Why go to university?
"Josie will be the first in the family to go to university so we've all been on a bit of a learning curve. But what we've learnt has convinced us a degree will be a real asset in the career she's set her heart on."
Josie's father, Rob
Whether you're familiar with higher education or it's a completely new experience for the family, you're probably wondering whether university will really benefit your child. Will what they learn be useful in life? Will it really launch them into a better career? The answer is yes: there are many reasons why higher-level study reaps long-lasting rewards.
Here, we show how a degree can make a huge difference to your child's opportunities, experience and earning power.
It might be that, as your child has gone through school and college, there's one subject which fascinates and inspires them. Or maybe they just excel at it and know they want to take their studies further. Whatever their starting point, higher education allows them to become specialists in 'their' area.
Many young adults also find they have a vocation, knowing they want to forge a career in a particular area such as nursing, teaching, law or science, to name a few. A profession-specific degree is their first step towards realising their dream.
- Government statistics (2022) show graduates have a higher employment rate (87%) than non-graduates (70%); 66% of graduates were in high-skilled employment compared to 24% of non-graduates
- Government statistics (2022) also show graduate salaries are on average £11,500 higher than non-graduates
- Research shows graduates' subject knowledge and transferrable skills (such as leadership, organisational, motivational and critical thinking) make them less likely to experience unemployment – and more employable during times of economic crisis. (Office of National Statistics, June 2021)
- Many university courses include practical industry experience and work placements, giving students the chance to make professional contacts and build their CV. Many of our graduates find permanent jobs within their work-placement organisations
- Students can get university-based work experience. At the University of Bedfordshire, we've got a number of paid roles open to students: our Student Ambassadors, for example, gain skills such as time management, customer service and teamwork, and use this work as a reference for their first job out of university
- Once your child graduates, university careers' advisers – at Beds, our Careers and Employability Service - actively assist in finding them employment, and continue to assist them as alumni
As a parent or carer, you would probably be anxious if your 18-year-old moved out to set up independently: are they ready for that kind of life challenge? Would they cope?
Going away to university is a half-way house where your child can learn to live independently – juggle a budget, cook for themselves, get up on time in the morning – in a supported environment. It helps young people think for themselves, build their independent decision-making skills and makes them more self-reliant – and, as a result, they become more confident in life.
University isn't just about study – it allows students to meet people from many different countries and backgrounds. At Bedfordshire, we have a vibrant, cosmopolitan student population with more than 25,000 students from over 70 countries. So university is a melting pot of cultures, points of view and ideas, all of which broaden your child's mind and understanding.
Because everyone is finding their feet together, it's also the place many students make life-long friends who offer support for your child in the future, in both their personal and professional life. The 'uni network' really isn't just a movie cliché!
We are proud to be an internationally recognised and award-winning university with a heritage of quality education going back more than 100 years. We offer:
- a wide range of courses with a focus on employability, with many offering a year in industry or work placements
- opportunities to study overseas with our international education partners
- academic teams who are experts in their fields and active in socially significant, real-world research at our research institutes
- outstanding research credentials, with 60% of our research judged world leading or internationally excellent (REF, 2021)
- a £54 million investment in superb modern facilities including a seven-storey library and a high-tech STEM building
- a supportive, caring environment in which your child can thrive
- modern, on-campus accommodation, ranking in the top 20 for cost effectiveness across UK city universities
- Commended by the QAA for the high quality and standards of our higher education provision
- One of the top 10 universities in the UK for social inclusion (Good University Guide, 2022)
- In the top 10 UK universities for opening up access to education – top in this category in the East of England (The Sutton Trust, 2021)
- One of the top 300 universities worldwide under 50 years old in The Times Higher Education World University rankings
- One of 21 Business Schools awarded the Bronze Award for start-up and business growth advice (Small Business Charter)
- Fourth in the UK for successful graduate business start-ups - 870 start-ups in seven years (HESA, 2022/23)
- Second in the country - and first in England - in the University Green League (People and Planet, 2023)
- Eco Campus Platinum award (2023)
- Uswitch Green University awards gold-tier position (2022)
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