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University – The Thalidomide of the modern day

Startling title I know. ! But please read on and you may see where I’m coming from.

Ok we pretty much all know what issues surrounded the use of Thalidomide in the past and the then unfortunate results on life. I truly feel sorry for anyone associate or had Thalidomide affect their lives in any way, I really mean that. For those of you who don’t know what I’m going on about you can read more at The Thalidomide Trust.

My throw away title of this thread may seem harsh but there in a tenuous link here. I have a family member who has just applied for a specific university position on a course. This position had 350 potential students interviewed for 35 positions. So a 10 to 1 factor of success. But that still leaves the reality of 315 unhappy students who don’t make it onto the course.

Now one you apply you can’t apply for the next intake as they have 2 intakes per year every 6 months, instead you have to wait until at least the next year or longer.

My family member unfortunately didn’t make it into the final 35 but this got me to thinking. I asked this person what they planned on doing and to my surprise they were going to wait the full 12 months and then apply again in the grim hope of hitting that 10% chance of getting in.

Then there is the fact that this course like so many these days a stupidly expensive to do in the first place. I was lucky really lucky. I can see it now and I truly feel sorry for the people who try to go to University these days. When I went to University education was completely FREE. I also was given a grant each year from the local LEA which basically paid for my entire years lodgings away from home. My only expense was actual life’s bills EG food and the copious amount of alcohol and take aways that entailed. Oh yeah and I bought some books as well.

After 4 years at University I left with a mass total of £6,500 in debt. Which I didn’t have to pay off until I earned more than 21k per year. Which basically then took me 4 years to achieve to get myself above that wage level and a further 5 years to pay off the money, so 9 years after University I was debt free. I’d hate to think how hard or how long it would take to do it now when they say the average debt for students per year alone is around £12,000 as it costs £9,000 just for subject fees. You could be leaving with between £36,000 and £50,000 worth of debt before you even start a job.

Then there is that factor to take into account. Jobs when I was at University were pretty much thrown on your lap… That isn’t a overexageration. I remember leaving University and I applied for 7 jobs and got offered 3 of them straight away and the others I at least got at least down to the last few in the interview stages. Nowadays students face a huge struggle to find actual work in the area / field / profession that they are qualified in.

Going back on topic a bit though and back to my family member who I now asked what they plan on doing, to which they replied “Try again next year” . I thought OMG, I admire your tenacity but it wont guarantee you a position. What happens if the same happens next year? You would have spent an entire year clinging onto hope of this magic course of which you have a 10% chance of getting on in the first place only then to pay them £9k a year privilege to go there and then leave no being able to get a job anyway after it.

I’m just shocked. So I asked…..pretty much begged them to look into other options available. EG other courses or forget University altogether and try a trade or any kind of job that will not only focus them for the next year but provide them an ability to save some cash ready in case they do get accepted next year. They were not sure!

This is why I am saying that Universities are the Thalidomide of the modern-day. They harbour this initial dream of helping you out by providing education but underneath they are based on massive debts and no job at the end. Pretty much screwing up young lives with this promise of something better. Even then If you are lucky enough to get onto and complete a course you will be left spending your entire working life then paying it back.


I hope you understand the title a bit better now.!


About jobloggsexplains

Opinionated northerner


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