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Half of graduates who paid £9,000 tuition fees still live at home

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It seems as though recently, there is nothing but endless bad news for both current university students and graduates. A recent report from the National Union of Students has revealed some shocking statistics, showing that whilst the government is trying hard to emphasise that university will “set you up for life”, it would seem they have been proved wrong by these results.

This major report, as detailed in the Independent, has revealed that there is a new stay-at-home generation, noting that over half of graduates who paid £9,000 annually to go to university have moved back home.

This year has seen the highest house prices rise per year since 2014. The average UK house price now stands at £214,000 - £17,000 higher than in 2015 and £2,100 higher than in May 2016.

On top of this, the cost of rail tickets (a common way of commuting for graduates) is rising faster than wages. The government confirmed that from January, regulated rail fares will rise by 1.9%. With the recent news that university fees might be set to rise yet again, the effect of this could get worse.

Surveying almost 600 students, the report also found that 71% of graduates were concerned about their level of student debt. Meanwhile, 60% still had existing non-student consumer debt left over from their degree, the average amount being £2,600. On top of all this, 46% of graduates had accumulated further debt since leaving university.

The NUS also found that more than three quarters of graduates were now worried the government might change the terms of loans they had taken out to make them pay back more.

The research also highlights that female graduates are not securing higher earning graduate jobs.The study said three times more full-time working male, rather than female, graduates were earning over £30,000, while double the number of women compared to men were earning less than £15,000.

Overall, half the graduates thought their degree was not worth the fees they paid. Some 6% of graduates regret their choice to go into further education.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Graduates continue to enjoy higher employment rates and an average £9,500 annual earnings premium compared to non-graduates.”

“As the OECD has recognised our student funding system is sustainable, supporting our world-class universities while ensuring graduates only pay back when they are earning above £21,000.”

“We know there is still more to be done to address variability in graduate earnings – which is exactly why we are reforming the system through measures such as our Teaching Excellence Framework, which will incentivise all universities to raise the quality of their teaching and focus on improving graduate outcomes.”

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