Protestant boys from poor homes in the north of Ireland are least likely to want to go to university
University of Ulster research suggests Protestant boys do not see the point of going into debt for a degree without the guarantee of a good job afterwards.
Researchers said Catholic parents seem more likely to push their children towards further or higher education.
Protestant families believe their children could use family or friends to get good jobs in industry, they add.
The study showed religion and gender was a factor for school pupils considering going to university.
Boys from low-income Protestant backgrounds were less keen on a university degree than either their female classmates or Catholic boys and girls from a similar background.
The research also found that Catholic secondary schools were thought more likely than state schools to have a sixth-form which could encourage pupils to stay on.
Among all pupils there were worries about the cost of a degree and concern that a degree no longer led automatically to a high salary.
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