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Parents worry more about university fees and student debt than traditional problems like drugs and teenage pregnancy, according to a new survey.

In the study by LCA Business School, 41 per cent of parents said that the cost of higher education was their major concern in the wake of recent news that the average cost of a degree will soon be &pound9,000.

In contrast, 27 per cent said they were worried about their teenagers getting involved with drugs and 12 per cent said the prospect of teenage pregnancy caused them anxiety.

More than 700 parents with teenage children across England and Wales were interviewed as part of the study.

Debt worries overshadow other concerns highlighted by the survey including alcohol misuse, body image, bullying, violence, health and internet safety.

The shift towards education concerns has been put down to raised awareness of student funding issues following last year’s high profile student protests, according to a leading academic.

Professor Steve Lumby, principal of central London based LCA Business School which carried out the research, said: “It comes as no surprise that rising higher education costs are causing parents major concern. 

“The increasingly competitive job market means that degrees are becoming more and more essential for career success but the prospect of &pound9,000 fees and additional debt incurred through living expenses are a major worry for both parents and students.

“At LCA we have tried to address these concerns by not only capping our fees at &pound4,500 but also structuring our degrees to two full days a week so that students have the remaining five days to find employment and help pay their way through higher education.

“This ability to work, earn and learn, offers a real solution to the central concerns of those entering higher education, and gives our students the opportunity to graduate debt free.”

Survey Results:

Tuition fees and student debt      (41%)

Drugs                                       (27%)

Teenage Pregnancy                   (12%)

Violence                                    (2%)

Body image                               (3%)

Bullying                                     (7%)

Alcohol misuse                          (1%)

Health                                       (2%)

Internet Safety                           (5%)


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