Austerity and The University In Britain

Monday, July 14, 2014: 7:45 PM
Room: F205
Oral Presentation
Sarah PICKARD , Institut du Monde Anglophone, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, PARIS, France
Austerity and the University in Britain

Over the past decade, young people in the United Kingdom have been facing a variety of factors which have impinged on their opportunities to enter higher education and their chances of finding a job once they have graduated. Whilst there has been a sustained governmental policy to increase the participation of 18-to 30-year-olds in higher education (initiated by the Labour Government and continued by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government), the 2008 financial and the ongoing economic crisis resulted in the introduction of austerity measures following the 2010 general election. Notably, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government enacted a sizeable cut to public spending on higher education and it raised substantially the cost of annual university tuition fees starting in 2012-2013. At the same time, the rate of unemployment among graduates has been rising and getting a degree is no longer an automatic boost to one’s life chances. For many it results merely in unpaid internships and/or employment schemes.

This talk will examine British “youth in austerity” regarding prospects for studying in higher education and subsequently entering the labour market over the past decade. It will include young people’s responses to the recent decrease in higher education funding and increase in university tuition fees.