Options 2016

Each year we talk to thousands of UK students to get unique insight into their decision-making journey. This year we surveyed over 10,000 students aged 16+ on their perceptions of the options available to them after school or college.

The Options 2016 survey looked at school and college leavers’ motivations for chosen pathway, the usefulness of information to support the decision-making journey, the impact of tuition fees and student debt, and the perceptions of apprenticeships.

This year we also added in questions we’ve never asked before around stress, aspirations and well-being. As we know, students’ lives are getting more complicated with fees going up, new options becoming available and ever-increasing exam pressure, all adding to overall stress levels.

Key student insights:

  • Avoiding student debt was the key motivation for not going to university.
  • 40% of students believe that apprenticeships are mainly taken by men, compared to just 1% who thought they were taken mainly by women.
  • Anxiety about the future was much higher in females that males.
  • Open days remain a hugely influential and valued activity to help Year 13 students make their mind up on which university to attend.