If you’re an A-level student looking at University, you should know that a lot has changed in the past decade or so. So the things you’ve heard from parents, older friends and siblings may not exactly hold true today. In truth, University has changed for the better, and it has also changed for the worse (in vastly different ways).

Let’s explore some of the ways university has changed:

Tuition fees

As is the trend around the world, an education is becoming increasingly expensive. Back in 2005, almost all universities set fees at the maximum level of £3,000 annually. Today, English Universities can charge a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.

The average student debt for a 3-year undergraduate degree was about £27,000 in 2017. And that’s not all. If students take maintenance loans, the total can increase by £8,000 to £13,000.

Drug abuse

Recent data from the National Union of Students suggests that about 2 in 5 University students are drug users. A total of 2,800 students were surveyed and the results show that the most widely used drugs are cannabis, ecstasy, nitrous oxide and cocaine.

But there is a silver lining in all this. Although the data suggests widespread drug use, it seems to be an infrequent behaviour for most individuals. This means that although a large number of students are using drugs, most are only doing so occasionally.

Still, this doesn’t mean that addiction is obsolete. If you’re among those struggling with addiction, visit your University’s student resource centre to talk about your options. It’s important to find a treatment centre that specialises in students within your age bracket. The challenges and drugs abused can be vastly different with students than they are with older adults.

Technology and online learning

Technology has been a part of the education system for quite some time, but as technology progresses, so too does a reliance on these technologies increase.

Today, students have the benefit of taking classes online, which offers greater flexibility. It also requires greater focus.

If you’re thinking of attending online classes, try to adopt a strict schedule for when you’ll take the classes and complete your coursework. Much of this is left up to you, so it’s important that you take control over your own schedule.

Planning for University is an exciting time, but there’s also much to consider. How will these changes impact your approach to University?