Rising to the challenge of university

It’s now widely accepted that university isn’t the only path to rewarding and satisfying employment. Both vocational training and apprenticeships feature amongst other routes available to youngsters today. In addition, let’s not forget those who choose to enter a workplace direct from school and embark upon a successful career.

Although equality of opportunity may still have some distance to go, it’s heartening to see increasing numbers of able youngsters from what are classified as deprived areas of the UK, now applying for university places. Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service detail the extent of this trend. UCAS commented: “In England, the number of young people applying from the most deprived areas has increased 6% to 38,770. In Scotland, young applicants from the most deprived areas have grown by 3%. In Wales, applicants from the most deprived areas remained at 1,390 4“.

The data details that across the spectrum in the UK, 39.5% of 18-year-olds in England made a UCAS application, a new record. In Scotland the rate was 32.7% (not including Scottish further education college undergraduate applications), in Northern Ireland the rate was 46.9%, and Wales 32.9%.


With tuition fees and accommodation costs met by most students (assistance may be granted in some cases UK-wide and for eligible students from Scotland), planning ahead for university costs is vital and can be more effective if parents and wider family are involved, the more the merrier!

The sooner university saving commences the better, for example, investing in a Junior ISA (JISA) every year (2019–20 annual limit £4,368 per child) would provide a useful sum, accessible at age 18. We can advise you on JISAs and other savings and investment products to enable family members to help with the cost of university and life beyond, whilst also rising to the challenge of providing for your own needs, now and in the future.

4UCAS, July 2019.