A degree does not make you a fat cat;Letter

5th June 1998 at 01:00
I strongly dispute the claim that graduates aged 30 to 44 earn salaries on average two to three times as large as those of their contemporaries who left education at age 16 (TES, May 22).

This statistic cannot be used to justify the imposition of higher education tuition fees because graduates aged 21 to 30 (ie those entering higher education at the point in time when it widely expanded) do not enjoy the same preferential place in the employment market-place as their elder counterparts, nor are they likely to over the course of their lifetimes.

A degree is no longer the one-way ticket to a highly paid corporate job it once was. I would challenge both the Government and the authors of this report to initiate a large-scale study of average salaries and average levels of debt among those who have graduated from British universities within the past five to 10 years, as opposed to their peers educated to NVQ level 3.

I believe the results would undermine many of assumptions being freely passed around about graduate privilege.

Joanna John, Milman Road, Reading

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