Graduates in England have experienced emotional and psychological turmoil, due to the amount of debt incurred to cover their studies, according to a new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the Center for Global Higher Education (CGHE).
Named research “Hidden Voices: Graduates’ Perspectives on the Student Loans System in England” led by Professor Claire Callender and researcher Ariane de Gayardon has been supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Students Office and Research in England under Grant, reports Erudera.com.
Some 48 graduates under the 2006 funding scheme paying £ 3,000 tuition fees and another 50 who were due to pay £ 9,000 tuition fees during the 2012 scheme, said they experienced anxiety and hopelessness in due to student loan debts.
According to them, interest rates are too high even when the rate is linked to inflation. They expressed frustration at seeing loan balances increase, especially when they are not asked for repayment.
“They believe they will never pay back their loans because the amount owed is so high. The sum is so large that it no longer makes sense. Graduates voluntarily tend to move away from debt in order to cope with the stress it causes ”, the report reads.
In addition to interest rates, graduates have also pointed out that tuition fees of £ 9,000 and above are too high, also questioning whether their degrees offer good value for money. At the same time, they worry about the repayment period, which they describe as “endless”.
Claire Callender, professor of higher education policy at the UCL Institute of Education, said the findings suggest the importance of listening to graduates’ perspectives and including them in discussions about the future of funding. higher education in England, also stressing that graduates offer a different perspective. on student loans.
“Their experiences are not always easy to listen to and may be contrary to the thinking, intentions and vision of decision makers”, Callender said.
Meanwhile, Ariane de Gayardon, a researcher at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, said debt could have a[psychologicalimpactongraduatesduetoheightandlongevityaswellasinterestcharged[impactpsychologiquesurlesdiplôméscauséparlatailleetlalongévitéainsiquelesintérêtsquisontfacturés[sychologicalimpactongraduatescausedbythesizeandlongevityaswellastheinterestthatischarged
“When reforming the loan system, one of the goals should be to reduce the student debt burden on graduates. To do this, we must listen to the voice of graduates ”, said Gayardon.
As the report notes, student loan debt is seen as a burden by many graduates of different degrees, especially among students who entered higher education after the 2021 reforms.