post-graduate

With almost 600,000 people applying to university last year; a slight increase on the previous year, it would be difficult to argue that the demand for higher education is going to subside anytime soon.
The introduction of the postgrad student loan is a massive step forward for students, higher education and the UK. If we just take care to nurture other pieces of the puzzle, it can also be a massive stepping stone to widespread skills development.
Today, I have had to defer my place until September 2014 and belatedly join many of my fellow-graduates still in the search for full-time work. The reason for this last minute deferment was that, having exhausted every possible option, the deadline to pay the first installment of course fees arrived and I did not have the money.
As third year somehow ends its second semester, I'm reflective. The general panic at the thought of graduation has subsided, replaced by a slightly more calming "I'm ready" feeling, but it's still a Harry Potter-sized chapter to close the book on. Here are the top things I've learned at university.
My argument is, to (ahem) paraphrase Karl Marx, that we make our own choices about whether to be jerks or not, but not in the conditions of our choosing. We (Post-docs, PhD Students, lecturers that are just starting out) find ourselves in an insanely competitive job market where temporary contracts are on the increase.
Any government concerned about the future of the British economy needs to acknowledge the issues surrounding postgraduate education and commence building this system as speedily as possible.