Only around one in 20 prospective students in state and independent schools say they want to study in their home area, according to a poll of more than 17,000 sixth-form students by career guidance firm Cambridge Occupational Analysts.
Just 7 per cent of would-be students in the UK who responded to the survey say they prefer to remain near their home, compared with 9 per cent in 2011 and 15 per cent in 2004.
Students in Scotland, where there are no tuition fees, are more likely to want to stay at home than elsewhere in the UK, with 31 per cent of students wanting to stay closer to their parents in 2013.
However, that proportion is significantly down on the 44 per cent who wanted to stay at home in 2011 before fees in England rose to £9,000 a year.
In Wales, where Welsh students can get a grant of up to £5,425 to help cover the cost of tuition fees, just 2 per cent now prefer to stay in their home area – falling from 11 per cent in 2012. The figure for Wales was 5 per cent in 2011 and 24 per cent in 2004.
In England, London has seen the biggest fall in the proportion of would-be students planning to stay in their region
Just 10 per cent Londoners said they prefer to study in their home area in 2013 compared with 17 per cent in 2011.
Joyce Lane, joint managing director of Cambridge Occupational Analysts, which produces an aptitude questionnaire for sixth-form students called Centigrade to match their interests and abilities to degree courses, said today’s students were willing to move away from home if it meant finding the right programme.
This was because this would maximise their career prospects and earnings potential in the long term despite the potential financial savings of living at home.