Manchester Metropolitan University

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Thousands regret missing university

Survey of parents' education

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MOST parents who did not go to university after leaving school regret the decision later in life, a government survey shows.

Four-fifths of parents who did not go on to higher education wish they had and three-quarters of mature students regret not going to university straight after school.

The poll, commissioned by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (Dius), found that 16% believe they would now have a better career and 13% that they would have a better future if they had gone on to higher education.

A separate Dius survey of nearly 1,500 mature students found that 74% regret not going to university straight from school.

Life opportunities

Some 17% chose to go back to higher education because they thought they had missed out on life opportunities, while 16% say they returned because they had ended up in a job they did not enjoy. Family and friends having a better career was a factor for 13%.

Almost a third (31%) said that going into higher education was vital for getting a new career, while more than a quarter (28%) said they needed more qualifications to boost their existing careers. More than a quarter (28%) cited the potential to earn more money as a key factor.

MMU has one of the largest proportions of mature students, with more than 8,600 of those enrolled aged over 25.

'Family took over'

MMU Legal Practice Course graduate Christine Dobson (pictured), 50, from Cheshire, said: "I’d always intended to have a career in law but working and family life took over after university.

"I really enjoyed going to university – it filled me with confidence and proved I made the right decision."

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