A recent survey by students at the University of Westminster has shown that 1 in 4 university students in London were pressured into their university and their course choice by their parents, and felt they could achieve more if they were able to make their own decisions in regards to university.
The survey asked 350 students aged under 25 who studied in London, and a quarter said they had argued with their families about university and course choices, and had been told to choose the option that their families preferred. This led to eight out of ten who went with what their family preference feeling dissatisfied and bored with university life, and not involved in their course. It has also been shown that parents outweighed career counsellors when advising on university matters, with parental pressure winning over more professional advice.
A spokesman for Universities UK said “It’s important that students do not rush their choices”, allowing students and parents to discuss their choices before making decisions.
Vatsala Bhagat, a media student at the University of Westminster, and co-author of the report said “the findings cannot be ignored” and all universities should take a “corrective step…they could try to increase parental awareness of the importance of students making decisions about university education independently.”
The vice-president for higher education at the National Union of Students, Aaron Porter, agreed with Ms Bhagat, saying “It’s time for ‘helicopter’ parents to take flight and students to take charge of their own futures.”
Published 18th January 2010