ITV is reporting that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has warned institutions they must do more to recruit poorer students and cut drop out rates, arguing that “wasted potential” must not go unchecked.
The experimental figures, published by the Office for Students (OfS), show that nationally, state school pupils from the most advantaged areas of England are almost two-and-a-half (2.4 times) more likely to go on to higher education than those living in the most disadvantaged parts of the country.
The data divides England into 6,764 local areas and calculates the higher education participation rate of mainstream state school pupils living in each place.
Professor Julia Buckingham, president of vice-chancellors’ group Universities UK, said: “… we know there is more work to do and universities are redoubling efforts to improve access and support retention. Universities have recently set themselves even more ambitious targets to improve equality of opportunity in their new access and participation plans in England. Universities UK has also published recommendations on how universities can address gaps in attainment for BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) students as well as drop-out rates.”
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