UK education chiefs have urged the government to review fees
Two thirds of British school children worry about the cost of going to university, a new Ipsos MORI poll of 2,595 11-16 year-olds for the Sutton Trust has revealed, even though
their aspirations for a higher education remain as high as ever.
Sixty-five percent of all the young people polled had significant concerns about university finance which break down as follows: 28 percent were concerned about tuition fees; 19 percent were concerned about student living costs and 18 percent were concerned about lack of earnings while studying. Only 7 percent said they were not concerned about the cost of going to university.
And although 67 percent of young people said the most important consideration when deciding whether or not to go to university would be their exam grades, 17 percent said it would be the cost of going to university.
But students from the least affluent families (23 percent) are much more likely to cite cost as the biggest consideration than those from the most affluent families (14 percent).
However, university aspirations remain high. 86 percent of those surveyed believe going to university is important in ‘helping people do well and get on in life’, with 43 percent rating it ‘very important’.
Thirty-eight percent of young people say they are very likely to go to university when they are older, and 43 percent say they are fairly likely to do so. This is the same proportion as last year when the same question was asked. A higher proportion of Black and Minority Ethnic students (49 percent) say they are very likely to go to university than White students (35 percent).
Of those who say they are unlikely to go into higher education 49 percent say they would prefer to do something practical , 57 percent cite financial considerations and 41 percent think they are not clever enough. Eighteen percent say ‘people like me are not expected to go to university’.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said today: “It is clear from this poll that many young people remain worried about the cost of higher education. Graduates face debts of over £40,000 with the higher fees and many will be paying for their university studies into their fifties.
“While there may have been some uplift in university applications this year, student numbers are not yet back to 2010 levels. We are urging the Government to means test university fees, as used to be the case, so that those from low and middle income families pay less for tuition.”