, while the sun is (sort-of!) still shining and we can kid ourselves it is still the Summer, of the advantages of getting a degree.

 

Students

1/ University can be a defining moment in your life. University can be a ‘rite of passage’ – with an important opportunity to learn and grow as a person.

Many of the 'benefits' that people speak about when they talk about a university education are linked to the 'tangible' end-results. You end up knowing considerably more about a subject. You get a better job. You earn more money.

All of those are undoubtedly good things, and not to be dismissed. But at the end of the day higher education is so much more than that. It is not simply the accumulation of knowledge. It is not simply the place you end up. It is the journey that is important.

The people that you meet along the way, many of whom will become friends for life. The changes in mindset and attitudes that you will experience. The new perspectives.

For many students it also marks a very practical dividing point between a life lived with parents and siblings and one where you finally take active control over your own life and live independently.

It can be a little unnerving at first. But it is also very exciting!



2/ Universities represent at their best: places dedicated to the free and robust exchange of ideas. Places where curiosity and passion drives the search for knowledge.

Sometimes you think you know what you believe about a certain subject. But then you will hear a fact, or an arguement, or an opinion from someone you trust that throws it into sharp relief, and makes you think again.

Staying hungry for knowledge is always important, and University can be a place where you grow, not only in knowledge of the subjects you learn, but also in a much wider context.

LSBM has an active Student Guild with many Student Societies (including Law, Business, Accounting and Football societies) that can help to widen your outlook and connect you with other students and new ways of thinking.

We also have an active Lighthouse programme that is used to deliver a series of events and projects that promote employability, enterprise, internationalization and community involvement.

It's not just courses...

 

Students

3/ That Universities are places where you can break free of whatever handicaps the circumstances of birth and background bestow.

There is a natural democratisation that happens when you become a student in higher education. Regardless of what has happened before you walk through the doors, what happens afterwards is down to you.

You will be judged not on where you have come from, but what you do when you are here.

You have the opportunity to define yourself by what you do from here on out, not where you have come from.

 

 

4/ That Universities are places to develop, that are at once safe and profoundly challenging.

One of the great things about higher education is that while academic rigour is respected, that there is also a safe forum in which it can flourish.

It is, therefore, possible to enjoy both a place where you can explore new ideas, alongside the familiarity of an environment that is safe to pursue them.

You also have time and a receptive audience to explore those ideas, so there is the opportunity to grow and develop and discover where your own boundaries on different issues lie.

In effect, you get a great opportunity to expand your own circle of knowledge and belief. Decide what you believe. Act on what you believe. But do so in an environment where it is encouraged and not belittled.

 

Students

5/ A good degree is worth the investment that students make through their fees. Research demonstrates that graduates still earn a premium over their lifetime.

There is numerous research into this. For example, in 2015/16 Centrepiece estimated:

"We obtain an estimate of a wage premium of 7-8% for a good degree (a first or upper second) relative to a lower degree (a lower second or third) at the ages of 30 and 38. We view the estimated premium to be large when we consider that our estimate of the premium for a lower degree relative to A-levels is 11% at age 30."

In April 2018, Graduate Market Labour Statistics quantified this further and showed that:

"In 2017 the average, working age graduate earned £10,000 more than the average nongraduate, while on average postgraduates earned £6,000 more than graduates." (we also reported on the findings here)

And in June 2018, we reported that job prospects and graduate salary data had been released that showed graduate outcomes for every university in England - revealing the average earnings and likelihood of employability 1, 3 and 5 years after graduation.

Also in June 2018, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said:

"It is well known that the average graduate earns more than non-graduates."

So, even factoring in the fees you will have to pay, as well as any practical living expenses while you are studying, you are still likely to be better off from getting a good degree then not (even if you only consider the financial aspects of study and ignore all other benefits).

 

Students

6/ Universities now offer both academic and vocational outlets to students. A system with quality at its heart means that whatever path a young person chooses, they can still flourish.

Just recently the government have launched the latest competition for T Levels, which are planned to be a high-quality, technical equivalent to A Levels. So clearly there is an appetite for vocational qualifications.

Here are LSBM we offer Accounting and Finance, as well as Law degree courses that can both have direct vocational career progressions. We assist our students by widening their opportunities through offering partnerships with leading major international professional bodies.

Our accounting courses are accredited by CIMA which means our graduates have been granted exemptions from seven CIMA exams. In addition, our accounting courses are also accredited by the ACCA and our graduates are also granted similar exemptions from nine ACCA exams. This means our students can save themselves a lot of time and stress in the future, because our degree equips them with a whole host of ready-made exemptions from the exams of the two leading professional accounting bodies in the UK.

Law students who complete the Civil Litigation and Client Care module on our LLB courses, plus one of the other four practice-based modules, are eligible for admission as a Graduate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). This opportunity saves graduates one year of additional study. With CILEx Graduate Member status, our students will be able to use the designatory letters: GCILEx (therefore they would be LLB (Hons), GCILEx).

These are two very practical illustrations that studying a degree can shortcut your path to a 'real' career (in this case accountancy or law) after you have graduated.



Students

7/ Young people from the most disadvantaged areas were 43 per cent more likely to go to university in 2016 than they were in 2009 and 52 per cent more likely to attend highly selective universities.

(Note - The Minister did not quote the source of this statistic).

LSBM is a champion for under-represented and disadvantaged students, and we are very open about our own statistics. 

In January 2018 we published our latest Access and Participation Statement, which was written to provide potential and existing London School of Business and Management (LSBM) students with a clear and transparent account of the ways in which, with regard to underrepresented and disadvantaged students, we:

  • Provide fair access to all our courses.
  • Promote, encourage and develop the potential of students to succeed in their higher education studies and to proceed to graduate-level employment or postgraduate study.

It sets down clear statistics that you can read for yourself here in our 15-page Access and Participation Statement PDF.

The diverse nature of our academic community is valued as an important asset to the educational experience we provide. The insights and learning of our graduates, educated in the midst of this diversity, is, we recognise, one of the important contributions we can make to the wider society in which we live.

 

Finally...

Fun

There is also the fact that you will be studying subjects that YOU have chosen.

So, hopefully! You will enjoy learning more about them.

Along the way, you will grow as a person, make new friends, learn more about yourself and the world around you. It can be a defining experience.

Higher education can also be a lot of fun!

You will have precious time to explore, play, learn, imagine, dream big thoughts and start to define who you are and the difference you want to make in the world.

Seize it!

Enjoy it!

See you in October!

 

Stuart Brown
Media and Content Manager

Partners and Accreditations

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