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The recession and its effects on students

Tuesday 31 March 2009 NUS News

Students are "extremely concerned" at their lack of job prospects after graduation, according to a survey commissioned by NUS.

The publication of the results of the survey, entitled The Recession and its effects on students, coincides with the first day of NUS' Annual Conference in Blackpool on Tuesday 31 March. Findings include:

  • 80 per cent of current students are “concerned” or “very concerned” by current graduate employment levels and their likely future job prospects;
  • almost a third are now more likely to enter into post-graduate study immediately after graduation;
  • one in four students will receive less financial support from their parents as a result of the recession.

"It is clearly an extremely worrying time for all students, particularly with top up fees leaving them in record levels of debt," says NUS President Wes Streeting.

"The great distress being experienced by students and their families in the middle of this economic crisis puts the grossly insensitive demands of vice chancellors for even higher fees into stark perspective.

"At this year's Annual Conference, NUS members will be calling for a much more reasonable and imaginative debate about higher education funding. Vice chancellors and the Government need to consider more options than just where to place the cap on fees."

Only two weeks ago, a BBC survey saw half of university vice chancellors in England proposing top up fees of at keast £5,000 a year.

Students will be discussing the impact of the recession on higher education at NUS' Annual Conference on Tuesday. Proposals include increased support packages for postgraduate students in response to the likely increase in student numbers, as well as improved information, advice and guidance for students entering the graduate job market later this year.

The research was carried out throughout March by OpinionPanel on behalf of NUS. 521 undergraduates with home postcodes in England took part.