Half of the 17 to 21-year-olds surveyed ahead of the London International Youth Science Forum said that a degree from a UK institution was too expensive.
Organisers of the event said that the promotion of science education is “vital” for economic competitiveness.
The survey took place as part of the LIYSF, which begins on 24 July. The two-week event will see 400 promising students from 64 countries come together to develop a deeper understanding of science.
Two thirds of the students polled said that a degree was the only credible way to get into science and engineering careers and 55 per cent said that a degree had more value if it was obtained in an English speaking country.
Only one quarter of the 240 students disagreed that the cost of a studying for a degree was too high, half said it was too expensive, with the remainder saying that they did not know.
Richard Myhill, director of LIYSF, said: “We already know that not enough young people are choosing to study science, technology, engineering and maths and the growing cost of university education in this country combined with cuts in funding raises serious concerns about our prospects as a nation of recovery through science and innovation in the future.”
He added: “Science innovation is a key tool for economic recovery and we must invest in, and extend, opportunities to science students both at home and abroad wherever possible. The challenges we face are ever growing and the need to stimulate and promote science education is vital for maintaining economic competitiveness.”
Delegates will hear speakers from Imperial College London and visit the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.