Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Case for More Isn't So Simple, Mr Willetts

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Case for More Isn't So Simple, Mr Willetts

Article excerpt

No one denies the wider benefits of a university degree. However, in his advocacy of an expansionist higher education policy ("Why the cap no longer fits", 2 January), David Willetts, the universities and science minister, omits to mention some of the unintended economic and social consequences:

Those with degrees are outstripping the number of traditional graduate- level jobs available. The higher graduate employment rate compared with non-graduates that Willetts quotes is a result of graduates taking lower level jobs. This is also rapidly eroding the graduate lifetime earnings differential

Employers fuel credentialism by demanding degrees for what were once non- graduate jobs. Furthermore, with higher degrees becoming more of a requirement for the best positions, students from more affluent backgrounds are usually the ones who have the wherewithal to pursue their studies to this level

The university status hierarchy is becoming more sharply defined. …

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