Commenting on UCAS’ End of Cycle 2016 report, Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“While it is good to see that the proportion of teenagers from the fifth of the population with the lowest entry rates to university has more than doubled in the past decade, the access gap remains stubborn and persistently wide. It is of particular concern that the access gap is widening on UCAS’s new multiple equality measure as the proportion of young people going on to university from the top fifth is increasing at a much faster rate than those from the bottom fifth.
“Among this group, the top fifth are ten times as likely to go to the more selective universities than those in the bottom fifth. There is also a widening gender gap, as girls pull further ahead. There is also a regional difference in participation, showing the importance of lifting standards outside London.
“Today’s figures tell us that we need renewed and concerted efforts from government, schools and universities to improve participation rates for less advantaged students. We need to see more access work – and better information for schools – if we are to see significant improvement in the numbers of less advantaged young people going to selective universities. The Sutton Trust is providing major support for each of 4,000 young people each year through university summer schools and other access programmes.”