Why go to university?

By Avarina Wilson-Dyer-Gough

The summer holidays have long ended, a new school term has begun, and many sixth form students are getting closer to making important decisions about the next stage in their lives - university.

We were interested in exploring what actually matters to young people when researching their university choices - where do they look, who they talk to, and what actually helps to shape their decisions? In light of this, we brought together a group of high A and A* GSCE scorers, to dig a bit deeper into their views on these questions.

Each day this week, we are releasing the insights we gained from our group of future university students, and what this means for university brands. So to start the week off, here is our first piece of insight.

What is the point of university?

The group we spoke to have always wanted to go to university. It is seen as an obligation, an expected next step (by their parents and themselves) after working so hard at school.

At this stage in their selection process, they are starry-eyed. University is seen as a way of having new experiences, whether that is meeting new people, studying something they find interesting or gaining a sense of independence they haven’t had while living at home or being at school.

A close second (but still second), university is also seen as a way to gain the necessary qualifications and skills they will need to get the jobs they want. However, while some know what they want to go into after university, most will choose their course based on what they are interested in, not their perceived end career.

While young people start with these focuses, and as with all high involvement sales, their emphasis will change over the purchasing cycle.