Microscopically, the overall upward trend in UCAS applications from 2006 to 2015 suggests that, with a considerable decline in benefits from degrees (Brynin, M., 2013), people still opt for higher education. Three economic theories can relate to the incentives given to the applicants.
Supply and demand imbalance between graduate applicants and graduate positions generally explains the over-qualification and under-utilization simultaneously happening to 50% UK graduates (Holmes & Mayhew, 2015) in the labour market. Following is the detailed analysis.
Supply is increasing from a macroscopic perspective. In the 1990s, around one third of graduates were over-qualified and holding non-graduate jobs, owing to the expansion of higher education initiated by government (Chevalier & Lindley, 2009). To urge people engage in higher education, the government professes the ‘graduate premium’ — t...
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Macroscopically, supply exceeds demand. In the 1990s, around one third of graduates were over-qualified and holding non-graduate jobs, owing to the expansion of higher education initiated by government (Chevalier & Lindley, 2009). To urge people engage in higher education, the government professes the ‘graduate premium’ — the pay advantage to having a degree (Brynin, M., 2013). Thanks to the enlarging size of graduates, quality and productivity of the workforce hence advance in general. Additionally, the state justifies its reduction of support for higher education by claiming that a degree yields private good. Under the circumstances, universities resort to expanding recruitment for necessary cash flow. As a result, objective conditions show favorable signs for a continually growing volume of graduates, while the final decision hinges on individuals.
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