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Students cite “lack of education” and “in-depth” information when making choices on employment and education after sixth form or college.

Research conducted by Careermap, a UK-based company offering opportunities for young people in education and employment, has found large swathes of young students felt uninformed about their post-school employment and higher education opportunities. Notably, the research found that 65% of students feel pressured by parents and fellow peers to go to university, despite not knowing if they want to go.

The study surveyed 2,500 UK-based young adults aged between 18 and 21, seeking to find out how informed and autonomous young people felt when making decisions about their post-school opportunities.    

The central findings of the survey were that 32% of students who took part in the survey felt "cheated" by schools. This was down to the "lack of education" and "in-depth" information regarding certain options and pathways available after sixth form or college. A third of students also only picked a specific university place because their friends also applied. 

As a result the survey also recorded high levels of student dissatisfaction with their courses when they got to university, with 40% of students reporting they are unhappy with their chosen university course or career path.

Simon Bell, the founder of Careermap, recognised the multitude of options available to students leaving school but noted that "the traditional paths are still being pushed at students’ and that these options are not always the right option for each individual".

The survey comes amidst the backdrop of a sector-wide drop-in student satisfaction rates according to data from the 2021 National Student Survey, which saw an 8% decline in student satisfaction with their course.


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