MA courses becoming less popular

Are MA courses becoming less popular?

According to data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in 2013, almost 16,000 fewer British students enrolled for higher studies in UK universities from 2011-12 as compared to the previous year. In 2012-2013, the number of postgraduates enrolled was 536,440, which was 5.6 percent less than the previous year.

What is causing a dip in the number of student registrations? Is higher education losing its sheen in the job market? It is a well-known fact that leading corporates prefer a highly-skilled and educated work force as opposed to individuals with no concrete academic background. Then why is there a sudden decline in the importance of higher studies?


  1. No innovation

Higher education in universities continues to thrive on the model of cramming, lecturing, and strenuous examinations, which has barely changed for centuries. Even though there has been global transformation in education, the dimensions of content, purpose, and methodology has more or less remained the same.

  1. Jobs taking precedence

Students finish their schooling and demand a job immediately. “Working” or having a “job” has clearly taken precedence over attaining quality education. Being independent by staying away from parents is the driving force, compelling students to drop out of colleges so as to earn their bread and butter. Education is for landing a great job. If you get one after school, why study any further?

  1. All about the money

Cost and admission are inversely proportional to each other. With increasing fees in schools and colleges, several students are discouraged from pursuing higher education. An MA in the UK can cost upwards of £9,000.

  1. Waste of time?

It has been witnessed that many students find higher studies a complete waste of time. The course structure is rigorous, making it extremely difficult to attain a part-time job. Learning lengthy theories for a year as opposed to practically applying concepts in the real world is considered pointless by some.

  1. Technological revolution

Due to the onset of technological reforms, there has been an explosion in online learning. Crash courses and modules are available online, which means that knowledge once given to a select few is now accessible to anyone with a laptop or a smartphone. The need to actually go to a university or college and attend classes has become obsolete.

Even though the number of enrolments in MA courses in the UK has decreased, they still continue to be a lucrative source of income on completion of the degree, especially if they are undertaken in some of the best universities in the UK.

Are MA courses becoming less popular? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Photo: LoneWolf87 / Flickr

Leave a Reply