Sir Peter Lampl comments on Sutton Trust research on student mobility in the Herald.
A variety of factors, including financial and cultural barriers each play a part in decisions to stay at home or move away. This poses complex questions about the relationships between geography and social mobility. But at the root of the issue is the uneven spread of top class universities across Scotland.
Depending on where you were born, your access to the best universities can be severely limited without travelling significant distances.
Those from all backgrounds should be encouraged and helped to consider travelling across the country to the best university for their needs, but it is also important for those who wish to – or indeed need to – stay at home that there are excellent local options for everyone.
In the short term, universities need to do more, through outreach and opening up beyond open days to expand their horizons to attract young people from all backgrounds and geographical locations.
The most selective universities should give local working class students a grade break and universities with high numbers of ‘commuter’ students should also consider their needs more strongly.