On behalf of the Trust, Ipsos MORI surveyed 2,381 young people aged 11-16 across England and Wales on their attitudes towards higher education. The Trust has monitored this trend since 2003 as an indicator of young people’s expectations before they do their GCSEs.
This year’s poll shows a falling proportion of young people who think university is important to get on in life and shows how university aspirations continue to differ among young people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
- The government should introduce a system of means-tested fees which waives fees entirely for those from low income backgrounds, and increases in steps for those from higher income households.
- Maintenance grants, abolished in 2016, should be restored, providing support for those who need it most and reducing the debt burden of the least well-off, so that they graduate with lower debt than those from better-off backgrounds.
- There should be more higher and degree apprenticeships, targeted at younger age groups, to give young people a platform for progression to higher level learning and careers, including through university.