Financial benefit is greatest for men from lower socio-economic groups or from families from lower levels of incomeThe rate of return to the individual would be expected to rise from 12.1% to 13.2% following changes to the student finance package arising from the introduction of variable tuition feesThe benefits associated with HE qualifications increase as graduates get olderGraduates are more likely to be employed compared to those with the next highest qualification and are more likely to return to employment following periods in unemployment or economic inactivitySignificant costs associated with higher education are borne by the state
“We already know that graduates in the UK enjoy one of the highest financial returns of any OECD country. This report provides evidence that despite the expansion of higher education, the graduate premium has been maintained. Higher education is still clearly a worthwhile investment for the individual.
All the evidence suggests that the direct economic importance of higher education will continue to grow in the future. The future expansion of student numbers, domestic and international, the development of knowledge transfer activities as well as a substantial volume of research all point in the same direction. Such activity depends on a continuing mix of public and private investment in the sector.
Income from private sources now amounts to 27% of all higher education income and this figure will increase significantly with the introduction of variable tuition fees. It is equally clear that public investment will continue to play a vital role in the development of the sector. It is evident from the findings of this report that such investment has a direct economic impact on the UK economy as well as maintaining the health of the sector.