Black Country students opting to stay closer to home

A-level pupils across the Black Country who would normally be expected to go to top ranking universities further afield are choosing to stay closer to home because of the hike in tuition fees, according to education bosses.

lecture theatre

A-level pupils across the Black Country who would normally be expected to go to top ranking universities further afield are choosing to stay closer to home because of the hike in tuition fees, according to education bosses.

Many pupils who gained their results this summer are choosing to commute and live at home, go to cheaper universities or have decided not to go to university at all. Estimates reveal that students could end up leaving university with a student debt of around £40,000.

Pank Patel, headteacher at Wednesbury’s Wood Green Academy, said he had seen a big difference this year.

He said: “Some pupils I would normally have expected to go off to red brick universities are choosing to stay local, or go to universities which have lower fees. Others I would have previously expected to go to university are deciding to go straight into work.”

Helen Keenan, from Brownhills School in Walsall, said she has seen more pupils choose to go to university closer to home.

She said:” We actually have more pupils going to university this year, but the way they are choosing a university has changed.

“Pupils are looking at the financial consequences of the university they choose.”

Claire Evans, headteacher of Wednesfield High School in Wolverhampton, Claire Evans said she had not seen a drop in the number of university applications. But she added she had noticed some students who would have usually chosen to live in digs at Aston University or Birmingham University were instead choosing to stay at home.

Students starting degree courses at English universities this autumn are the first to pay tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year in moves that have caused controversy. At Wolverhampton University, annual tuition fees will be £7,500 as long as students continue into their second year.