Attempts to widen UK university student participation have stalled

Feb 1, 2018 by

Efforts to widen student participation at UK universities have stalled, with the proportion of state school students stagnating and slow progress on recruiting from areas of high disadvantage, official figures reveal.

Despite government pressure on universities to boost participation of young people from poorer neighbourhoods where traditionally few pupils have gone on to higher education, data shows just marginal improvements with figures remaining stubbornly low.

Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) on Thursday recorded a 0.1 percentage point increase in the proportion of state-educated students who started full-time undergraduate courses in the autumn of 2016, compared with the previous year.

There is wide variation between universities. While some universities recruited all their first year undergraduates from state schools, at a small number of institutions almost half of those beginning their studies were privately educated.

In nine out of the elite Russell Group of 24 universities, the proportion of state school pupils fell over the past year.

Among the universities with the lowest state school participation were Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Imperial College and St Andrews. Oxford and Cambridge had some of the lowest participation rates by state school students – 57.7% and 62.6% respectively – but their figures were an improvement on previous years; Oxford went up from 55.7% in 2015-16 and Cambridge from 61.9%.

Source: Attempts to widen UK university student participation have stalled | Education | The Guardian

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.