A-Level Results Day 2021: “Benefits of university far outweigh the cost,” say parents according to new YouGov poll

On A-Level results day, a poll by YouGov, commissioned by Leeds Beckett University, has revealed that the parents polled overwhelmingly value the rounded experience that university gives young people.

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 10:57 am
Leeds Beckett University. Picture: Justin Slee

As the university prepares for its busy Clearing period, the findings of the survey have illuminated parents’ desire for their children to experience the full university lifestyle, from gaining independence and enjoying the social aspect, through to gaining a quality higher education.

Tracey Lancaster, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett University, said: “It’s great that parents are united about the benefits that university brings and in particular the opportunity for young people to study something that they are passionate about. 96% – and 98% in Yorkshire and Humber – demonstrates overwhelming support among parents for their children to pursue their passions.

“Providing a well-rounded university experience, which combines high quality, innovative teaching with support for young people’s employability skills and wellbeing, and a broad range of sporting, cultural and social amenities, is what we at Leeds Beckett excel at. While some careers do require people to study a particular course, about 80% of graduate jobs don’t require a specific degree discipline so, with the breadth of courses we offer – from nursing to international relations - we’re well placed to support students regardless of the route they choose.

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“Last year was a challenging one for everyone attending, or thinking about attending, university. But as restrictions ease, we can look ahead to providing that rounded university experience that parents clearly value.”

96% of parents polled said they recognised discernible benefits of young people attending university, with over half (52%) of those surveyed saying that those benefits – such as developing independence, crucial life skills and friendships as well as improving career prospects and future earning potential – were not outweighed by the cost of tuition fees.

And while just over two thirds (67%) of parents polled agreed that they would prefer their children to choose a course which had a clear career path, reflecting current economic uncertainty, the overwhelming majority (96%) were more concerned with them studying a subject they were passionate about, recognising that the university experience helps young people develop transferable skills that will help them succeed regardless of what course they study.

The top benefits of university, according to parents polled are the university experience; helping them become more independent; and helping their child(ren) get into their chosen career (all chosen by 76% of parents responding).

Tracey Lancaster added: “While many students will come to Leeds Beckett as their first-choice University, the clearing process gives students who haven’t secured their first choice a range of exciting options. Clearing is just as legitimate a route into higher education as any, and in recent years, it has opened up opportunities to students who had never considered a topic as a potential career choice.

“Leeds Beckett provides a range of online resources like website features, podcasts and events, to help young people, parents and carers navigate the clearing experience. We also consider each application as a whole, matching our offer or offering foundation years to students where applicable.”

Former student Victoria pursued her passion by studying English Literature at Leeds Beckett and has used her degree to land a finance job at PwC.

“The fact that my English Literature degree wasn’t focused on maths, accountancy or economics did not prevent me applying to, or being offered a graduate scheme leading to me becoming a qualified chartered accountant.

“Skills gained from my course, such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking and creativity, allowed me to succeed in game-based evaluations, interviews and group assessment centres. Limited experience with numbers and data can be offset with people skills and cognitive flexibility, derived from a variety of English Literature modules.”