The huge increase in young people from less well off backgrounds going to university shows Labour’s drive to extend opportunity is working.
There’s been a 27 percent increase in students from disadvantaged areas going to university since 2005 alone. The long term trend of more girls than boys doing degrees has also started to narrow.
Steve Smith, Exeter University Vice Chancellor and head of Universities UK described this as an “unalloyed success” and credited the extra investment in higher education and improved grant and bursary packages for less well off students. Increased investment and improved performance in the state school sector has also helped – giving more young people the confidence and necessary qualifications to get to university. Given the importance of education and, particularly, university education for social mobility, these results help Labour refute the charge that we haven’t worked hard to address inequality.