University is not for everyone
One of the best things about life is that everyone takes a different path. Obvious necessities aside, like food, health and general education, the world is and should be our own oyster; full of twists, turns, relationships, travel and experiences.
The news that university placements in NSW and ACT have gone up so much in the 15 per cent in three years will be music to some people’s ears. Everyone has the right to further their education and become the person they want to be.
But university is not for everybody.
Suitability for university should be the first consideration. Not everyone should or needs to go to university. This often applies to overly practical or creative people, who find it hard to get much out of listening to lectures, doing a stack of reading and turning up every week.
Some of the most interesting people I know do not have a tertiary education. Or if they did get one, they studied much later in life. They spent their formative years working, starting a business or travelling and working their way around the world in various different jobs. Others found someone pretty special and settled down straight away.
Age is another. It can take time to figure out what your vocation in life is and for many people that will not be discovered while you’re stuck in a lecture theatre bored out of your mind. You need to be out in the world, doing stuff you’re interested in. Or doing something you don’t love that will in turn, lead you to something you do.
Not all jobs need a tertiary education. Modern careers are such that not everything has to be so cut and dry, with the obvious exceptions of things like medicine and some of the sciences. Many of today’s jobs are created through a combination of experiences in lots of different sectors, and in lots of different roles.
Expense is another limiting factor. University costs money and lots of it. Even if you defer your payments there is the daily outlay for books and equipment. This means you also end up having to work as well. A balancing act that some people find pretty hard to manage. Working part time means you miss out on a lot of stuff your other friends working fulltime have.
Then there’s the cost of living. Lots of people end up moving out when they go to university because they live in regional areas or just because it’s easier. Especially as most people end up having to find part-time work near enough to uni so they can fit it all in.
More does not always equal better. Excess spaces at university also mean a decline in entrance scores - effectively enabling people access to courses they otherwise would be deemed un-suitable for and an overall, lower standard of graduate in the long term.
Not to mention reduced enjoyment factor for the students themselves. There is nothing worse than feeling like you’re drowning in a course that you have no hope of understanding.
Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk
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