The Road to University from 6-18: university decision-making insight report available to purchase

How the ‘Road to University’ report will help you understand university decision-making:

  • Further improve your knowledge and understanding of how young people make decisions about university and what influences them
  • Assist your marketing, recruitment and outreach teams to approach student recruitment in a smarter and more effective way using independently generated national insight which is available to them right now
  • Attract students to your institution by using this insight to inform your strategies for this and future academic years.
We are updating this research, commencing in April 2022, looking at decision-making amongst 14 to 18 year olds.  See here for more details about joining the new project.

More about the university decision-making project

This research project, completed in April 2018, was based on an online quantitative survey of 1,788 young people and 18 in-depth interviews with young people from the ages of 6 to 18 in the UK.  It explores how 6- to 18-year-olds view university, including their aspirations, decision-making and influencers.

As well as the full research findings, insights and evidence from the primary research project, the full 122-page report includes an executive summary, practical recommendations, a review of the existing literature with full references, and case studies about young people aged 6 to 18 which contextualise the project findings.


Report contents include:

  • What understanding and knowledge of university do children and young people have?
  • How the path to university is shaped over time. At what ages tipping points and triggers are happening and decisions made
  • What, and who, influences thinking at different stages of childhood and adolescence
  • What the motivations are for going to university
  • The demographic differences across the findings

Project partners

This project was developed in partnership with a number of clients who helped to shape the research design through our collaborative University Futures model. With thanks to:

  • Bournemouth University
  • Lancaster University
  • Hertfordshire University
  • Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP)
  • London School of Economics (LSE)
  • Manchester University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Salford