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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The benefits of higher education

Higher education could boost your career prospects and earning potential, while giving you the chance to immerse yourself in a subject that really interests you - and get involved in lots of other activities.

Is higher education right for you?

Higher education is about taking your education to the next level: learning new things and getting to where you want to be.

A higher education qualification could help you take charge of your future by building skills and confidence and opening up new opportunities - whatever stage of life you're at. Even if no one else you know is thinking about going into higher education, it could still be the right choice for you.

There are currently over two million higher education students in the UK. Higher education courses are offered at around 130 universities and higher education colleges, and many further education colleges.

With more than 50,000 courses in a variety of academic and work-related subjects - including many that let you combine more than one subject - there's bound to be one that suits you.

Why go to university or college?

Higher education could benefit you in a number of ways. University or college lets you experience a rich cultural and social scene, meeting a variety of people while studying something you love.

A higher education qualification can also lead to increased earning potential, a wider range of opportunities and a more rewarding career. Many employers target graduates in their recruitment campaigns.

And on average, graduates tend to earn substantially more than people with A levels who did not go to university. Projected over a working lifetime, the difference is something like £100,000 before tax at today’s valuation.

What can you study?

Higher education courses range from familiar academic subjects such as English or history, less familiar ones such as philosophy, and a host of work-related (vocational) courses such as accountancy.

Higher education doesn't necessarily mean getting an honours degree - you could study a Foundation Degree, a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND), or a Diploma of Higher Education.

Many courses are based on units of study or ‘modules’. Each module lets you earn credits towards your qualification, while giving you a degree of flexibility over the focus of your studies.

How much will it cost?

The costs of being a student vary between different parts of the UK - and so can the length of courses. Financial support is available, so money needn’t be a barrier. The help you can get depends on your family situation and the type of course you’re doing.

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