Filmed at the Cambridge Union Society at Cambridge University on 3rd October, 2013.
For many Western teenagers university has long been considered a passport to the good life: a rite of passage consisting of mind-expanding study or the acquisition of a professional qualification, and meeting like-minded people often over a drink or three -- all ending up in a well paid, interesting job and a network of useful contacts.
But in these straitened times is the traditional university education really worth the time and money -- and the hangovers?
More and more young people are attending university in Britain and the US, and ever fewer graduates are finding jobs. Costs are soaring too: fees at American universities have increased by over 1000% in the last 30 years and British institutions have nearly tripled their annual fees to £9000 in the last year.
The result? A new breed of high-school leaver is emerging who combines formal learning with on-the-job experience. Businesses are increasingly interested in employing young people with a sense of determination, grit and a strong work ethic, qualities which graduates don't necessarily have.
So should the wise young high school-leaver skip university and get on with acquiring the business, tech and life skills he or she needs for a successful career? (Look what dropping out did for the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.) Or is a university education still a desirable end in itself -- a way of rounding out a young person's mind and character that will be an enhancement for life?