Meet the new 93 per cent club at Exeter uni providing inclusivity for students from state-school backgrounds
‘We want to create an honest discussion about social mobility and inclusivity within the Exeter student body’
Exeter University has recently been ranked as the sixth worst university for Social inclusion in England and Wales in The Times Good University Guide. It is also has one of the highest percentage of privately educated students, with 35.3 per cent of Exeter students coming from this background. Given that only 7 per cent of the UK are privately educated, this makes up a large proportion of Exeter’s student body.
The Exeter Tab spoke to the new 93 per cent Club, which aims to help state-educated students throughout their university careers, and asked them about their goals for the upcoming society.
What is the 93 per cent Club?
“We are a sister-society to a growing network of 93 per cent Clubs in the UK, originally founded at Bristol uni in 2016. We were founded in August 2020 and are a committee of 13 people. We have only met as a group virtually but that’s not stopping us from starting up the society!
How do you aim to improve the experiences of state school students at Exeter and what services do you provide for them?
“We have three main aims as a society, which include:
We want to work with UK organisations/charities and local schools to support state-school students with applying to university. We’ll be supporting a social mobility charity voted for by our committee every term and we will be announcing our Term One charity very soon so look out for this!
We want to create an inclusive community and powerful network where students can feel welcome regardless of their backgrounds. We’re planning to create inclusive, Covid-safe socials, as well as a family system for our members to feel welcome and have a sort of, ‘home-base’ at university where they can feel safe, supported and welcome.”
Are you part of the Student’s Guild?
“We’re intending to apply for affiliation with the Student Guild after freshers week when applications reopen. Until then we’re doing as much groundwork as possible to prepare for the coming year.
We’re planning to work with the University Centre of Social Mobility and we’re already working with Lee Elliot-Major OBE, who is a Professor of Social Mobility at the University, and was previously Chief Executive of The Sutton Trust. We’ve also contacted the Careers Zone in relation to professional development events, so we hope to be working with them too!”
Do you think the 93% Club is particularly important at Exeter?
“While social mobility undoubtedly needs to be recognised at all universities around the UK, we do feel that it’s particularly important to Exeter. This is both backed up by statistics, as well as our own experiences coming to Exeter.
While in the UK, 93 per cent of students are state educated, the 7 per cent of the UK that are privately educated account for 35.3 per cent of our student body.
Having said this, we’re not looking to exclude or diminish those privately educated, but rather increase social mobility, create equal opportunities for students from all socio-economic backgrounds and make university life inclusive to everyone regardless of where they have come from.
Imposter syndrome was felt, and still is felt by many of our committee so we want to create an honest discussion about social mobility and inclusivity within the Exeter student body and work to improve the experiences of students from state school backgrounds!”
How can Exeter students apply for the 93% Club?
“Official membership will open once we are affiliated, but we’re welcoming future members to register their interest and join our Facebook Members Group to keep up to date with our events for the year.
This can be done here: https://forms.gle/dFHvHZndSfWs7C1S7.
By joining the group, future members will be able to keep up to date with our future social, outreach and professional development events. We will be running virtual socials during Freshers Week and we’d love people to join and meet us. We also intend to make membership free!”