Response to OfS analysis showing more students from the most underrepresented communities at university

03 November 2020

In response to the OfS analysis that there was a 22 percent increase in the number of students from the most underrepresented communities placed at high-tariff universities this year, Dr. Hollie Chandler, Head of Policy (Higher Education) at the Russell Group, said:

“We are pleased to see a significant increase in the number of students from the most underrepresented areas taking up a place at higher-tariff universities this year. This reflects the hard work by Russell Group universities to accommodate as many students as possible on their preferred courses so that young people were not unfairly affected by the challenging circumstances this year. 

“However, it is not enough to just get disadvantaged students into university. Our members undertake a wide range of activity to ensure disadvantaged students can thrive in higher education, including transition support to help students adjust to life at university, one to one academic and pastoral support, and financial assistance. 

 “In addition, our members recognise the particular challenges faced by students starting university this year, and have moved key services online, including counselling, welfare advice, and specialist study skills so students can receive the support they need.  

“To build on the progress made this year, Government must consider a new national strategy to join up work by universities, schools, colleges, local authorities and others to address inequality across the education system.”

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