This paper examines the views of staff at higher education institutions on how well 14–19 education and training prepares young people for higher education (HE) study. It draws upon research involving focus groups with approximately 250 academic and admissions staff at 21 higher education institutions in England and Wales. The data collection was conducted between February and June 2005. The paper presents their perceptions of the articulation between 14–19 education and training and higher education. It examines their perceptions of the preparedness of young people to enter HE, and their preparedness to engage with HE. The evidence presented suggests an urgent need for more effective communication between the respective actors and institutions in 14–19 education and training and HE, particularly with regard to approaches to learning.