Why go to university?

There are many reasons to go to university – so who better to ask than current university students? Here are their eight reasons…


1. “I wanted to study something I enjoy”

During the course of studying for a degree you’ll become an expert in a particular field; and develop your interests in your subject.

With most degree courses you often have the option of studying some different topics, called modules. This means you can choose to take your studies into more depth in area that particularly interests you, or you can study a broader range of topics.

  • You can choose to study a degree that suits your interests
  • You can tailor your modules
  • You’ll get to learn through a range of methods
  • You’ll attend lectures in larger groups and seminars for smaller groups
  • For STEM and other subjects, you’ll get to work in labs

2. “I wanted to improve my career prospects”

University isn’t for everyone, but there are a number of good reasons for going and having a positive effect on your future career is one of them.

Current statistics show that if you leave university with a degree, you’re 88% more likely to go straight into employment, as opposed to if you are a non-graduate, which is 72%. Also, you’re more likely to get a higher-skilled job. Graduates are 65% more likely, and non-graduates 23%. It’s also more likely that you’ll earn more. In 2018 the media (average) annual salary of a graduate is £34,000, and for non-graduates that’s £24,000. Compared with non-graduates, university graduates are more likely to be:

  • Employed
  • In a high-skilled job
  • Earning significantly more

3. “I wanted to develop new skills”

During your time at university you will also develop so-called ‘transferable’ skills – skills we use every day in our professional work lives, social lives and home lives.

We can transfer these skills over into other jobs that we might get in future, and this improves our career prospects. That means your time at university will probably help you get better at:

  • Organising
  • Managing your time
  • Working as part of a team
  • Solving problems
  • Communicating through talking and writing
  • Numeracy and literacy skills

Transferable skills are very important for your future career, as the majority of graduates go on to work in a field unrelated to their degree subject. It is their transferable skills that make them suitable for the job!

4. “I wanted to gain new life skills”

This is especially the case if you decide to leave home and live away while you’re at university.

Like transferable skills, these skills will stay with you forever and help you in many different areas of life – such as:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Washing and ironing
  • Managing money
  • Independent learning
  • Social skills

5. “I wanted to gain new experiences”

At university you can also use your spare time to join sports clubs or societies, usually run by the Students’ Union.

Societies can cover almost anything from debating to theatre, and from the Malaysian society to photography; and it’s the same for sports clubs – whether you like athletics, dance, hockey, trampolining, football, tennis, swimming, there’s something for you. And if there isn’t, students are usually encouraged to start a new society.

  • Wide range of activities to suit everyone
  • Pursue a hobby
  • Try something new
  • Make friends
  • Get fit
  • Add your sports and social experience to your CV
  • Add any committee member responsibilities you have had to your CV

6. “I wanted to opportunity to travel”

There are opportunities to combine travel with your degree.

This could be through working abroad as part of your degree, such as a ‘placement year’ degree – which generally means a year out in the third year, then a fourth year of study – or on specially-organised study abroad programmes. Lots of travel opportunities can be in English, but if you wanted to you can also get to learn or practise another language, all good experience for your future.

7. “I wanted to meet new people”

When you’re living and studying together with fellow students, it’s not unusual to make lifelong friends at university.

You’ll meet people from different places, even different countries, and from all different backgrounds, and you’ll all have student life and your studies in common. Many universities encourage their alumni to stay in touch, and they organise alumni events for past students to get together and catch-up after they have graduated, all over the world!

8. “I wanted to graduate!”

For many students, graduation – and finally getting your degree certificate – is one of the best days of your life.

It’s your big day. Your chance to shine. Your chance to celebrate your hard work and achievements with your university friends and your family. And, of course, get pictures of you wearing your cap and gown – which is very important for you, but also for your parents or carers!