Mercy Muroki: I truly believe universities are really not for everyone

Mercy Muroki
Mercy Muroki

Having a university degree is no longer a litmus test for work ethic, discipline, or intellectual capability.

Published

It’s been reported this morning that Tony Blair’s son Euan Blair has amassed a paper fortune of around £160 million for his stake in a business which helps young apprentices and school leavers secure jobs in tech.

The company, called Multiverse, describes itself as an ‘alternative to university’, encouraging young people to enter different pathways into the world of work…

This, of course, is at odds with his father’s ambition – some might say obsession – with getting school leavers straight into unis. Blair set the symbolic target of sending 50% of young people to university, a benchmark that was reached in 2019.

Of course, it was all abandoned by ex Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in 2020 who, rightly saw that it was all a bit ridiculous to funnel so many young people into a system that, in my opinion, has lost all prestige, no longer guarantees competitive advantage, and is little value for money for most.

Now, having spent 5 out of my 8 years of adult life as a student. I truly believe – universities are really not for everyone. In fact, I would go even further and say that university is only a suitable option for a minority of people.

I think that, if you scraped through your GCSEs, did the bare minimum you could get away with to pass you’re A-Levels, aren’t really sure what you want to do with your life – university isn’t for you.

But that’s the situation many young people find themselves in. They are the road through university into work is paved with gold – only to find that’s its more like a road to nowhere.

Having a university degree is no longer a litmus test for work ethic, discipline, or intellectual capability.

Over the past 8 years, the proportion of students who are awarded a first-class degree in England has nearly doubled. 1 in 3 students now graduate with the top grade.

Any Tom, Dick, and Harry can graduate with what ‘on paper’ is a good grade, only to find out their degree – in the real world – is barely worth the paper its printed on.

So, personally – I’m happy for Euan Blair to amass a fortune through encouraging young people to skip the 3 year stress of a mediocre degree and a substantial debt burden - and instead to take a more practical, more meaningful path into a lucrative career. If you ask me, he’s doing God’s work.