GSM London Provost, Debi Hayes, says living and studying locally should become paramount for students looking to gain a degree as new report shows graduates face mounting debts.
According to the report from social mobility charity, The Sutton Trust, university graduates in England are leaving with the highest debt levels in the English-speaking world. The publication states students who graduated from English universities last year, under the £9,000 fees regime, owed an average of £44,000. That is higher than graduates from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA where the average debt ranges from £15,000 to £29,000.
That is why living and studying locally is fast becoming the more sensible option for students looking at alternatives to traditional higher education providers according to GSM London Provost, Debi Hayes.
She said: “This report shows that the cost of going to university and the level of debt is becoming too much for students. They need to look at other options to traditional providers. At GSM London we understand the cost of higher education should not be a barrier to the poorest in society, therefore we make it our utmost priority to make sure we engage with our local community by making high-quality education available to everyone within that community.”
The cost of an undergraduate degree at GSM London is £6000 per year* whilst the institution itself has deep roots with its local community. All of GSM London’s students are based in the capital, with 90 per cent of them living within 10 miles of its main campus.
GSM London’s student cohort is also very different to many traditional providers. Some are primary carers, others are returning or first-time learners and many are combining their study with full-time work. Therefore, as well as saving on living and rent costs, studying locally means students can benefit from the support network of family and friends.
The Sutton Trust also fears the abolition of maintenance grants later this year will leave the poorest students at most risk. Sir Peter Lampl, who chairs the Trust, said: “The massive increase in tuition fees from just over £3,000 to £9,000 per annum and the abolition of the maintenance grant results in the poorest English university graduates facing debts on graduation of over £50,000. This impacts on the ability of graduates to go to graduate schools, to afford a mortgage, the timing of having children and other major life decisions.”
*for traditional three-year degrees