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Cost of higher education puts students off

More than one in three young people in the UK are put off post-secondary training or education because of the perceived cost, a report has found.

McKinsey and Company, the global consulting firm, surveyed more than 8,000 education providers, employers, and young people across nine countries. Education to Employment: designing a system that works argues that education systems are failing to prepare young people for work.

Only 43% of employers surveyed agreed that they could find enough skilled entry-level workers, it says, yet an estimated 75 million young people are unemployed across the world.

The survey - conducted in Turkey, India, Brazil, the US, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Germany, the UK and Morocco - asked young people why they had not pursued post-secondary education or training.

35% of young people surveyed in the UK said that they could not afford to, compared with 18% for India, 20% in Turkey, and 24% in Mexico. The average was 31%; the US was judged to be the most unaffordable place to continue studying with 48% citing cost as the reason they had not taken up further education or training.

Young people in the UK were much more likely to say that they were not interested in further education or training than respondents from other countries. However, the report also found that young people from the UK were best informed when it came to making choices about their education.

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