British Universities are battling through a tumultuous period in the UK. Ritually attacked from all sides, they’re struggling to justify their rising prices to poorer students.

Universities are set to charge £10,000 a year by the end of the decade, according to an independent inquiry into student funding, and alongside chancellor George Osborne’s decision to replace student grants with loans, students from a disadvantaged background may be put off from universities entirely.

Economics expert Will Hutton, who chaired the study, said:

“Debt is likely to become a bigger issue.

“Under the current system, nearly three-quarters of students will fail to clear their student loans before they are written off after 30 years and the large majority will still be paying off their debts into their forties – figures that will increase with the abolition of grants and increase in fees.”

However, while many graduates may fail to ever pull themselves out of debt, that should not dissuade young people from trying to improve their chances in the job market.

Despite the reproach of the media, employers view job applicants with a degree in a more favourable light than those without, with 61 percent of employers valuing a degree very highly, according to the Sunday Times Good University Guide. Only 17 percent focused on the grade a candidate received, while eight per cent favoured the prestige of the university attended.

Meanwhile, 18 percent of UK bosses said they would pay graduates more than those without a degree.

The doom and gloom of tuition fees doesn’t appear to have dissuaded applicants to universities, either – university application service UCAS claimed record numbers of people seeking entry to university.

592,290 applications were made by the January 15th deadline, almost 10,000 more than 2011, just before the tuition fees rise.

Students are clearly willing to shoulder increasingly large debts to receive a high-quality education, and hoping that the job market will hold true when they graduate.

As university clearing season beckons, thousands of students are crossing their fingers that they’ve got the grades to enter their favoured institutions. Those who haven’t received entry to university yet take advantage of the clearing process to gain entry into some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country.

In the past, when university education was free or with low fees, the cost of university was not a consideration when making the choice of where to apply. Now, however, alongside students looking to see how applicable their degree will be in finding a job, the cost of the course will also affect their decision.

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