So it’s finally come, the Browne Report has been read by the government and they’ve decided to push university fees up to the princely sum of £6,000 per year, and in “exceptional circumstances” as much as £9,000. What does this mean for those of you wanting to take a gap year then?
Well for those of you finishing school in 2011, it could be a tough decision. As it stands, if you go straight to university in 2011, you will still pay the current fees for your entire degree. However, if you decide to defer your place until 2012, you may have to pay the higher fees. This is not signed and sealed quite yet, and the last time top up fees were introduced in 2005, the government made an exception for students applying for deferred places, allowing them to still pay the lower fees according to the year they applied. There are a number of organisations campaigning for this to be the same this time round (ourselves included) so watch this space.
For those of you leaving school after the limbo year of 2011 though, a gap year is going to be so much more valuable than it currently is. A degree course is now such a huge financial investment, it is even more crucial that you choose the right course for you, and the time you give yourself during a gap year will help you to make that choice much more sensibly.
Take the time to really research your options, do some work experience, travel the world a little, all of these things will help you to better realise what you want to do with your life, and as such which degree (if any) is best for you. Your last year at school is jam packed enough with A-level work, it’s hard to take the time to really consider which route to take. You’ll find no shortage of people at university which chose a degree because “it sounded good”, only to realise it wasn’t right for them. If you do know what you want to do then that’s great, but don’t feel rushed if you’re not sure quite yet.
So don’t rush into things, take a gap year and make sure you do what is right for you.