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Varsity dreams

(Photograph) - Varsity dreams: Pupils from Newbridge primary in Fratton, Portsmouth, get a taste of university life, in a scheme called Up for Juniors which aims to encourage young people to aspire to do a degree. Their day ended with a mock graduation at Portsmouth university.

It came as the university published a study showing that mothers are the biggest influence on young people's decision to do a degree.

The report, Aspirations and Influences, found that 79 per cent of the 750 teenagers surveyed said mothers influenced their higher education ambitions. Form teachers were cited by 48 per cent of pupils.

Improved job prospects, a good education, new friends and a chance to move up in the world were the main attractions of going to university.

But worries included racking up debts and not getting a job at the end of their degree. More than one in five feared they might be homesick. Photograph by RUSSELL SACH

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