Commenting on the findings in the 2017 UCAS Undergraduate End of Cycle Report Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said:
“We welcome a small but significant narrowing of the gap between the most and least advantaged groups of 18 year-olds accessing our most selective universities. This is helped in part by the work of Sutton Trust summer schools. However, at 9.8 times, the gap remains wide. So we need to do more to widen opportunities for talented teenagers to access our best universities, and the careers that they lead to. This should include more use of contextual admissions to benefit less advantaged students. Contrary to what would be expected our research has shown that a fifth of more advantaged students receive lower offers.
“It is also welcome that there are continued improvements in the proportion of disadvantaged pupils entering higher education. However, among the most disadvantaged, the gap has not improved for three years. The numbers of working class boys going to university still remains very low. It is vital that the government restores maintenance grants and introduces means tested tuition fees, as well as greatly expanding alternative routes to higher education through higher and degree apprenticeships.”
Find our research exploring reform to student finance here.