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Undergraduate Degrees: Lifetime Earnings

Volume 677: debated on Monday 22 June 2020

What steps he is taking in response to the findings of the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ report entitled, “The impact of undergraduate degrees on lifetime earnings”, published in February 2020. (903523)

We are committed to enabling students to make the most informed decisions possible, tackling low-quality courses and ensuring that students and the taxpayer see a return on their investment. We want a high-quality, sustainable model that meets our skills needs and maintains our world-leading reputation.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that for 30% of students, the economic return on their degree was negative both for them and for taxpayers. Surely with such clear economic evidence that so many young people would be better off if they took a different route, it is time to rebalance from just higher education to a stronger technical education system?

It is important that students make as informed choices as possible from a range of high-quality courses, and university is not the only or the best route for certain careers. Some students may be better placed if they do higher technical qualifications or apprenticeships. That is why the Secretary of State is spearheading a revolution in further education in this country, including the introduction of T-levels.