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Many graduates earn ‘paltry returns’ for their degree
Mr Halfon, a former skills minister, stated in his speech that the nation has “become obsessed ______(1) full academic degrees”.
“We are creating a higher education system that overwhelmingly favours academic degrees, while intermediate and higher technical offerings are comparatively tiny. The labour market does not need an ever-growing supply of academic degrees. Between a fifth and a third of our graduates take non-graduate jobs. The extra return for having a degree varies wildly according to subject and institution. For many, the returns are paltry.”
Mr Halfon said that there is a strong need for intermediate skills. “There are skills shortages in several sectors. And there are millions ______(2) people who want to get on in life – preferably without spending £50,000 on academic degrees,” he added. “There has been growing concern about the amount of debt students are accumulating and the interest being charged on that debt.”
A spokesman for UUK (a representative organisation for the UK’s universities) said: “Official figures are clear that, on average, university graduates continue to earn substantially more than non-graduates and are more likely to be in employment. A university degree remains an excellent investment.”
“We must, however, be careful to avoid using graduate salaries as the single measure of success in higher education. Many universities specialise in fields such ______(3) the arts, the creative industries, nursing and public sector professions that, despite making an essential contribution to society and the economy, pay less on average.”
Adapted from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42923529