Higher Education Places Inequality Fails to Even Out

The Journal (Newcastle, England), December 15, 2016 | Go to article overview

Higher Education Places Inequality Fails to Even Out


Byline: Jack Hardy Reporter

THE gulf between the numbers of rich and poor children winning university places is at its biggest level for years. Students who received free school meals - the long-time indicator of poverty - are less than half as likely to enter higher education than those who do not get the dinners, according to university admissions service UCAS.

While there has been a steady increase in the entry levels among less wealthy students over the last 10 years, an increase of 78% proportionally, this has slowed sharply since 2015, according to the organisation's annual report.

The figures will come as a blow to Theresa May, who put slashing inequality at the heart of her Government's ambitions in July.

The analysis of entrants for the majority of UK universities in the last year also showed: | A pre-Brexit spike in students from the EU taking places at UK institutions, while the number of overseas students entering higher education in this country dropped for the first time since 2011; | A persisting gender gap, with women now a record 35% more likely to take university places than men; | The highest-ever number of 18-year-olds accepted to university this year; | White people still ranking as the lowest ethnic group for entry rates.

The UK university acceptance rate for more advantaged students is increasing around five times faster (up 1. …

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