One in three Yorkshire graduates regret uni due to debt

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As many as a third of young people in Leeds say they regret going to university due to the amount of debt they have racked up.

Almost half of people aged between 18 and 35 feel they could have got to where they are currently in life without a university degree.

Melissa Owusu, Education Officer at Leeds University Union

Melissa Owusu, Education Officer at Leeds University Union

Young people also say they are worried about being able to afford milestone purchases such as houses and cars in the future when they are struggling with the cost of everyday living.

A study from Aviva showed that the average disposable income of a millennial, the term used to describe people between 18 and 35, in Yorkshire is just £134 per month. The average 18 to 35-year-old in the region has debts of £5,543.

Millennials in Leeds estimate it will take them 12 years to pay off their student debt. This is one year more than the average for all millennials nationwide.

University fees have risen steadily in recent years tripling from £3,000 in 2006 to £9,000 six years later. All three of the city’s universities charge the full rate for fees.

Melissa Owusu, Education Officer at Leeds University Union, which represents students, said: “We are a ‘free education’ union and therefore disagree with all costs attributed to a University education and continue to campaign against them.

“This data is very worrying and it saddens me to see so many students regretting what should be an amazing and thought provoking experience at university.

“We hope that in the future students from lower income backgrounds won’t be discouraged from attending university but we worry that the Government’s further marketisation of the higher education sector and the planned continual increases in tuition fees will only worsen this situation.”

Louise Colley, customer propositions director, Aviva said: “Millennials are plagued with uncertainty about the outlook for their financial futures, an issue which has not been helped by the uncertainty of today’s economic and political climate.”

The National Union of Students’ Vice President for higher education, Sorana Vieru, said: “The £9,000 fees system is a failed experiment.”

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