Students turn to teachers over parents or friends for advice

New research from Which? University reveals that more students look to their teachers for advice on their A-level options, than their parents or friends.

According to the research, six in ten (59%) students turned to their teachers for guidance before deciding on their A-level subjects, whilst half (49%) looked to their parents. Only four in ten (42%) spoke to their friends, whilst surprisingly less, a third (31%), went to a careers adviser at their school to get advice.

To ensure teachers and advisers have the information they need to guide students on their future options, Which? University has launched a library of free, online resources for teachers, from A-level choices to beyond. It will include downloadable guides and lesson activities to inform and inspire school and college students’ plans, on topics including university myth-busting, student finance and emerging Higher Education qualifications like higher and degree apprenticeships.

In the survey of 1,000 students, conducted by YouthSight for Which? University, we also found:

  • A third (32%) of students found information on their options by doing a Google search
  • Only four in ten (42%) looked to university websites/prospectuses
  • Three in ten (28%) looked on the official UCAS website
  • A third (35%) looked on free advice websites such as the Which? University website
  • 6% didn’t seek any advice or information at all.

Alex Neill, of Which? University said:

“As more students turn to their teachers for advice as they’re about to make decisions about their A-levels and beyond, it’s time teachers had access to more flexible, easy-to-use resources to support them.

“Our free, specialised resources for teachers will do just that, providing a ‘go-to’ for teachers and careers advisers who are looking for answers to commonly-asked questions, useful university application tips, and creative ways to encourage their students to think about their options a bit earlier.”

The Which? University – for Teachers section will cover the following areas:

  • Higher Education options – Apprenticeships, foundation degrees, studying abroad… There are many more options for students to consider than the ‘traditional’ university route.
  • Getting into university – Responsible for UCAS applications? From reference-writing to the Russell Group, we’ll provide you with a supportive hand through the  process.
  • Student finance – Clear, concise advice  to help students through the student finance minefield, including when and how to apply for funding, bursaries and extra support.
  • Lesson activities – Get creative in the classroom. Our lesson ideas are designed to provide 15-minute activities that will get your students thinking, discussing, researching and reflecting on their future plans.
  • Developing your skills as an adviser– We’ve gathered practical pointers to help you design and deliver a programme of careers and HE-related activities in schools for students of different year groups – from securing speakers to arranging work experience.

To access our free advice and resources, visit:


Notes to Editors


  • Which? University is a free and independent website to help students make more informed decisions about higher education, featuring more than 30,000 courses and 281 universities and colleges to search and compare. We bring together facts and statistics from official sources including UCAS and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and combine these with real-life insight from students and the unbiased, expert analysis you’d expect from Which?.

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