From education to employment

Work, not play, most important reason for going to Uni

Forget Freshers’ Week, living away from home, and wild nights out with new friends – a new survey released today shows that career aspirations are still the most important reason people choose to go university.

The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) commissioned the survey, which asked members of the public who are studying or have studied at university level what motivated them to go. Pursuing a career which requires a degree topped the vote with 28%.

Gaining knowledge and new ideas followed closely in second with 26%, while putting your passion into practice through a degree was a close third with 24%.

Less than one in five (18%) said that getting to meet new people and socialise was the most important reason for going to university. 

Professor Bashir Makhoul, Vice-Chancellor of UCA, said:

“University education is changing, presenting students with more opportunities than ever before to have a successful career doing what they love.

“We are seeing increased demand for degrees which not only provide students with the opportunity to explore their creative talents, but also equip them with the diverse and transferrable skills which are in high demand from today’s employers.

“It is encouraging to see so many students really thinking long-term about their career prospects and how they can put their passions into practice when choosing a university and the degree that’s right for them.”

The career I want to pursue requires a university degree

28 %


Gaining knowledge and new ideas

26 %


Putting your passion into practice as a degree

24 %


Developing transferable skills and technical knowledge that enhances employment prospects

23 %


Getting to meet new people/socialising

18 %


Experiencing independence by living away from home

18 %


Opportunity to try new activities (such as a hobby or sport)

13 %


Exposure to other cultures and backgrounds

11 %


Surrounding yourself with likeminded creative people

11 %



2 %


None of the above

1 %



About the University for the Creative Arts: With courses in creative arts, business and technology, UCA is the UK’s top specialist arts university for graduate employability, with 96.9 percent of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE July 2018). UCA is the second largest provider of creative education in Europe and has campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham and Rochester, as well as satellite campuses at Hampton Court and Maidstone. UCA is home to the world-leading Business School for the Creative Industries, which offers a range of courses designed to cultivate leadership as well as entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills in students. In 2016, UCA joined with the Open College of the Arts, significantly enhancing its provision of art and design education through online and distance learning.

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