It hurts me to say it, but university is too often a complete waste of time

People like me are the dirty secret of the debate about the value of university. I have a first class history degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). It was a waste of three years.

Thousands of former boffins will shudder in silent shame when the Government announces its review of student fees next week. Debate will froth over how to finance higher education and nurture the less academic through vocational teaching instead. But there is a neglected truth to this issue too: however much it costs, university can also be pointless for the intellectually gifted.

I feel bad trashing my degree, with its attached sense of sweeping destiny. My mother – a keen but underprivileged…