A recent survey suggests that children who want to go to university at the age of 10 are two times as likely to attend a selective institution, than if they decided at 16.
UCAS (University and College Admissions Service) surveyed 16,000 students, with results suggesting that the younger a child decides they wish to attend university, the higher the chance they will eventually attend a university with difficult entrance requirements.
When asking the students’ choices on what had either deterred or motivated them, the university admissions service found those applying to university from the poorest backgrounds were the group who were least focused on studying for higher education.
However, those from advantaged backgrounds were most focused on going to university.
UCAS surveyed students who applied to a university undergraduate course with regards to whether or not they eventually attended the university.
Of the students who were currently on courses at selective universities, those who had chosen to apply at 16-19 (GSCE final year to gap year) only accounted for 13 per cent of the students who applied to higher education. However, 35 per cent of selective university students already knew that they wanted to apply to higher education before moving to secondary school.
The CEO of UCAS, Mary Curnock has said as a result of the report, the age at which children are aware of higher education should be moved back, as the research implies they would have a higher chance of attending university
UCAS additionally found that, of those 6,500 surveyed who had not wanted to apply to the most challenging requirement universities, 49 per cent said that the course’s entry grades were too high.
41 per cent of the total said these institutions were unable to offer a course they wished to study and 20 per cent said the living costs were too expensive.
8 per cent of those not applying to selective universities said they did not feel like they would ‘fit in’ with fellow students.
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