More students want to study away from home – despite tuition fees
Only one prospective student in 20 would study somewhere close to home
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Sunday 22 December 2013
Britain’s undergraduates are continuing to study away from their home towns despite the revolution in higher education, which has seen fees rise to as much as £9,000 a year.
Research shows the urge to fly the family home to study for a degree is stronger now than it ever was – either before top-up fees of £3,000 a year were introduced in 2006 or the £9,000 ceiling came in September 2012.
Figures contained in a national survey show just one in 20 prospective students – those now in the sixth-form – would only study somewhere close to home.
The research, seen by The Independent, is the final piece in a jigsaw which shows that, against expectations, the shake-up in higher education of the past few years has failed to dent the image of a traditional university education.
Figures from Ucas, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, show record numbers had enrolled at universities this autumn – 495,596, higher even than the year before the fees’ rise when students gave up gap years in their droves to beat the increase.
Today’s research, which comes from university choices and careers experts Cambridge Occupational Analysts (Coa), appears to contradict earlier data showing more students would prefer to study at home – and avoid debts.
However, it was conceded last night that these figures included mature students – who would be expected to study from home because of family commitments.
One theory put forward by a senior lecturers’ leader was that – as students were having to fork out £9,000 a year for their courses – they might as well go the whole hog and enjoy themselves as well.
Joyce Lane, joint-managing director of Coa, said it might be that, because of fees, they wanted to make sure they signed up for the best course available and had as a top priority maximising their career potential. Coa encourages sixth-formers – 17,000 of whom responded to the survey – to study a questionnaire called Centigrade which includes 150 questions aimed at matching academic abilities and interests with courses.
“Going to university is very expensive and looking for the right course and university can be very time-consuming,” said Mrs Lane.
“Dropping out is costly, too, in terms of time and money lost and the stress experienced. This means it is more important than ever for prospective students to look into the finer details.”
A breakdown of the figures revealed the largest fall over the past three years in the proportion of students who prefer to stay home was in Scotland – despite the fact that tuition is still free there for Scottish students. 31 per cent of Scottish students wanted to stay at home compared to 44 per cent in 2011.
Wales, too, saw a big drop with just 2 per cent preferring to stay at home compared to 11 per cent last year, Welsh students can get a grant of up to £5,425 a year if the study in either Wales or England.
In England, London saw the biggest fall with just 10 per cent wanting to study in their home area compared to 17 per cent two years ago.
The report also revealed the number of students from disadvantaged homes applying to university had increased since the rise of fees.
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Kelly Osbourne leaves Fashion Police after Zendaya dreadlocks racism row
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia after ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
expenses on shoots: WORLDbytes: Volunteering with a media based charity,for a ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A school in Tameside is currently l...
£50 - £70 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are currently looking for ...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...