Sometimes in life, it’s good to reflect on the decisions one has made in the past and determine whether or not they were the right ones. Why? In doing so, it allows us to adequately train up the next generation in becoming better citizens of our countries. Ultimately however, when making decisions, seeking God for guidance is most wise in order to avoid making drastic mistakes. So here I want to discuss in detail why I believe women particularly should not go to university.
I myself went to university and fairly enjoyed it – It was a great opportunity for me to continue studying Mandarin Chinese (I later studied in China for a year), and this was an incredible experience. I also joined a few societies to further my interests and skills in certain hobbies like baking. However, looking back, I find that university was in actual fact, quite isolating.
During my final years of university, the Lord saved me, which led to a great change in my desires and life pursuits. With this came saying goodbye to my old ways and ultimately friends. Furthermore, I greatly desired marriage and children more than before. So as I recently reflected on how I would bring up my children, and supposing I had a daughter, I thought that perhaps it would be unwise to send her off to university. Harsh? Unreasonable? The bible says “evil communication corrupt good manners” 1 Corinthians 15:33. Here, let me try to explain my reasons for why women should not go to university.
Cost of university
In the UK, the cost for domestic students to study at university is currently priced at up to £9250 a year. Very annoyingly, it was the year that I started university that the annual fee increased threefold from £3000. Surprisingly however, the increase in university fees did not exactly deter swathes of people from going to university – Perhaps the experience far outweighed the cost? Plus the repayment system after graduation does not seem exactly daunting or a dent in one’s monthly pay (you don’t pay anything if you earn less than a certain amount (depending on your student loan plan). Furthermore, after 30 years the debt gets written off. But a debt is a debt right, and the Bible does encourage against it (Proverbs 22:7).
Why still go to university?
Today anyone can go to university provided they get the required grades. Degrees no longer hold as much value as they did in the past. Over a century ago, attending university was primarily reserved for the elite and the most wealthy as well as a fair few with academic prowess. Up until recently, a degree was almost a guaranteed gateway into a well-paid and relevant job. This is no longer the case, primarily due to the fact that more people are graduating with degrees, which has led to a more competitive job market. Furthermore many companies are increasingly valuing a prospect’s skill set over their graduation papers.
Whereas before, when university offered degrees relating to the arts, sciences and classical education – today you can graduate in almost anything from ‘Baking Science and Technology’ to ‘The Beatles’. In my opinion this is a conniving strategy to grab at an individual’s pursuit for happiness to study what they ‘love’ rather than what may lead to a decent career. Furthermore, the drive today for many young people going to university is to gain independence added with the fear of missing out (FOMO) on the university campus experience. Thus it can be argued that going to university is merely trendy than it is respectable as it once was.
Are universities educating or indoctrinating?
Universities are increasingly promoting woke ideologies to their students. Instead of educating, institutions are putting a lot of focus on changing students sociological perspectives. For instance, Aberdeen University issued a trigger warning for Peter Pan, citing it potentially being ’emotionally challenging.’ Another instance was of Imperial College London encouraging both its students and staff to have ‘hard conversations’ with friends and family who deny ‘white privilege’. In a paper published by think tank Civitas, their findings showed that 62% of universities made reference to ‘trigger warnings’, 79% of universities incorporated the term ‘white privilege’ in their communications, and more than half provided materials and resources on ‘anti-racism’.
The Christian heritage of universities has been lost
Universities and colleges in the West have their foundations deeply rooted in Christianity, helping to shape civilisation, education and intellectual discourse. For example, Oxford university, established in the 12th century primarily promoted scholasticism and theological studies. Their motto “Dominus illuminatio mea” means the Lord is my light. Many universities have retained their Christian mottos, giving an insight into the Christian influence of the time. Similarly, Harvard University, was founded in 1636 through a community of Puritans headed by John Harvard. The mission of the university was to educate clergymen and influence Christian values.
But unfortunately academic institutions have increasingly expressed their intolerance for Christian values and beliefs. Who hasn’t heard or read of professors/teachers losing their jobs for expressing their Christian views?
So why should women not go to university?
So far the reasons mentioned can be applied both to men and women. However, I’ve seen quite a number of social media posts from mothers bewailing their daughters’ transformation for the worst upon going to college. Though, even without reading those articles, I have seen it myself. But just as God by his grace changed me whilst at university, I pray that he’ll do the same for many others. But if you have the chance, avoid going to university as:
University does not prepare women for the home and family life
Since starting school at the age of five and finishing academic education at university, I never heard any teachings regarding the future of our lives besides developing a career. A girl grows up with the mindset on chasing a career and primarily focusing on just that. No home economics, no encouragement for family life and the like at all can be seen within academic institutions today. Instead, girls are taught that they can be whatever they want to be, and granted in today’s world we supposedly can but at what cost? What about the desire to marry and to bear children, where and when will that fit in? It seems almost shameful to most for a girl to express her utmost desire to be a wife and mother, for they will say “Don’t limit yourself!” or “But you can be so much more!”.
