Hard working young people will seek to go to university after school, partly for the qualification of having a degree and partly to expand their intellectual grasp of the world. Nothing wrong in that.
The rupture lies in the transition from a world where exam marks count to one governed entirely by capitalist power. There are only a certain number of professional jobs available and these are allocated on the basis of the economic power of the competitors (i.e. high cost further training, internships, connections).
Despite New Labour’s expansion of higher education (and the consequent devaluation of degrees), the level of social mobility in Britain has declined as social inequality has increased to the highest level since 1945