4th February 2020

In recent years it has become more widely accepted that university isn’t the only route to satisfying and rewarding employment. Apprenticeships and vocational training are among the other paths available; and there are many instances of success in business by those who entered a workplace direct from school and worked their way to the top.

Equality of opportunity may still have some way to go but increasing numbers of able youngsters from what are classified as deprived areas of the UK are now applying for university places. Details of the extent of this trend emerged in the 2019 figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

UCAS said: “In England, the number of young people applying from the most deprived areas has increased 6% to 38,770. In Scotland, young applicants from the most deprived areas have grown by 3%. In Wales, applicants from the most deprived areas remained at 1,3906”.

As for the situation across the spectrum, it was revealed that 39.5% of 18-year-olds in England made a UCAS application, a new record. In Northern Ireland the rate was 46.9%, Scotland 32.7% (not including Scottish further education college undergraduate applications) and Wales 32.9%.

Helping out with costs
With accommodation costs and tuition fees to be met by most students (assistance may be granted in some cases UK-wide and for eligible students from Scotland), planning ahead for university costs makes sense and can be more effective if it involves parents and wider family such as grandparents.

The sooner saving for university begins the better. Investing in a Junior ISA every year (2019–20 annual limit £4,368 per child) can produce a useful sum, accessible on reaching 18. We can advise on JISAs and other savings and investment products to enable family members to help with university and life beyond, whilst also providing for their own future needs.

6UCAS, July 2019

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.