Universities told to double number of poorer students

The Telegraph is claiming that many of Britain’s top academic institutions have been left angered after being told that universities must double the number of disadvantaged students they admit…

Admissions watchdog, the Office for Fair Access, wants to see the number of poorer students reach 40,000 in the next five years and is urging elite universities to do more to widen their intake.

It admits the plans are “ambitious” but says “faster progress” needs to be made towards equality, according to the Times.

However some elite universities reacted angrily to the proposals, claiming they can “only do so much” if students do not meet the grades.

The highest number of students from poorer backgrounds went to university in 2011 when a record 22,000 attended. Yet middle-class youngsters are still seven times more likely to go to a top university than their poorer peers…


See also from the Times: Universities told to double intake of poor students (subscription may be required)


The universities suggest they cannot take on more students from poorer backgrounds because they aren’t getting the grades. Is this acceptable or do alternative approaches – such as more variety in offers depending on individual applicants circumstances – need to be introduced? 


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Typical govt/political bureaucracy – if they don’t apply or don’t get the grades it’s hardly the Unis’ fault.

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove With the cost of uni becoming almost prohibitive (despite Labour’s dubious policy promises) even “rich” students to struggle

  3. h_emoney

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove MEANINGLESS TARGETS only has negative impact on Schools/Universities/Teachers/Pupils/Lecturers/EVERYONE

  4. andylutwyche

    h_emoney SchoolsImprove I know but bureaucrats in Westminster need to justify their bloated wage packet by dreaming targets up

  5. andrew_1910

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Do we know that uni benefits poorer students? Has anyone tracked to see if they get grad jobs.

  6. andylutwyche

    andrew_1910 SchoolsImprove That’s a very good point. MPs just focused upon everyone having identical experience to themselves

  7. andrew_1910

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove There is the possibility that not going to uni just represents a realistic appraisal of cost-benefit.

  8. andylutwyche

    andrew_1910 SchoolsImprove Agreed – few degrees (if any) can guarantee wage that will make building debt a fair bet if little £ initially

  9. andylutwyche

    ian_bec andrew_1910 SchoolsImprove Fair point! My bad. MPs probably achieved a student grant when they attended university (expenses?)

  10. andylutwyche

    ian_bec andrew_1910 SchoolsImprove Absolutely! But are you surprised? A law unto themselves in Westminster it seems

  11. ian_bec

    andylutwyche andrew_1910 SchoolsImprove the land where you can’t reasonably live off £67k pa for a part time job. A foreign country.

  12. andylutwyche

    ian_bec andrew_1910 SchoolsImprove It’s a struggle to survive on £67k basic salary + £180k in directorships. I don’t know how they cope

  13. Nor_edu

    andrew_1910 andylutwyche SchoolsImprove there’s plenty of other options – politicians promoting these in one hand, and ignoring on other

  14. andrew_1910

    Nor_edu andylutwyche SchoolsImprove the problem here is they don’t know the other routes eg start an apprenticeship leading to a degree..

  15. andrew_1910

    Nor_edu andylutwyche SchoolsImprove …and build up your social capital on the job, if your family connections can’t provide it.

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