Universities are gateways to more fulfilling
lives. Their students develop knowledge, credentials, networks and skills for
successful careers, and nourish personal growth.
In recent years those gateways have begun to open up to more
people, from more diverse backgrounds, and it is very positive that
Universities UK members are working together to raise awareness of that. The
progress made so far is enriching academic communities, driving social mobility
and helping the economy.
Faster change for young people from low participation neighbourhoods,
who still have only a one in five likelihood of going to higher education, compared
to one in two for those from the highest participation neighbourhoods – and who
are less likely to complete their courses even if they do enrol.
change for white boys from the lowest income groups: those who live in the
lowest participation neighbourhoods and receive free school meals have only a
5.6 % entry rate.
Faster change for mature students: their numbers have halved
in the past seven years.
Faster change for Black and Asian students, and disabled
students, who are less
likely than others to get a good degree or a graduate-level job, even after
accounting for prior attainment.
And faster change for the thousands of students who experience
mental health challenges and need better support so that they can complete
their courses and get the degree they deserve.
Every university is different and some are making more
progress than others. But as we assess access
and participation plans over the coming weeks, we expect continuous
improvement for everyone.
That will mean different things for each university. And
it’s not just about who gets in, it’s also about making sure all students get
appropriate support to complete their course and go on to a graduate-level job
or further study. Each university must work to narrow the gaps in its own particular
We will support and promote the development of national
systems and communities of innovative practice. We will establish an Evidence
and Impact Exchange to support the commissioning, sharing and use of robust
evidence and effective approaches.
But we will hold each university accountable. All
universities can expect to meet robust challenge during the assessment of their
plans. As the access regulator, I expect Universities UK members to build on and
accelerate the success they are highlighting with #YesUniCan,
for the benefit of all students, from all backgrounds, who deserve to unlock
their potential by studying in England’s world class universities.
Note: this blog was edited on 2 May 2018, to clarify data on the entry rate of white boys from the lowest income groups to higher education.
We need to do much more to attract students from Asia, give them the chance to experience a UK university degree course or PHD and let indigenous students expand their understanding through interracting with those from diffrent cultures. All would benefit but first our Student Visa system must be ovrhauled!
We wish the success of this campaign - great move.