Vice-chancellors think that students should defer entry to university to take a well-structured year out.
Most vice-chancellors believe that both individuals and their institutions benefit from their experiences, says a survey of 50 vice-chancellors by the Year Out Group, an umbrella association of 20 gap-year providers.
Research has shown that students who have completed a gap year are more likely to finish their course than those who have gone straight to university from school.
The survey also supported the idea that there is a link between the year-out scheme and widening participation and suggested that a gap year should be marketed as a way to improve access to higher education.
More than 7 per cent of applications made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service request deferred entry.