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Education in the media: Thursday 26 October

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Admissions, Higher Education

Today's education in the media blog looks at a report from the Sutton Trust about university admissions.

Sutton Trust

Today, Thursday 26 October, the Sutton Trust published a report that has found that reducing the entry criteria for universities by two grades could lead to a 50 per cent increase in admissions of pupils on free school meals. This has been covered by the Today Programme, the Sun, Times, Metro, i, Times Higher and TES.

The Higher Education and Research Act places a duty on the Office for Students to promote equality of opportunity. Universities, as part of a transparency duty, will be required to publish information on the application, offer and acceptance rates broken down by gender, ethnicity and disadvantage which will shine a light on where more must be done to tackle inequality.

A Department for Education spokesperson:

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are not only entering our world class universities at record rates, the latest UCAS data shows that they are 51 per cent more likely to go to one of the most selective universities than in 2011.

While this represents significant progress, we recognise there is more to do. That’s why we are introducing sweeping reforms through the Higher Education and Research Act, including the new Office for Students, to ensure equality of opportunity regardless of background.

We believe contextual admissions are a valid and appropriate way for institutions to broaden access, whilst maintaining excellence, so long as individuals are considered on their merits, and institutions’ procedures are fair.

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