Education response

43207 words 173 pages
A progress report by the
Independent Reviewer on
Social Mobility and Child Poverty

October 2012

University Challenge: How Higher Education Can Advance Social Mobility A progress report by the Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty October 2012

University Challenge:
How Higher Education Can
Advance Social Mobility

Contents

Foreword and summary

1

Chapter 1

Introduction

11

Chapter 2

Access all areas

19

Chapter 3

Making the grade

27

Chapter 4

Getting ready – reaching out to potential applicants

33

Chapter 5

Getting in – university admissions

45

Chapter 6

Staying in – student retention

59

Chapter 7

Getting on – student
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A climate of fiscal constraint, a cap on student numbers and a big increase in tuition fees are significant new headwinds which universities now face in making further progress on widening participation and fair access. Clearly government policy is a major influence here – and I examine its role in the final chapter of this report – but universities themselves will need to redouble their efforts if a university place is to be genuinely open to all those with talent and potential. Indeed, my primary focus in this report is on what universities themselves can contribute to making Britain more socially mobile.

Both sides agree that access to university remains inequitable. They both share the goal of making access to university classless, so that those with potential, irrespective of background, get the places they deserve. The difference between them lies in how best to do so. Should the focus primarily be on schools, supported by university outreach activity? Or should university admissions also play a part? The answer in this report is that both approaches are needed if participation is to be wide and access is to be fair. It argues that every university should seek to do more to widen participation and

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