July 8, 2013 Leave a comment
Ministers should focus more resources on explaining the student finance system to parents to avoid children being put off university by debt, a thinktank says.
In a report titled Access for All, published on 8 July, the Strategic Society Centre says the government should target an information campaign at parents of potential students, making it a specific policy objective next year.
It follows a study by the thinktank, which is led by former Downing Street policy adviser James Lloyd, on what factors drive young people’s worries about the cost of going to university.
The study is based on a survey of more than 5,000 young people who achieved Key Stage 4 qualifications (like GCSEs) between 2004-07 and expressed a desire to go to university.
It finds parental education, earnings and occupation are all predictors of young people’s financial concerns with the costs of university.
The children of graduates who are working in non-graduate jobs are much more likely to report worries about the costs of higher education, as were the children of parents who had no experience of higher education, the study says.
Mr Lloyd, director of the Strategic Society Centre, said: “It seems that when young people weigh up the costs and benefits of higher education, the experience of their parents is paramount.