University Graduates More Likely to Become Millionaires

July 11, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. household income /ˈhaʊsˌhoʊld/  (n.) – the overall earnings of a home and its inhabitants, including salaries, pensions, and other forms of income
Example: Majority of the population of third world countries have no household income.

2. in the face of /ɪn/ /ðə/ /feɪs/ /ʌv/ (idiom) – regardless of; despite; opposing to
Example: She became rich and successful in the face of having limited education.

3. constitute /kɒn stɪˌtut/ (v.) – to be part of or to make up a segment of a group
Example: The dropouts constitute half of the country’s unemployed population.

4. marker /ˈmɑr kər/ (n.) – something that predicts the likelihood of a circumstance or event
Example: Most people would look at family background as a personality marker.

5. pay off /peɪ/ /ɔf/ (idiom) – refers to a past action that brings about good outcomes in the future
Example: His determination to learn how to play the violin paid off when he got selected for the orchestra.


Read the text below.
Statistical data show that university graduates in the UK have better chances to become millionaires than those without formal education.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says that in every five students with university education, one is likely to have a household income worth at least £1million in the future. The data further indicated that twenty percent of the millionaires in the UK are found to have a university diploma, while only three percent make up those with no formal education.

In the face of a recent financial crisis, Britain experienced a vast improvement in its overall wealth. The statistics highlight that among private households, eleven percent has more than one home, seven percent can afford personalized car number plates, and almost half liberally use credit cards.

However, the wealthy and educated, who own nearly half of the country’s wealth, only constitute ten percent of the population. The rest are already considered financially underprivileged. The growing economic imbalance between the rich and the poor is a subject of dispute that has been linked to the current government’s decision to increase student fees.

On another note, the data may imply that formal education can become a marker for long-term financial success. In particular, the Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts asserted that the data are only added proof that university education pays off.

Willetts added that the data therefore justifies the coalition government’s decision to raise the tuition fees and student debts. The coalition believes that because students may become future millionaires, they will be more than capable to repay the expenses of their education after they graduate.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that having university education can pave the way to becoming a millionaire? Why or why not?
·         Aside from education, how else can a person become financially successful? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think the economic imbalance between the poor and rich still exists?
·         How can the gap between the rich and the poor be narrowed/solved?

July 11, 2014