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As students across the country prepare to start a new University term, a study out today has found that it is instead professionals who gain their qualifications later in life who are more likely to be financially secure, own their own home, own their own car and be happier in their job.

Dubbed the ‘newdent generation’ – a new generation of students returning to study after a working break – the research, from home study provider Open Study College, shows these students are now outperforming those who continued studies straight from school, to college, to university.

*To watch the video news release please click here*

The new modern example of success, those who study in later life have been identified to be financially secure with a distinct lack of debt, earning over £1,000 more per year than those with a university education, and four times as likely to hold a managerial position.

After completing a few years of study in their chosen field, ‘newdents’ are more commercially aware than their counterparts with a university degree, and are nearly 8% more likely to be employed than the group who continued into higher education after school or left at 16.

With rising debts and no guarantee of a solid career following a university education, the research highlighted that more people are now weighing up how their education choices will affect their career; with more people choosing an online course, such as an NVQ or diploma, to boost their chances of employment and work happiness in later life.

Newdents were also found to be more likely to own their home and car, with 44% owning their own home compared to 33% of those who came from continued education.

With some universities now charging the maximum tuition fee following the £9,000 cap introduced in 2011, some students can accrue up to £40,000 in debt before they have even started working. Based on the average graduate salary, this can mean it will take over 20 years to pay the total sum back after interest.

“I share many of the views and experiences of these ‘Newdents’,” comments Mindlab Chairman and Director of Research Dr David Lewis.

“After abandoning medical studies while in my early twenties, I spent more than a decade working in the ‘real world’ before returning to university as a mature student. Later when lecturing at the University of Sussex, I found older students a joy to have in my tutorial groups. They typically possessed a significantly greater desire to learn than those straight from school. There are, I think, three reasons for these positive attitudes. First, older students are often more highly motivated and value their new skills and knowledge more highly. They also bring superior cognitive and emotional resources.”

Steven Nash, at Open Study College, said: “There is no doubt that the way we view our current education system is changing as students begin to weigh up the fees of a university degree against the outcome when they graduate.

“Our research shows that the perfect combination for a successful career is a professional qualification that allows students the opportunity to build upon skills discovered in the workplace, which can be undertaken without compromising on lifestyle.

“Alarming student loan repayments and interest rates mean many people are now choosing to upskill themselves in different ways, whether it is an NVQ or distance learning course, and the results are really paying off.

“Going online has a lot to do with this cultural shift towards a more accessible form of education. The internet has already changed so much in our lives, from the way we interact with each other to the way we shop, therefore it is only the next step to see this reflected in the way we learn.”

Open Study College worked with Mindlab, and surveyed over 1000 respondents, to build a generalised linear regression model - a robust statistical method that can be used to determine how one measurement is related to a series of others.

Open Study College offers students the chance to study for a range of qualifications, including A Levels and NVQ qualifications, alongside their current job. With a variety of courses including accounting, photojournalism, website design and law, students can study for a recognised qualification without the restrictions of a traditional education institution.

For more information please visit

To watch the video news release please visit the Open Study College Youtube channel


For press enquiries please contact Maria Edwards on 0121 456 3004, or alternatively email

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of WPR Agency Limited in the following categories: Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Education & Human Resources, for more information visit