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The Cambridge-INET Institute - continuing as the Janeway Institute

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Belfield, C., Boneva, T., Rauh, C. and Shaw, J.

What Drives Enrollment Gaps in Further Education? The Role of Beliefs in Sequential Schooling Decisions



Abstract: We study students’ motives to obtain sixth form and university education in a sample of 885 secondaryschool students in the UK. At each educational stage, perceptions about the consumption value ofeducation explain a substantial share of the variation in students’ intentions to obtain further education,while beliefs about the monetary benefits and costs are not found to play an important role. Beliefs aboutthe consumption value of university predict not only students’ intentions to go to university but also theirintentions to go to sixth form, highlighting the importance of dynamic considerations in the choice. Wefurther document that students’ beliefs about the consumption value of further schooling strongly predictstudents’ perceptions about how likely it is that they will obtain the necessary grades to proceed to the nexteducational stage. Differences in the perceived consumption value across gender and socioeconomicgroups can account for a sizeable proportion of the gender and socioeconomic gaps in students’ intentionsto pursue further education as well as in their perceptions about their own performance.

Author links: Christopher Rauh  

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Theme: transmission