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Jul 23, 2013 03:27 AM EDT

White Teens Less Likely To Apply To University, Study

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White teenagers are less likely to pursue higher education when compared to students from other ethnic backgrounds in England, says a study conducted by the Universities and Colleges Admission Services (UCAS).

According to the study, less than 30 percent of white, state-educated 18-year-olds have applied for degrees this autumn, in comparison to more than 50 percent of A-level students from Chinese backgrounds and 40 percent from Asian ethnic groups.

"Our new analysis of demand by ethnic group shows that white pupils at English schools now have the lowest application rate of any ethnic group. There has been significant growth in demand from black pupils," said, Mary Curnock Cook, the UCAS chief executive.

The most significant find of the study is that, applications from black 18-year-olds have risen from 20 percent in 2006 to 34 percent this year.

 "The gap between rich and poor is closing; disadvantaged groups are applying at record levels. There are eye-catching regional variations in demand, with the North of England generally showing higher growth rates than the South," said Cook.

The statistics are based on 20 million applications between 2004 and 2013. But the probability for young people to pursue their higher education majorly depends upon several factors, including social background, gender, ethnicity and where they live.

The study also found that overall 44 percent of the adolescents in England submit applications for universities by the time they are 19. Also, girls are 29 percent more likely to sign up for university this year than boys.

Within the U.K., Northern Ireland youngsters are more likely to aim to go to university and within England, teenagers in London are the most likely to aspire to university, the study claimed.

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