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Of those who said they were likely to study for a degree, around half said they were worried about the cost of higher education [Image: Getty].

This is what it means to vote Conservative in the UK: It is now impossible to get the education you need for a good job without going deep into debt, possibly for your entire working life.

The proportion of young people who think they are likely to go to university is at its lowest level in years, new figures suggest, with many citing cost as a primary concern.

According to a new report, the prospect of going on to higher education has become less desirable for many young people – news that closely follows separate figures published on Tuesday revealing a decline in student satisfaction levels overall.

Responding to the annual Sutton Trust poll – which questioned more than 2,600 11 to 16-year-olds in England and Wales – around one in seven (14 per cent) said they were unlikely to go on to higher education, compared with 11 per cent last year and eight per cent five years ago.

Of those who said they were likely to study for a degree, around half (51 per cent) said they were worried about the cost of higher education, up from 47 per cent last year.

The biggest money concern was tuition fees, followed by having to repay student loans for up to 30 years and the cost of living as a student.

The figures have fuelled concerns over a lack of social mobility within higher education, and come amid growing debate on the future of tuition fees, which rose above £9,000 to £9,250 in English universities for the first time this year.

Read on: Number of young people planning to go to university falls to lowest level in eight years


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