Commenting on the UCAS research on disadvantaged pupils applying to university, Dr Lee Elliot Major, Director of Policy and Development at the Sutton Trust said today:

“It is good that the numbers of disadvantaged students applying to university are growing, and the gap with other students has narrowed a little. But there is still a significant gap, particularly pronounced with boys, and other data show the gap to be much wider at our most prestigious universities in both applications and entry.

“It is vital that schools continue to improve exam performance for disadvantaged pupils and that outreach work and access programmes, including summer schools, continue to engage with those from less privileged backgrounds from an early stage.”


The Sutton Trust is a foundation set up in 1997, dedicated to improving social mobility through education. It has published over 140 research studies and funded and evaluated programmes that have helped hundreds of thousands of young people of all ages, from early years through to access to the professions.

The Sutton Trust’s week long UK summer schools are designed to give bright students from non-privileged homes a taste of life at a leading university.  The programme reaches over 1,900 sixth form students across ten leading universities – Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Imperial, King’s College London, Nottingham, the Royal Veterinary College, St Andrews and UCL. Independent evaluation has shown that young people have a significantly higher chance of going to a leading university if they attend one of the summer schools, with over three quarters (76%) going on to a leading university (either a member of the Russell or 1994 Groups) compared to just over half (55%) of students with similar academic and social profiles who did not apply to the scheme.

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