One in two school-leavers are reassessing their decision to study beyond school since the rise in university fees, with 42% of those in their final years of school feeling they simply cannot afford to go to university, according to research by Friends Provident. The report came out as news leaked that several universities are already not only seeking the maximum fee of £9000 a year, but want it increased in future years so they can make a profit.
The research highlights the funding gap that many school leavers feel themselves caught in: despite many believing the cost of going to university is prohibitive, 72% of school leavers still believe they need a degree to succeed in their chosen careers.
The funding gap is prompting increasing numbers of school leavers to consider alternatives to university. Data published by City & Guilds suggests that apprenticeships and scholarships are becoming more valued.
Friends Provident’s research into the graduates of the future surveyed students aged between 16-19 to see how their plans are being shaped by economic conditions and public policy decisions. The findings suggest that graduates will be demanding more for their high-priced degrees, with almost half expecting to earn more due to the increasing cost of their education.
The research findings indicate that students recognise the growing importance of good career and financial planning in helping them to achieve their goals. Almost all school leavers plan to work part-time throughout their university lives to fund their studies and most believe they will have to undertake unpaid work experience to secure a good job.