I warned that students were being misled and was rebuked but it was true. Ministers owe them and me an apology
A few years back, I got my knuckles rapped by a government minister. In public. It was 2010: David Cameron had just come to power, and he was about to thrust university students into a new regime of higher tuition fees and debt.
Against that backdrop, I’d written a column criticising the way in which both Labour and Conservative governments marketed degrees as being some kind of social-mobility jetpack, zooming their wearers to more money and high-powered jobs. It was no such guarantee, I said, citing among other things Whitehall’s own plunging estimates of how much more graduates earn over a lifetime. Graduates, I said, would “probably end up doing similar work to their school-leaver parents – only with a debilitatingly large debt around their necks”.Continue reading...