APRIL 16: A new study reveals that a quarter of students who defer university don’t return to study.
And of the rural and regional students who defer, 55 per cent say financial barriers are the reason why they don’t continue with education or training.
The Deferring a University Offer in Victoria report by Melbourne University shows 61 per cent students who deferred in 2010 were attending university in 2011.
A further 12 per cent had entered vocational education and training, four per cent were in apprenticeships or traineeships, 20 per cent were working, two per cent were jobless and one per cent were classified as 'inactive'.
In regional Victoria, the rate of deferral rose from 9.9 per cent in 2004 to 15.6 per cent in 2011.
The report found rural and regional students have to pay more and have fewer opportunities to attend tertiary education than their city cousins.
Regional students are also four times more likely to not take up their studies because they are waiting to qualify for youth allowance.
The research found financial factors are the main reason for deferring study. Those from non-metropolitan areas that defer are also more likely to come from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Youth Affairs Council of Victoria executive Georgie Ferrari said that inequality between city and country students still exists.
"Rural kids have to take a longer pathway, their education costs more and they are less likely to find part-time work if they move to Melbourne," she said.