However, it’s also been found that parents aren’t aware about the alternatives to university (shock horror!). 70% of parents said they encouraged their children to go to university and just 27% of students received advice from their parents about the alternatives to university, such as school leaver programmes, apprenticeships and sponsored degrees. This is reflected in application numbers. Last year, over 2.7 million students applied for a university course, with only 37,000 applying for an apprenticeship. An increasing number of companies are offering school leaver programmes and sponsored degrees.
Julie Stanbridge, Head of Student Recruitment at EY, said, “The survey results would suggest that for many parents, university is still seen as the default option and the safest route to achieving career success. Whereas in reality, entering the workplace straight after A-Levels can play to the strengths of highly-focused students and provide them with a real head-start in their careers.”