Task 2 #4 - University Education

Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society.


Discuss both views and give your opinion.

This IELTS writing example is on the topic of university education.

In this essay, two opposing opinions need to be discussed.
This is the first opinion:
The aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs.

This is the second opinion:
There are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society.
As the prompt suggests, you MUST talk about both sides of the issue and include your opinion.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:

Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
You should write at least 250 words.

Model Answer
These days, more and more people are making the choice to go to university.  While some people are of the opinion that the only purpose of a university education is to improve job prospects, others think that society and the individual benefit in much broader ways.

It is certainly true that one of the main aims of university is to secure a better job.  The majority of people want to improve their future career prospects and attending university is one of the best ways to do this as it increases a persons marketable skills and attractiveness to potential employers.  In addition, further education is very expensive for many people, so most would not consider it if it would not provide them with a more secure future and a higher standard of living. Thus job prospects are very important.

However, there are other benefits for individuals and society.  Firstly, the independence of living away from home is a benefit because it helps the students develop better social skills and improve as a person.  A case in point is that many students will have to leave their families, live in halls of residence and meet new friends.  As a result, their maturity and confidence will grow enabling them to live more fulfilling lives.  Secondly, society will gain from the contribution that the graduates can make to the economy.  We are living in a very competitive world, so countries need educated people in order to compete and prosper.

Therefore, I believe that although a main aim of university education is to get the best job, there are clearly further benefits.  If we continue to promote and encourage university attendance, it will lead to a better future for individuals and society.
(279 words)

Comments
The writer in this IELTS writing example has a clear thesis in the second sentence of the introduction, establishing that two sides of this issue will be discussed (While some people are of the opinion...others think that...).

Looking at the structure, the topic sentences make it clear when the first opinion is being discussed (It is certainly true that one of the main aims of university is to secure a better job.) and when the writer is moving onto the next opinion (However, there are other benefits for individuals and society.).

Connectors (To begin... Also... Firstly... Secondly) are used well to introduce each new supporting idea. Further connectors (For example...A case in point is that...As a result...) are used to expand on these ideas.


Finally, the writer has demonstrated that they are able to use complex sentence structures (While...that...in order to...as...), and has discussed both views and combined this with his/her opinion, thus ensuring the question has been answered.

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