“Going to university means better health and higher levels of happiness.” That was the claim from Conservative spokesman for universities, David Willetts, last week.
And it gets better: “There is even evidence to suggest graduates are more likely to sustain a marriage.”
It begs the question, then, why isn’t everybody signing up for this three year route to paradise? You might spend most of your time there sleeping under a library desk or eating leathery kebabs at 4 in the morning, but waiting for you at the other side is bliss.
The Tories have pledged 10,000 extra university places next year, if they come to power. But they have also hinted that tuition fees might rise as high as £7,000. That means an extra £12,000 of student debt, doubling what graduates have to pay already. Not to mention the fact it will need to be paid off in a tough job market.
Still it’s all worth it in the end, because university “is a route to adulthood for many people, even a route into the middle class.”
Sign me up. I want to do it all over again.