https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/02/education-in-the-media-friday-2-february-2018/

Education in the media: Friday 2 February 2018

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Today’s education in the media blog looks at new figures on widening participation in higher education.

University participation

Yesterday, Thursday 1 February, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) published figures on the number of people from underrepresented groups participating in higher education. The publication of the HESA figures was covered by the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Sun and Metro.

The statistics measure how providers are performing in boosting access to higher education from disadvantaged groups. The figures show that 90 per cent of young university entrants in 2016/17 came from state schools, the highest level recorded. They also show that 77 per cent of young university entrants to Russell Group institutions in England were from state schools.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

I am encouraged to see a record proportion of university entrants now coming from state schools and disadvantaged areas. Many universities are already doing brilliant work to ensure more young people go on to higher education, and I would encourage this best practice to be shared across the sector.

Of course there is still more to do. That is why we have introduced major reforms through the Higher Education and Research Act, including the Transparency Duty which will require all universities to publish data broken down by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background, shining a light on institutions that need to do more to widen access.

See the statistics on widening participation of underrepresented groups here.