Spotted this article on the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-48711619 which suggests that the high cost of train fares is the number one factor influencing where students choose to study. A couple if things strike me - students have, for the past few decades been the goose that's laid the golden egg for the railway, in terms of encouraging future business. Is this situation losing future railway business. Also, we all know there can be ways to split tickets and reduce fares (albeit these are by no means universal for the journeys one might want to make), but if the railways are perceived to be expensive, it's the perception that will influence potential passengers choices, rather than the reality. In this respect, whenever TOC's defend their outlandishly overpriced through fares by saying "hardly anyone ever buys them anyway", are these high prices acting as headline fares and dissuading people from travel. Another thing is that some students like to travel to open days with their parents, which obviously puts costs up (I tended to sod off on my own). I can't help but think that life might have turned out very differently, had I not felt enabled to travel across the country by rail to my potential and eventual Universities back in the mid 90's.