Social Mobility Action Plan

14 December 2017

Commenting on the publication of the Government’s new Social Mobility Action Plan, Russell Group Head of Policy, Sarah Stevens, said:

“The Secretary of State is right to place education at the heart of her ambitions for unlocking social mobility. A place at university is a passport for many people from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds to make the most of their talents, enabling them to progress to a rewarding career and enhancing their life chances.

“That is why Russell Group universities are investing heavily in providing targeted outreach activities working with schools to raise aspirations and encourage more children from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education. In England alone, they will invest £254 million in scholarships, fee waivers, bursaries and outreach activities in 2017/18. Additional investments will also be made across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“We agree with the Government that our efforts to widen participation need to be particularly focused on those areas of the country that traditionally send the fewest young people to university. Our members have created Advancing Access, a series of free online resources that recognise the vital role that teachers play in supporting students, especially those from under-represented groups, to progress to university. The resources have been developed in partnership with teachers in schools with low progression to university.

“The Russell Group’s Informed Choices guide is also providing invaluable advice and information to students about their post-16 subject choices to give themselves the best possible chance of gaining a place on the right course for them.

“Russell Group universities have been using contextualised data for many years as part of their wider commitment to ensuring students with the potential and determination to succeed at a leading university are given the best chance to do so. All of our members now publish contextualised admissions statements on their websites and this information has been brought together as part of the Advancing Access resource pack.”

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