28/11/2011 03:53 GMT

Most Teenagers Still Plan To Go To University Despite Tuition Fees

An overwhelming majority of teenagers plan to go to university despite fees rising to up to £9,000 next year, according to a survey.

Four out of five 16 to 18-year-olds said that a degree was either important or very important to their future career prospects, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and TMP Worldwide, the recruitment communications consultancy.

PwC said it was "surprising" that only 37% of students surveyed said they were less likely to go to university because of increased tuition fees.

Two thirds of students said their school placed more emphasis on going to university than jobs or training and the vast majority (70%) said they planned to go to university.

The report - Post 16 Pathways - also found that 41% of students think their school careers service is below par and have to look elsewhere for advice.

The survey also found that employers felt schools were not doing enough to facilitate links between firms and school-leavers. Only 4% were happy with the status quo.

Just over half of students (54%) said they had no interaction with employers while at school.

Only one in 20 students said they thought an apprenticeship was the best option after school, which PwC said suggested students see university as the route to better jobs and earnings.

Sonja Stockton, director of recruitment at PwC, said: "University and apprenticeships have to be a choice not a compromise for talented students and employers alike. But it requires a fundamental rethink of how employers attract, assess, develop and reward the recruits they need for their business to grow. That's not going to happen overnight. Education and business need to come together to kick start a new approach to supporting young people in making these decisions."

The survey questioned 1,087 students aged 16 to 18 and 89 employers.