New evidence on the social benefits of higher education has revealed that by going to University you’re more likely to behave yourself and refrain from doing naughty things.
That is, we’re apparently less likely to commit crime, drink heavily or smoke. Except for the booze-related element, I can’t say this comes as much of a surprise. But it’s always nice to be reminded that we’re not wasting our money.
Breaking news all round, as well as those first few perks, University education promises to produce more voters, higher tolerance levels and better parents too, according to a research paper published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on 1st November. No mention of our sex survey findings, however!
Within the paper, a subtitle labelled ‘The Quadrant’ lists the different benefits under different categories. That is, those which help the individual, the market and society and society, as well as those benefits under the classification of non-market.
The document was unveiled last week and presents evidence that higher education participation improves social mobility, social capital and political stability in general. The report states that it
highlights a small number of clear findings for the individual, the market and society, as well as those benefits classified as non-market – presenting quantitative results wherever possible – and some brief information about the studies from which they are derived.
The curtain was raised on the document last week to outline university’s wider social benefits in an attempt to attract more admissions. On top of the previous promising points, the new report claims that through higher education participation, you can also expect to see improved social cohesion, social mobility, social capital and political stability.
Individual benefits highlighted include the likeliness to vote, longer life expectancy, greater life satisfaction, better general health and lower obesity levels. Economic benefits to society include increased tax revenues, faster economic growth, greater innovation and labour market flexibility, while individuals economic situations profit from higher earnings, lower unemployment and higher productivity. Society is said to benefit though less crime, increased stability and social cohesion.
At a time of uncertainty as to whether it’s worth paying through the nose for an advanced education, this is what we want to hear. It’s a good time to be a student!
Do you agree with all these findings? How else do you feel a degree helps you, the markets and society? Let us know in the comments!