Darren Fitzpatrick, A-level student

Is it really worth it?

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  • What a fantastically well written article. It's true, that at 16 students who are focused on moving to the next level of education have huge pressure placed upon them. I do wonder whether it will culminate in 'undergraduate burnout', with greater numbers of students dropping out of Uni or changing courses mid way through? I do not envy your position Mr Fitzpatrick, but wish you the very best of luck making the right choice for you.
    Besides if you find that Law isn't your thing - you have a bright future in journalism, if this article is anything to go by!

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  • I agree - this is an incredibly well written article which shows maturity and clarity of thought beyond his 16 years.

    Mr Fitzpatrick has already carefully researched the options available to him in order to qualify as a lawyer. As a chartered legal executive I would, of course, recommend the CILEx route, but that is not to say that a student should discount the opportunity of University. And of course a law graduate can continue his/her route to qualification with CILEx.

    May I wish you the very best of luck in making the right choice for you and in your chosen career. I suspect that you will be successful in whatever you choose to do.

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  • Great blog :)

    I am a governor at a UK university (with a great law school) and was recently interviewed by the BBC on whether I think going to university is worth the fees.

    I graduated 10 years ago and although I was lucky enough to receive a free place at university, I still built up plenty of debt (thankfully all paid off now!). Asked (as I was during the interview) if I would do it again with an additional £40k worth of debt, I would say YES.

    University isn’t just about the education. It is the life experience and the lifelong friends/contacts you make when you are there. You go in a kid and come out an adult ready for life (especially if you have taken a 12 month placement during your degree which I highly recommend).

    Remember you don’t start paying this debt until you have a well paid job, any debt still left after 30 years will get written off. This system may well cost the government more in the long term than the previous one!

    There is no question the face of FE is changing dramatically and not just because of fees, and I am not quite sure what it will look like in 5 or 10 years. At the moment though I still believe that universities give students and incredible experience and offer opportunities otherwise not available.

    Good luck with your decision, I have a feeling that you are going to do well whatever your chosen path.

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  • I think it's definitely worth it for students who have their sights set on high-paid careers. It's an investment in the future. However, the problem exists for those students who are drawn to the less affluent career paths which still expect a university education from new recruits. Financially it may not be worth it for some, but further education is undeniably beneficial for the life experience it offers the school leaver.

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