Students should dig deep for a special present this Mothering Sunday as research has revealed that mums have transformed the university applications process by becoming dedicated researchers for their sons and daughters.
Mothers of university applicants view themselves as paying customers of higher education and are intimately involved in the degree-selection process, according to Miriam David, professor of policy studies at Keele University.
Professor David said her study of 120 young people and their families had important policy implications.
She found that mothers would phone for brochures, drive students to open days, study league tables and do internet searches.
Fathers, by contrast, tended to remain in the background.