University and College Union: Young peoples’ perceptions about post-18 education and training options
- The perceived cost of university education, no guarantee of a job and poor advice and guidance is putting key groups of young people off higher education, warns new polling analysis released today (Monday) as part of a report by the University and College Union (UCU).
- The report, looking at young people’s perceptions of post-18 training and education, shows that the three main reasons given for not going to university (too expensive, no guaranteed job and fears of debt) are the same top three concerns raised by young people who do intend to go.
- The report also found that the type of school young people attend is strongly associated with whether or not they think they will go to university, as does their social class, gender and age. ComRes polled 2,006 young people aged 13 to 17 and found that four-fifths (78%) of pupils at private school said they wanted to go on to higher education after school or college, compared to just three in five (62%) state school students and less than a third (31%) of college students.
- Young people are more likely to say they want to go on to higher education than their older contemporaries. Two-thirds of 13 and 14 year olds (64% for both ages) reported wanting to go to university, compared to around half of 16 and 17 year olds (53% and 55% respectively). Young men (55%) are significantly less likely to state they want to go to university than young women (63%).
- UCU said the report highlighted how important the advice young people received was in terms of their desire to go to university. Just a third (31%) of young people said they had been to an open day at a university or college, but almost all of those who had (95%) said they had found the experience useful.
- Social class and school attended is again associated with the level of information young people received. Almost one in five (17%) pupils in social grade DE reported receiving no advice or guidance about the different options available to them when they leave school or college, compared to just one in 10 (9%) pupils in social grade AB. Those who said they received no advice or guidance are most likely to attend state school (15%), compared to 5% at private schools or sixth form colleges and 7% of college students.