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Saying ‘no’ to university: many teenagers are avoiding uni this year as covid lingers and the cost remains high considering it’s largely virtual

Sharon Walpole

The team at www.careermap.co.uk (@CareermapNews) recently surveyed almost 2,300 UK parents with children that have just completed their A Levels, all of whom received their results earlier this week.

It was initially found that 57% of UK parents don’t want their teenager to head off to university in September, with many admitting that before covid, they would have encouraged their child to head off to a university away from home (40%).

What’s more, two thirds of parents confessed their teenagers don’t want to attend university themselves (68%).

When allowed to select as many responses within the study as they desired, the top reasons that so many parents and teenagers are hesitant about university this coming September were found to be:

  • Covid is still lingering and risks ruining the freshman year which should be full of experiences (71%)
  • It’s too expensive considering most of the lectures are now virtual (67%)
  • It’s just too expensive (50%)

Asked if they knew much about apprenticeships, more than one in three parents confessed they didn’t (36%), but almost all liked that apprenticeships allow their child to learn on the job while earning money (89%).

Sharon Walpole, Director of www.careermap.co.uk, commented on the results of the study:

“Unfortunately, students who have been at university over the past two years definitely haven’t had the experience that most others do. Not only have they been unable to attend lectures in person, but they’ve also been confined to their uni halls or student accommodation, without being able to enjoy the social aspect of the experience. Let’s not forget that they’ve also not been allowed a graduation ceremony.

“It’s understandable that parents and teenagers themselves are hesitant about selecting university as an option for the coming semester; there’s no guarantee that the UK won’t experience another wave and go back into another lockdown. That’s a lot of uncertainty for what would turn into thousands of pounds worth of debt and little to no real freshman year experiences.

“If university doesn’t feel like the right choice, just remember that apprenticeships can bring with them a whole host of opportunities, without the debt too. Whatever students decide, we just hope they have all the options in front of them; it’s their future they’re working towards, after all.”

Just this week, Careermap launched their latest magazine ‘Careermag for Parents’, offering advice, guidance and support for parents with children who have received their A Level results or are set to receive their GCSE results this week too: https://careermap.co.uk/careermag-parents/

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