Students are being pressured into degrees. Here’s why

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University is without a doubt a popular, life changing and somewhat necessary choice for students who want to kick-start their desired career path. But are young people under increasing pressure to go to university in the first place?

More students than ever are faced with the opportunity to go to university if they choose, but does the bombardment of advertisements online and on TV make us feel spoilt for choice, or feel the pressure to apply even more, especially through processes like clearing?

Indeed, they certainly do not portray the demanding workload of a degree or the cost of student accommodation. These factors are essential in making the choice to study or not and can unsurprisingly determine someone’s decision to pursue this level of study.

Students are feeling the pressure to decide on a career path sooner than ever. I came from a school that encouraged us to choose our GCSEs based on which career we aspired to pursue. This not only piled on even more pressure on me to decide on a career, but also left very little room for changing my mind later on.

Students attaining A-levels and diplomas have as many future prospects on offer to them than just university, such as apprenticeships and traineeships. Unfortunately, students are not being given enough information on these pathways to make an informed choice. League tables and statistics are dominating the reputation of schools across the country, from GCSE and A-level results, to applications to higher-education establishments. A number of news reports this year show that more students than ever are applying to study at university. Whether this is a genuine desire to study at this level of education or the result of institutional pressure is a difficult question to crack.

While higher education is still a popular choice amongst students, the focus on league tables, exam results, university applications and career-based GCSE choices proves the educational pressure on students in the UK shows little sign of easing off.