Revealed: The unis taking less state school students than five years ago

Despite promises, many of the UK’s top unis are going backward

Some of the UK’s top unis are going backwards on becoming less posh, with nine of the Russell Group’s 24 unis letting in a lower percentage of state school students than five years ago.

From 2015/16 to 2019/20 – the most recent year with published data – 14 of the group of elite unis managed to increase their state school intake.

The proportion of students at Edinburgh who went to state schools has fallen by a tenth, to 63 per cent – the biggest decrease of any Russell Group uni.

Around 93 per cent of uni students in the UK went to state schools.

The Tab analysed HESA statistics on young, full-time undergrads who came to that uni from state school and didn’t leave within 50 days.

At LSE, the proportion of state school students fell by 6.4 per cent, to 67 per cent.

Yet some unis made good progress – Bristol has increased the proportion of state school students by over 15 per cent. In 2015/16, 61 per cent of students were from state schools. By 2019/20, that had risen to 71 per cent.

Oxford has also made good progress. Its 62 per cent may still be the lowest of any Russell Group uni, but it’s still 11.7 per cent higher than in 2015/16.

Figures released by individual universities for this year also shows progress. Last month, Cambridge announced that 71 to 72 per cent of its new intake were from state schools – up from 69 per cent in 2019 and 70 per cent in 2020.

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