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A record number of candidates are applying to go to to university this year, seemingly undeterred by fees of up to nine thousand pounds. Overall, figures are up by four per cent - but in the ITV Meridian region there are winners and losers.
Some universities - particularly those offering skills and vocational courses - are proving highly popular. At Surrey applications are up by a staggering 35 percent, Portsmouth is up by 12 percent - and Southampton Solent saw an increase of eight percent.
But the more traditional universities have been hit - Oxford is only up by 1 percent - and Reading says applications are down compared to the same point last year.
ITV Meridian's Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford has been looking at the bigger picture - and finding out if enough is being done to offer teenagers alternatives to taking a degree.