God instructs the great majority of women to marry, love, submit and obey our husbands, raise godly children and manage our house (Titus 2:4-5). It is our highest calling in life – such great responsibilities that come with many blessings. Careers satisfy the individual but our diligent care for our household pleases God. I believe that women should prioritise getting married and bearing children.
But alas we were warned decades ago. In the writings of John Fitzsimons in Woman Today (1952), he writes of college presidents and their observations:
College failed to teach these women that … the family is entirely respectable as a sphere of activity.
Another president attacked colleges for treating their female students as ‘men in disguise’. A survey taken of female graduates at Barnard college between 1930-1948, when asked how college could be more useful, 40% expressed their desire for the college to adequately prepare women for family life.
Again, women are taught above all to chase a career and to go into various fields that she may have not been able to in the past or were not ideal for a woman i.e. the army, police force etc. But what this does is psychologically engender woman’s minds to think that marriage and children ought to be delayed. Especially in regards to children, it is not uncommon to hear women deliberately delaying having children due to the perception that they are a hindrance to one’s career. A study conducted in 2022 showed that amongst 887 women across 44 countries, the main reason for delaying childbearing was due to wanting to focus on their career. This is why I am of the opinion that pursuing a career in the corporate world is inevitably fatalistic to household formation and lasting harmony. All of which are fundamental to a nation’s prosperity.
Education is important
It is perhaps a unanimous thought that education for all is vital. Fortunately, more and more children around the world are able to have access to free education in order to know how to write, read and speak well. We should never stop educating ourselves, whether that is through reading or learning new skills. Especially for a woman who is building up her household and raising children, there’s so much to learn! Such knowledge can be acquired through our mothers, matronly role models and through literature.
What are the alternatives to going to university then?
If you’re asking yourself ‘Is it okay to not go to university?’ Be comforted that you do not have to go. There are countless alternative routes that you as a woman can take to pursue further learning, personal growth and development, and knowledge as you grow older. To name a few:
- Work & Apprenticeships: They say that experience is the best teacher. This is a great route to start earning income early without any debt. It is also a great opportunity for skills development. No matter what I learnt at university and how well I did with my essays, it wasn’t until I was hit with the real world of working that my skills in communication, writing, leadership and teamwork drastically improved. Plus, you learn so much faster by networking with people of different ages, backgrounds and levels – it’s one reason why I find the aspect of homeschooling particularly appealing. Taking on an apprenticeship can also provide you with the necessary skills to one day start your own business.
- Serving at your local church: If you go to church, which I strongly recommend you do, serving your brothers and sisters is a wonderful thing to do. There are so many ways in which you help alongside your studies/job such as with Sunday School, cleaning, outreach and more. It’s also a great way to meet people, you never know you might just find your future spouse. Do note that it is important when wanting to help out in areas such as as Sunday School that you have already accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour so that you can be a witness to the children.
- Online Courses and local workshops/ classes: Not only can online courses be much cheaper than university degrees, but they offer a lot of flexibility for you to learn at your own pace and wherever. Online platforms that offer a wide range of courses include: edX (I just checked and many of the courses are free and start today Sep 1 so enroll now!), Udemy and Reed. You can seek to gain skills and expertise in coding, languages, photography and much more.
There are a lot of adult learning centres across the UK where you can enquire about workshops, seminars, and classes offered. Your local community most likely has at least one. Why not perfect certain skills and crafts that interest you like including sewing, cooking, gardening to name a few? These skills are invaluable as it will allow you to have a better understanding of how to make a house a home – Something I certainly want to get better at!
- Reading: One thing to take from many successful individuals is that they read all the time. The world is your oyster when it comes to reading books, articles, listening to podcasts and more. There is just so much knowledge that has been penned down on various topics throughout the ages. Reading is something I certainly want to prioritise to be more informed on a number of topics that intrigue me for my benefit and influence on my small community.
- Blogging: Starting a blog is a great way to perfect your writing skills, but also to engage with others who have similar interests. Your pearls of wisdom, knowledge or insights can also be helpful to others that read your content.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteering is a wonderful pursuit to be able to selflessly offer your time to engage in charitable work. There are so many local charities that need support in various activities, and you lending a hand will be much appreciated.
To reiterate you don’t need to attend higher education to acquire further knowledge. It’s about having the mentality of continuous learning, adopting a passion to do so in order to expand your horizons, and put to good use what knowledge you’ve gained. Of course, however, it may be necessary to go to university if you are planning on becoming a doctor, lawyer or teacher to name a few. But even then, aspiring for such professions and wanting to be a wife and mother to the fullest is another discussion for another day.
To end, I believe there needs to be a seismic shift in the direction women take in today’s world. For the past century we’ve moved along a trajectory that has only brought more stress and gloom than joy to us women. And all because we’re not learning from the mistake of Eve in the garden of Eden. Do you agree with me on this or not? Let me know your thoughts.
May the Lord help us. Amen.