Commenting on the new OFFA/HEFCE report on university access agreements, Conor Ryan, Director of Research at the Sutton Trust, said today:
“The increased investment in access and outreach funding reported today is undoubtedly welcome. We particularly welcome an increased focus on working with young people to encourage them to apply to university, using programmes like summer schools and links with schools.
“There have been real improvements in participation in higher education overall as a result of those efforts. However, the access gap remains significant, particularly for Oxbridge and Russell Group universities, with those from the most advantaged fifth of communities over six times more likely to go to a leading university than the least advantaged two-fifths of neighbourhoods. It is vital that the extended outreach work helps to narrow that gap.”
NOTES TO EDITORS·
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.