National Union of Students


Press Release   •   Aug 15, 2012 00:01 BST

New survey data released today by the National Union of Students (NUS) show that almost three-quarters (74%) of those intending to go to university this autumn are worried about getting a job after they finish their university course. The figures come as reports suggest up to 120 people may be applying for every job requiring A-level qualifications* and suggests that young people no longer see a degree as a guarantee of a job.

The online survey of nearly 800 students considering going to university asked them about their hopes and fears for their time at university. Hopes included studying a subject they love (96%), making new friends (95%), joining clubs (77%) and societies (75%), and getting a good job (97%) but fears persist about money while they studied (61%) and the jobs market after leaving university (74%).

The figures come ahead as students wait for their A-level results on Thursday and further demonstrate the precarious situation that many young people find themselves in as they make a decision between joining the first cohort of university students facing £9,000 a year tuition fees or attempting to get a foot on the career ladder with youth unemployment standing at over 1 million**.

Rachel Wenstone, NUS Vice-President (Higher Education), said:

"For many people, a university degree has traditionally given them the opportunity to access the employment of their choice. Now those who make it university are no longer guaranteed employment in the way that previous generations were."

“Unemployment amongst graduates is still lower than for those without a degree but those getting their A-level results this year face harder decisions than many about their futures.

“The government’s disastrous reforms to university funding mean that many prospective students must choose between taking on thousands of pounds in loans to pay for an uncertain future, or taking their chances in one of the most hostile jobs markets anyone starting a career has faced.”


The full survey data is available on request.

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NUS (National Union of Students) is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.

We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students.