10,000 wealthy students would have to be denied access to top universities each year to meet equality targets

The higher education watchdog, the Office for Students (OfS), has set an ambitious goal for Russell Group institutions to “eliminate” the gap in admissions between wealthier students and their less well-off peers within 20 years. The Telegraph reports.

But unless universities rapidly expand the number of places they offer, this would mean effectively capping the number of middle class students they admit, according to an analysis by the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Their analysis found that it would take almost a century for the gap to close altogether, based on the progress that has been made over the past five years in closing the gap in admissions between rich and poor.

“This assumes that participation rates for young people from the middle quintiles remain constant.” Nick Hillman, director of the Hepi, said that the report’s findings demonstrate that to meet the OfS targets, “either we need massive university expansion or the middle classes need to stop going in such big numbers”.

Read more 10,000 wealthy students would have to be denied access to top universities each year to meet equality targets 

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