Ellie Cambridge cites Sutton Trust polling on the university aspirations of young people in an article for the Sun. 

A level pass rate drops to lowest level in EIGHT YEARS after shake-up made for tougher exams.

The pass rate – any grade between an A* and E – fell to its lowest level since 2010 while the A*-C rate was the lowest it has been in four years.

But it wasn’t all bad news as some of the higher achievers were seen jumping for joy because more than one if four exam results were an A or A*.

Meanwhile, it seems less people are applying to university this year as it also emerged only 411,860 have taken up places so far – less than last year.

Amid celebrations and commiserations for sixth-formers Ucas figures revealed the acceptance figures are down 1 per cent from the same point 12 months ago.

It comes as young people increasingly feel that getting a degree is less important and instead plan to head straight into the workplace.


Do young people want to go to university?

A poll by the Sutton Trust, which questioned around 2,300 children aged 11-16 in England and Wales, found that three-quarters (75%) think it is important to go to university, down from 78% last year and a high of 86% in 2013.

More than three in four (77%) of those surveyed this year said they are likely to go into higher education.

Figures published by Ucas in July showed that young people in England are more likely to apply to go to university than ever.

More than a third (38.1%) of 18-year-olds across the country have applied this year, up 0.2 percentage points on last year.

Of the young people who said they they are unlikely to go into higher education, the most common reason was that they do not like the idea or do not enjoy learning and studying (58%), followed by finance (44%).

More than a third (35%) said they feel they are not clever enough, while the same proportion said it was not needed for their job plans.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “It’s no surprise that there has been a fall in the proportion of young people who think it’s important to go into higher education.

“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. And in a number of cases they end up with degrees that don’t get them into graduate jobs.

“On the other hand, 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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