Degrees "still worth the debt"

21 August 2003
A new survey of finance directors suggests that rising student debt does not outweigh the value of a degree.

The survey released by Reed Accountancy asked 153 directors whether the financial rewards of having a degree make the level of debt incurred when earning it worthwhile. Less than one in five thought not.

Many concluded that although average student debts were increasing, the capacity for higher incomes as a result of a good degree means that it is still a worthwhile investment.

Malcolm Ace of Portsmouth University told the survey: "Students don't pay debts, graduates do...the skills and abilities developed during university will continue to produce a large positive lifetime investment return."

However, some hinted that the benefits might depend on the students themselves, with their abilities and application being a vital part of gaining a worthwhile return, as well as the careers they choose.

Bryan Armour, finance director of Parchment Housing Group commented: "The potential for additional income earning capacity is still available for high performing graduates who wish to develop their intellect and move into professional skills being used in commerce."

The news comes after Barclays bank warned that student debts are rising fast, and that the cost of a degree may be more than £30,000 by 2010. It blamed this on plans for higher fees and rising living costs.