A quarter of British parents are actively discouraging their children from going to university because of the hike in tuition fees and worries they won't increase their employment chances, according to new research.
The shock findings emerged in a poll of 1,000 parents of kids aged 13 to 18 – and shows 88 per cent consider the new costs announced by the Government to be absolutely ridiculous.
Indeed, 82 per cent of parents believe the rise in fees make it nigh on impossible for any normal teenager to go to university. While 42 per cent say there is no way in this world they could afford to fund their child's further education either now or in the future.
Instead, 59 per cent are encouraging their children to work their way up in a job, while 58 per cent are recommending an apprenticeship.
Gemma Turner, spokeswoman for i-to-i TEFL, which commissioned the research, said: "The rise in tuition fees is definitely going to deter some parents from sending their children to university.
"The costs are set to soar in 2012 and many parents and children alike have a lot to consider in terms of preparing for the future.
"But there are so many options for young people out there and parents need to recognise the cultural benefits of heading off to travel and explore other routes other than university."
As well as citing the new fees as a reason why they don't want their kids to go to university, 14 per cent also consider the three year stint to be "one long holiday", while 42 per cent are bothered by the fact that there is no real guarantee of a job at the end of the course.
A quarter believe it is a complete waste of money and the same percentage say their child doesn't actually know what they want to do for a career.
Interestingly, eight in 10 parents honestly believe experience is worth more than education these days as competition for any job is so high.
While 71 per cent think in many cases employers have no interest in what kind of degree a candidate has.
What do you think?
Is university a waste of time and money?
Will you be encouraging your child to go to university or try for an apprenticeship or more direct route into work?