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How have higher tuition fees affected the decision-making process of 2012 applicants?

YouthSight Blog
YouthSight Blog

YouthSight is an award-winning insight agency and panel and data services company. Our Insight business helps brands and universities engage with Gen Z and Millennials. Carry on reading to see why we're frequently topping news headlines across the UK.

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There’s been a lot of speculation in the media about the impact of higher fees on potential university applicants, much of it focussed on those who won’t to go to university as a result. To shed further light on the issue, OpinionPanel has recently done some research on the impact of higher fees on people who have decided to apply for university in 2012.

The report is based on primary research with 500 of our applicants for full-time undergraduate study in 2012. We employed choice-based conjoint (trade-off) techniques to test what is driving the choices that applicants make about which university to attend. Our press release and the full report provide some important insights, including:

1. There’s been no revolution in the decision-making process overall, but . . .

2. The greatest impact of tuition fees falls on those from lower socio-economic groups (SEGs):

  • 23% of applicants from lower SEGs say they are now more likely to choose a university with lower tuition fees (compared to 11% for applicants from higher SEGs)
  • 30% of applicants from lower SEGs say they are now more likely to choose a university where they can live at home (compared to 16% from higher SEGs).

3. There’s a clear and growing focus by applicants on return on investment

4. Finally, many applicants don’t properly understand when and how they’ll repay their tuition fee loans.

If you’ve got any questions, please contact Liam on 020 7374 0997 or email