Rising living costs in the UK are pushing more students to consider further study instead of entering the job market, according to a recent report.
The report, published by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), found that increasing numbers of students are enrolling in postgraduate courses to delay entering the job market and avoid the high cost of living in major cities.
The study surveyed over 1,000 UK students, with 42% of respondents citing the high cost of living as the main reason for continuing their education.
Over the past few years, the cost of living in the UK has been rising steadily, and this has put additional pressure on students who are already struggling to make ends meet. As a result, many students are choosing to continue their studies beyond their undergraduate degree, in the hope that a postgraduate qualification will give them a better chance of securing a well-paid job.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), nearly half of all students in the UK who are currently studying for a postgraduate degree say that they are doing so because they believe it will improve their employment prospects. In addition, almost two-thirds of these students say that they are concerned about the cost of living while studying.
The HEPI survey also found that students who are studying for a postgraduate degree are more likely to work part-time than their undergraduate counterparts. This is partly because they need to earn money to support themselves while studying, but it is also because many postgraduate courses are designed to be flexible, allowing students to fit their studies around their work commitments.
The report suggests that universities should do more to support students facing financial difficulties, such as providing scholarships and bursaries and helping them find part-time work.
AGCAS Chief Executive, Janice Montgomery, said: “It’s clear that many students are struggling to make ends meet in the current economic climate, and this is having a knock-on effect on their career choices. Universities have a responsibility to support their students in any way they can, and this includes providing financial assistance and guidance on career paths.”
As more and more UK students opt for further study instead of entering the job market, it is clear that something needs to be done to address the rising cost of living.
The UK government should take steps to address the high cost of living, such as increasing the minimum wage and investing in affordable housing to support the next generation of graduates.
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