Private School Pupils Still Dominating UK Universities
Private school pupils are more likely to go to top universities, despite efforts to widen access, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) suggests. Some 64% of privately educated A-level […]
Private school pupils are more likely to go to top universities, despite efforts to widen access, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) suggests. Some 64% of privately educated A-level students got into the most selective universities in 2010-11, against 24% of state school pupils.
But the chances of the very poorest pupils have improved according to official figures as record numbers of disadvantaged 18-year-olds had applied to university this year.
Despite efforts by universities and the government to broaden access, the statistics suggest privately educated students are not only more likely to go to university but are more likely to get places at institutions requiring better A-level results, particularly Russell Group universities.
The data predates the raising of fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year. Any university, including the University of Southampton, planning to charge more than £6,000 a year has to sign an “access agreement” requiring them to spend around a quarter of the higher fee income on supporting poorer students in the form of fee waivers and bursaries.
Student Beans reported that 15.5% of pupils at the University of Southampton came from independent schools, 39th on the ‘Posh University League’. However, the proportion of Southampton students from non-fee paying schools rose from 80.9 per cent in 2002-3 to 83.8 per cent in 2010-11, after the university spent record sums on bursaries and conducting “outreach work”. One example is the recent ” #myambition ” campaign in 2013 by the University to encourage potential students to discuss their ambitions, both big and small.
Professor Alex Neill, pro vice-chancellor for Education at the University of Southampton called for more places to be offered to young people from struggling backgrounds – even if their A-level results are inferior. He stated that there would be guaranteed interviews for bright pupils from poorer backgrounds, including anyone who successfully completed a preparation course, such as a summer school.