YOUNG people are less likely to consider university than they were six years ago, according to a study out today.
The Sutton Trust’s poll of students aged 11 to 16 found that the proportion of young people who think it’s important to go to university to do well and get on in life has fallen to 75 per cent, down from a high of 86 per cent in 2013 and 78 per cent in 2017.
For success in life, three-quarters felt that having the right connections was crucial, with 77 per cent saying that “knowing the right people” was important.
Nearly half of the young people who are likely to go to university are worried about the cost of higher education.
The most common financial worry is the tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year, with repaying student loans the second and the third being the cost of living as a student.
The Sutton Trust is calling on the government to restore maintenance grants and review the case for means-testing tuition fees, ensuring that the cost of university reflects the financial circumstances of young people.
Sutton Trust founder Sir Peter Lampl said the drop was not surprising as young people face a dilemma.
“If they go on to university, they incur debts of over £50,000 and will be paying back their loans well into middle age,” he said.
“And in a number of cases they end up with degrees that don’t get them into graduate jobs.
“Degree-level apprenticeships are almost non-existent, with less than 10,000 available each year compared with over 300,000 university places. There is effectively no viable alternative to university.”
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