The BBC reports that the number of students from Wales studying at some of the UK’s top universities has dropped by almost 10% in three years, figures have shown.
A total of 6,260 joined Russell Group institutions from Birmingham to York in 2015/2016, down from 6,900 in 2012/13. The Welsh Government said it wanted to raise aspirations and achievement among students to increase their potential.
The group said it was working with the Welsh Government’s Seren Network scheme, which aims to link “bright Welsh sixth-form students with the UK’s leading universities and improve their chances of making a successful application”.
Education consultant Robin Hughes, a former director of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) union in Wales, said there could be several reasons for the drop in Welsh students going to universities at the upper end of the league tables.
“We have to consider where they’re getting their encouragement and information from, what’s the basis for their decisions – there’s a lot to do in terms of career discussions,” he said.
“It certainly would be a shame if we have students who are able enough, who might be missing out on the advantages of studying at a Russell Group university, in terms of career benefits, quality and so forth.”
Sarah Stevens, head of policy for the Russell Group, said: “A number of our members are actively engaging in the Welsh Government’s Seren Network scheme, which aims to link bright Welsh sixth-form students with the UK’s leading universities and improve their chances of making a successful application.”
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