Figures released last week by UCAS reveal that 12,400 fewer UK students have applied to go to university in September 2018, than compared to the same point last year.

With tuition fees set to rise, an increase in the rate of interest on student loans, and a perceived lack of graduate jobs, you can see why many students are finding an alternative to university.

In a recent article The Guardian revealed that some university lectures could cost students £135 per hour, when taking into account the £9,000 fees and the amount of contact time they get with their tutor, leaving students wondering if a degree is really worth it?

But according to the Higher Education Manager at University Centre Hastings; University is worth it, and it can be affordable to all.

“The cost of university has increased dramatically over the past 15 years. Many students have their hearts set on university but are being put off by the increasing amount of debt,” says David Fowler. “That is why we’re reaching out to students to give them a much more affordable option, without sacrificing any of the quality,”

“There are lots of fantastic opportunities available to college and sixth form students right on their door step. Traditionally, students want to move away from their home town to gain that university experience, but with fees set to rise to £9,250, interest rates on student loans rising from 4.6% to 6.1%, and the cost of living continuing to rise, many simply can’t afford to move away, so I believe staying local is the answer.”

It would seem that staying local is a trend on the rise. Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that 638,855 full-time students in the UK were living with their parents, or in their own home, while studying last year (academic year 2016/17). This was an increase of 40,755 from the 598,100 students who started a degree in 2015/16.

The cost of living in Hastings is also lower than other university towns and cities in the South East. According to Numbeo, a user-generated cost-of-living statistics website, essential living costs, such as rent and food, is approximately 45% less than compared to Brighton.

Poppy Carter, a first year BA (Hons) Graphic Communication at University Centre Hastings said: “This is actually my second spell at University. In 2016 I started an art degree at Arts University Bournemouth, but due to a number of things, including the cost of living, I decided to drop-out and move back home to Hastings. The cost of living was really expensive and my student loan just about covered the cost of the rent, leaving me very little money for essential things like food. Now I’m studying and living in Hastings, I have more money to spend on food and course materials, as well as enjoy the social aspects of uni.”

As well as the financial savings, David Fowler explains the other benefits to studying at University Centre Hastings. “The quality of our provision is fantastic. We have gained full confidence from the QQA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) for our teaching and standards. We offer over 30 higher education qualifications, including a number of higher apprenticeships, as well as 6 full honour, Bachelor of Arts subjects awarded by the University of Brighton. We’re able to offer these courses with the pull of a certificate from the University of Brighton, but saving students almost £2,000 a year than if they studied the equivalent subject elsewhere.

We put all of our courses together with the industry in mind, adding strong vocational elements to the modules. This enables the students to take advantage of our excellent links with the community, Sussex employers, and international industry experts to increase their experience of working on live projects and build their own network of contacts.”

Grace Leaney, former BA (Hons) Illustration student said: “The two main things that stood out for me during my time at UCH was being able to gain a lot of valuable experience by working on live projects for local restaurants and venues, and learning how to network and build contacts. This was invaluable to me, something I don’t think I would have been able to do if I was at another uni and part of a much bigger class. I was given quality time to talk to my tutors and industry experts which has now led me to work on big projects for Hilton Hotels, Jim Beam Whiskey and One Love Festival.”

The largest online student community in the UK, The Student Room, also suggest that students should look at the added value of university, rather than just league tables.

In a recent article, they explain that league tables aren’t everything and students shouldn’t just base their decision purely on the number against a University’s name; even top university bosses agree. They recommend considering how much it is to live there, researching the finer details of the course, considering whether you will be happy there, and what else will you get out of the degree other than the qualification, to ensure you get value for money.

David continued: “Value for money is becoming such an important aspect of university and we pride ourselves on ensuring our students get real value for every pound they spend. We’re able to offer smaller class sizes, in brand new lecture rooms and art studios, with increased and meaningful contact time with lecturers and tutors. When we follow the formula of working out our hourly lecture rate, students studying on our BA (Hons) art programmes could be paying up to 80% less.”

Helen Bowler, National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) coordinator in Hastings, also argues that lower living costs and lower fees would help to widen participation. The HESA revealed that there was only a 0.1% increase in the number of students from deprived areas attending university in autumn 2016 from the previous year.

“The increased cost of university, along with the scrapping of maintenance grants for students on low incomes, creates too many barriers for a lot of students from deprived areas. Why should talented students miss out on higher education because they cannot afford it?

Hastings is the thirteenth most deprived of all local authorities, which is why we work to help make university more accessible.

Some of the things that we can offer include a cash bursary to go towards the cost of attending university open days and interviews; we regularly hold one-to-one progression coaching sessions to discuss all kinds of higher education routes including HNC, HND, Top-up courses and Higher Apprenticeships; and the University of Brighton is helping to run study skills sessions to help those students who are re-sitting GCSE maths, to help boost their grades the second time around.

The important thing is that we’re able to offer impartial information advice and guidance, to let them know about all the options that are out there and to see university as a springboard into their future career; more of an investment rather than a debt.”

So perhaps staying local is the answer to combatting the cost of university.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Laura-Jane Rawlings has published a new article: Disability & Creating Opportunity 1 hour 5 minutes ago
Dr Ann Limb CBE DL had a status update on Twitter 16 hours 16 minutes ago

Please don't fall off @NickLinford - neither you nor @AoCDavidH FE needs you both - especially now! https://t.co/rfLsmpv5p7
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page