FEWER youngsters from Southampton go on to study at university than do in most of the rest of the UK.
The statistics, released by the Department for Education (DfE), show the figure for Hampshire is 42 per cent.
The number of students going to university from Southampton is well below the 43 per cent average for the whole of the South East, and far less than Reading (61 per cent) or some areas of London where the figure is as high as 66 per cent.
And only seven per cent of A-level students in Southampton go on to study at the top third of the country's universities.
That figure was 14 per cent for Hampshire.
After the figures were released earlier today, Schools Minister David Laws said: ''These statistics demonstrate the gulf between the schools and colleges which deliver for their students - and those which do not.
''Some students will be aiming to get a job after college, others will be hoping to win a place at a great university. But all schools and colleges must ensure they deliver for all their students - whatever that student's target.''