Deciding if university is right for your child

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At a glance

Advice on the benefits of a university education for your child.

Graduating from university or college is likely to improve your child's earning capacity - on average, people with a degree earn £100,000 more over their lifetime. When they recruit many employers look for people with degrees - so after further education your child has a better chance of securing a job.

If you didn't go to university yourself, you might feel daunted by the application process and even wonder whether university is the right choice for your child. Although university was once only considered an option for certain families - typically those who had enough money - that's no longer necessarily the case. Today, students come from diverse backgrounds, and grants and bursaries are available to those who need funding.

The benefits of further education

At university your child will pursue a genuine interest by studying a chosen subject in detail: for most this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Many people who go to university also expand their range of interests by taking advantage of extra activities on offer, from sports and hobbies to volunteering.

Further education helps to build on fundamental skills including:

  • listening effectively
  • researching information
  • presenting information
  • using and analysing information to build a case

Life at university is also about becoming independent and making new friends. Students have the chance to mix with a wider group of people than at school, including students from all over the world.

What is the UCAS tariff?

NVQs, BTECs, Diplomas or other work-related qualifications can be a route into a degree course.

UCAS (the university application process) uses a system called the UCAS tariff to work out what a qualification is ‘worth’ compared to A levels in terms of entrance requirements for a university course.

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