Getting a lower degree at UK university could cost you dearly

IFS research found that men and women who graduated from a UK university with a lower second-class degree in 2013 earned an average of £3,800 less a year before tax, five years later.

baona | E+ | Getty Images

Failing to achieve a higher grade at university could mean earning around £3,800 ($4,946) less a year, according to new research from a leading independent research institute in Britain.

The research, published on Wednesday, found that men and women who graduated from a UK university with a lower second-class degree (known as a 2:2 in the UK) in 2013 earned an average of £3,800 in less per year (before tax). ) five years later.

This was compared to students who had achieved an upper class second degree (known as 2:1), which is considered the average grade given to many UK students.

In the UK, a First Class Honors, or 1:1, honors degree is the highest classification a student can obtain for their degree. This is then followed by a 2:1, a 2:2 and a third class honors degree.

The research was produced by the UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies and commissioned by the government’s Department of Education. The main earnings estimates were based on a sample of approximately 470,000 graduates born between the 1985/86 and 1987/88 school years, who had started an undergraduate or postgraduate course at the age of 21 (between 2007 and 2009) and had completed their studies. diploma at the age of 27 (between 2013 and 2015).

The IFS found that women graduating from a UK college with a 1:1 degree earned on average £2,200 more than those with a 2:1, five years later.

And that pay gap was even greater between male graduates with the highest grades. Men who completed a first-class honors degree in the UK typically earned £4,100 more than those who completed a 2:1 degree.

Additionally, the IFS found that achieving at least a 2:1 had a much larger payoff at some of the top colleges in the UK. According to the study, students who got a 2:2 degree from the UK’s ‘most selective’ universities ended up earning an average of 20% less by age 30 than those who got a 2:1 degree. .

IFS named the four most selective universities as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London and London School of Economics. These universities are part of a group of 24 of the UK’s leading colleges, known as the “Russell Group”, similar to the “Ivy League” in the United States.

Gender pay gap

The study found that there was a stark difference in the gain for men and women after graduating with a first-class degree from one of the most selective UK universities. The IFS report says there was an “almost zero” gain for women for getting a 1:1 over a 2:1 at any of those colleges, while men typically earned 14% more. more per year for graduating with the highest classification.

Grades also mattered depending on the subject studied by the graduates. For example, men and women who studied law or economics and graduated with a 2:2 tend to earn 15% less than if they had graduated with a 2:1 in either. other of these materials.

The IFS pointed out that overall there has been a long-term trend towards students obtaining higher classifications in all subjects and at all levels of academic selectivity.

Ben Waltmann, senior research economist at IFS and co-author of the report, said the findings imply that “degree classification may matter as much as university attended for later earnings.”

“Other things being equal, going to a more selective university is good for future earnings, and the fact that few students from disadvantaged backgrounds attend the most selective universities is a barrier to social mobility,” he said. -he declares.

The cost of earning a degree continues to rise for UK students. Under government plans announced in February, students starting university in the UK next year could always end up repaying their student loans well into their 60s. In the UK, the state usually pays for university tuition and some living costs, which graduates then repay from their monthly paycheck once they earn above a certain amount, such as a tax.

To verify: Soaring prices hit young Britons. The new UK budget will not help much

About Geraldine Higgins

Check Also

$10 million gift to Drexel University will support underrepresented students and civic partnerships

Ronald W. Disney and his …