TEENAGERS across the area have made fewer applications to study at university than their peers, figures revealed today show.
Pupils in Havant are the least likely in the country to apply to institutions, with just 17.4 per cent putting in bids to Ucas.
The constituency with the highest rate of applications was Wimbledon, with 70.3 per cent of pupils submitting by the January 15 deadline.
Other areas that featured in the bottom 10 per cent of constituencies were:
n Portsmouth North; 21.9 per cent applied (placed at 10).
n Portsmouth South 25.1 per cent applied (placed at 42)
n Gosport; 26.4 per cent applied (placed at 59).
Fareham and Meon Valley did not appear in the top or bottom 10 per cent.
Havant MP Alan Mak said: ‘I hope more local students will consider applying to university, though we shouldn’t forget there are other equally good options for young people such as apprenticeships which are very popular in this area given our manufacturing strength.
‘Many young people also start their own business which doesn’t require a degree.
‘I organised an Oxbridge Conference at Park Community School last year to encourage more local students to consider top universities, attended by students from five local secondary schools.
‘It was well-received by students and teachers.
‘My Jobs, Apprenticeships and Careers Fair on March 3 at Havant Leisure Centre is also a must-attend event for local young people.’
The statistics suggest a youngster’s chances of applying for a degree course depend heavily on where they live.
Sir Peter Lampl is founder and executive chairman of the Sutton Trust, which provides education for people from non-privileged backgrounds.
He said: ‘The massive difference in the numbers going on to university between the top and bottom constituencies reflects the fact that the chances of getting to university are very much dependent on where you live and where you go to school.’
Nicola Dandridge chief executive of Universities UK, which represents institutions said an advisory group set up last year had acknowledged that ‘disadvantage is deeply entrenched in our society’.