Number of state school entrants to university rises

Number of state school entrants to university rises

New figures show 90 per cent of young university entrants in 2016/17 came from state schools, including an increase among Russell Group institutions.

New HESA figures show record proportion of university entrants from state schools, with nine in 10 young entrants to full-time first degrees in 2016/17 coming from a state school.

This is the highest level recorded.

The statistics, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), measure how providers are performing in boosting access to higher education from disadvantaged groups.

The key findings show that 90.0 per cent of young entrants (under 21) in 2016/17 came from state schools.

The data also reveals that 77.2 per cent of young entrants (under 21) to Russell Group institutions in England were from state schools, up from 72.9 per cent in 2010/11.

11.4 per cent of young entrants (under 21) were from low participation neighbourhoods (POLAR3), up from 10.0 per cent in 2010/11.

Education secretary Damian Hinds welcomed the figures, but highlighted that more needs to be done to boost participation across the board.

He said: “I am encouraged to see a record proportion of university entrants now coming from state schools and disadvantaged areas. Many universities are already doing brilliant work to ensure more young people go on to higher education, and I would encourage this best practice to be shared across the sector.

“Of course there is still more to do. That is why we have introduced major reforms through the Higher Education and Research Act, including the Transparency Duty which will require all universities to publish data broken down by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background, shining a light on institutions that need to do more to widen access.”

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