By Daniel Bradley
Top UK universities have interviewed thousands of alumni in order to garner and publish as many ‘failure stories’ as possible. Institutions such as Oxford, Durham, Cambridge, York and Surrey are updating their websites to promote the testimonies of past students whose lives and careers have floundered since leaving University.
Chloe Burns, 28, graduated Robinson College, Cambridge, seven years ago. Since then she’s been climbing steadily down the career ladder, one rung at a time.
‘First I applied for a few placements at blatantly worse universities,’ says Chloe, ‘all the while moving consistently further away from my field of interest. This has fostered a general sadness inside.’
Durham University has written the following on their own ‘failure stories’ web page; ‘We at Durham are very proud of all the talented young-adults we’ve spent an extortionate amount of money and time nurturing whose life-plans and ambitions simply haven’t panned out the way we told them they might.’
Here are some other, noteworthy testimonies:
‘University gave me the confidence to temporarily believe in the mirage of meritocracy and social mobility.’ – Hannah Noone, 29, Surrey.
‘Until I came to university, I never realised how many other people would have a degree too. I thought I was special.’ – Katy Lost, 26, Lancaster.
‘Intellectually, I feel like I’ve evolved from a caterpillar into a butterfly. And leaving uni was like being released from the jar directly into a smaller jar.’ – Keith Trágic, 31, Dorset.
As a result of universities all over the country recording and posting the nonachievements of their ex-students, there has been an overwhelming drop in attendances at campus open days. Careers Adviser Robert Newsome suspects that the prospect of career-miscarriage is causing candidates to choose their future education based on whims:
‘Nowadays, prospective students just flip a coin over where they want to spend three years gaining skills that will slowly accrue rust over a lifetime of non-use and failure.’
Abbey, who spent 12 seconds on campus before deciding on Hull as her first choice said ‘as soon as I saw a promotional sign that read ‘reach for the stars’ attached to a leaking drainpipe outside the canteen, I decided Hull was the place for me.’
Tara Maplin, 28, attended the ironically titled Liverpool Hope Universtity to study creative writing. Reviewing her undergraduate experience, she claimed that ‘at the time, it felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel. But it turned out to be a train. Heading for me.’