Magazine article Public Finance

Fees Have Not Put Poorer Students off University

Magazine article Public Finance

Fees Have Not Put Poorer Students off University

Article excerpt

Poorer students are not deterred from applying to university, despite the introduction of variable tuition fees, according to the latest figures.

The 'snapshot' application statistics, released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service this week, show that the proportion of English applicants from the bottom four socioeconomic groups has increased slightly from 31.9% to 32.3%. The introduction of the new fee regime was dogged by concerns that it could deter those from poorer families from entering higher education, and ministers and university leaders alike greeted the latest figures as encouraging.

Sir Martin Harris, director of the Office for Fair Access, established to ensure the new fee regime does not have an adverse effect on poorer students, said: 'I am reassured by the continued rise in applications to English institutions for 2007, and by the evidence that the proportion of those applying from lower socioeconomic groups remains stable. …

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