Failing students who fall under the spell of universities’ claims of a golden future end up like the rats following the Pied Piper – although in their case they’re drowning in debt rather than in a river.The only way they could justify prices is if they delivered education and qualifications that actually benefited the students, the economy and society. I am convinced that if young people really knew what university was offering we’d see a spike in those interested in apprenticeships. That said, I recognise that universities can spawn business people – just look at the tech sector, which contains many spin-out firms that began in higher education. There are also a decent number of students who either run businesses or plan to start a new enterprise while studying. Research by Santander says this accounts for a quarter of students who, collectively, have businesses that have a turnover of £1 billion. Entrepreneurial endeavours should always be encouraged and I am a huge fan of any young person who wants to start their own business. I just wonder if the same culture exists within universities. The challenge is keeping these enterprises breathing post-graduation and not ending up among the business death statistics. Some four in ten businesses go to the wall after just five years of trading, which is a scary number and proves more has to be done to help small firms survive and grow. That includes university startups, which, as well as having the usual first-step challenges, also have to overcome a non-relevant education environment. It can suck the air out of any fledgeling enterprise. What if, instead, the motivation that universities apply to selling their own wares to young people was redirected to help their student entrepreneurs? And the educators had more knowledge and experience of what’s needed to make a business fly in the real world. Just imagine the multiple that billion quid figure could then become! Related Topic- university waste of time ?
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