The BBC reports that figures show rising numbers of students from more disadvantaged homes are dropping out of universities in England before completing their studies.
The proportion of youngsters from disadvantaged families who do not continue after their first year has reached the highest level for five years, says the Office for Fair Access.
Official data shows that in 2014-15, 8.8% of young, full-time, disadvantaged undergraduates did not continue in higher education beyond their first year – up from 8.2% the year before.
The Offa report says: “The gap between the non-continuation rates of the most advantaged and most disadvantaged students has widened in the past year.
James Westhead, executive director at Teach First, said: “We know there are significant social mobility hurdles that poorer children are forced to clear that their wealthier peers simply don’t have to deal with.
“The government, universities, schools and society as a whole must work together to challenge this, raise attainment and realise the aspirations of all our young people.”
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