Poll reveals the proportion of kids who plan to go on to higher education has fallen to its lowest level in almost a decade.
FEWER young teens are planning to go to university because many want to avoid debt and start earning a wage.
The proportion of kids who plan to go on to higher education has fallen to its lowest level in almost a decade, a poll shows.
New research from the Sutton Trust reveals less than three quarters (74 per cent) think they are likely to go on to higher education – the lowest level since 2009 and down from a 81 per cent high in 2013.
Researchers said two thirds of youngsters said they would rather do something practical rather than studying and wanted to start earning as soon as possible.
But more than two in five thought they were not clever enough or didn’t need a degree for the job they wanted.
More than half said they were worried about the cost of tuition fees and loans.
Sutton Trust chairman Sir Peter Lampl called for fees to be means tested and the restoration of grants to help the poorest pupils.
He said: “It is no surprise that there has been a fall in the proportion of young people hoping to go into higher education.
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“Our own separate research has shown that graduates will be paying back their loans well into middle age, affecting their ability to go to graduate school, afford a mortgage and decisions on having children.
“With debts up to £57,000 for poorer graduates and soaring student loan interest rates, the system is badly in need of reform.”
The annual Sutton Trust poll questioned more than 2,600 11 to 16-year-olds in England.
Ucas figures show almost a third of English 18-year-olds entered higher education last year, the highest recorded entry rate for England.