“Increase in student numbers”..advs and disadvs essay sample…

IELTS sample essay

Time for another sample essay for you…this week, it’s an “advantages and disadvantages” essay. You should know the score by now, in paragraph 2 you explain the advantage, and in paragraph 3 the disadvantage. Relatively straightforward…I will post the structure below then the essay, which is about the pros and cons of an increasing student population. note that this question type only asks you what the advantages and disadvantages are, not which is stronger, nor do you need to give an opinion….



Sentence 1- Paraphrase question

Sentence 2- Outline sentence

Paragraph 2: advantages

Sentence 3- Topic sentence (Advantage 1)

Sentence 4- Explain/expand on how this is an advantage

Sentence 5- Example

Paragraph 3: disadvantages

Sentence 6- Topic sentence (Disadvantage 1)

Sentence 7- Explain/expand on how this is a disadvantage

Sentence 8- Example


Sentence 9- restatement of main points

There has been a dramatic growth in the number of people studying at universities in the last few decades. While some people see this as a positive trend which raises the general level of education within the community, others fear that it is lowering the quality of education.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the increase in student numbers at university?

The number of university students has dramatically increased in recent decades, some argue having more educated people is beneficial to the whole community while others are afraid this trend will lower educational quality. This essay will argue the main advantage of this increase is a more knowledgeable populace that will develop the economy, while the main disadvantage is the lowering of the value of a university degree.

Firstly, having more people graduate with university degrees is of obvious benefit to any community. It could be argued that a more educated citizenry will naturally lead to higher levels of innovation and productivity with consequent increases in the economy. For example, if we consider the situation in America, a recent survey by Harvard Business School indicated that over 80% of young people involved in startups and creating their own online businesses had at least a BA degree. The implication from this survey is that, in most cases, a high level of education seems to be the norm for most entrepreneurs.

However, a possible drawback to high graduate numbers could be the lessening of the value of a degree. If employers take education and a degree qualification as a measure of a persons suitability for employment, then if everyone has a degree, it would be difficult for a candidate to stand out. For example, a recent survey (2016) by the Employers Federation (UK) revealed that 80% of employers were now looking for other qualities in job candidates rather than a degree. If this is so, then high numbers of graduates will have no reason to have taken their degree in the first place.

In conclusion, as tertiary student numbers are growing, the benefits of education to the economy of this increase need to be considered in the light of a possible downgrading in status of such educations value in the job market.