Wednesday 22-12-2010 - 00:00
Responding to figures released today (Wednesday) by the Sutton Trust showing that less than 1% of students admitted to Oxford or Cambridge Universities had qualified for Free School Meals, the National Union of Students (NUS) said that the Government’s current plans would worsen this divide.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that the number of pupils on free school meals going to university is 'scandalous' but Universities Minister, David Willetts announced on Monday a cut of 10,000 university places from 2012, a decision that is likely to impact poorer students hardest.
Aaron Porter, NUS President, said:
“Nick Clegg was right when he said the social divide in university access was a scandal but he and the Government appear to have no plan to close that gap. All their plans so far will likely contribute to a widening of the gap. Higher tuition fees will deter poorer students, abolishing the EMA and AimHigher will reduce their opportunities and cutting places will leave access available only to those with the sharpest elbows and biggest wallets.”
The Sutton Trust report 'Responding to the new landscape for university access' is available on www.suttontrust.com