About 72percent of matriculants wanted to further their studies after school, a study by the Human Sciences Research Council revealed yesterday.
The study of 20659 Grade 12 students was carried out by Michael Cosser during 2005.
According to the study, more than seven out of 10 Grade 12 pupils wanted to study (72percent), 20percent wanted to work and seven percent wanted to travel abroad, while 1percent were not interested in any activities.
"The aspiration of black and Indian/Asian (74percent and 73percent respectively) pupils to study was much higher than whites and coloured (both 64percent)," the study found.
"White pupils' aspirations to travel abroad on the other hand was far higher than any of the other groups."
The study also found that while three-quarters of females saw themselves studying, only 69percent of males wanted to.
It added that three out of every five students surveyed planned to enter higher education institutes.
"Black pupil interest in entering higher education was significantly lower in 2005 (56percent) than in 2001 (86percent).
"Similarly, white pupil interest in going to university has declined, less dramatically, from 82percent in 2001 to 75percent in 2005."
The study revealed that in 2005 more pupils wanted to study business and commerce. Other courses that ranked high in the survey were engineering, computer science, health sciences and law.
However, the low interest in the education profession was a cause for concern.
"White pupil aspiration to study education is higher than black aspiration.
"What the low aspiration for enrolment in education programmes indicates is that far more emphasis will need to be placed on recruiting aspirant students into such programmes.
"It is unlikely to be bought by pupils who are themselves the products of inferior teaching role models," the study said. - Sapa