28 Aug 2014
In its new research the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission analysed in detail the backgrounds of more than 4,000 people running Britain. The findings show a nation where the small elites educated at independent schools and Oxbridge are dramatically overrepresented across public life.
Professor Michael Gunn, Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Chair of million+ said:
“It is disappointing that the study highlights such stark inequality of roles held at the top particularly given work on the agendas for social mobility and widening participation.
“Modern universities have a strong and solid track record of social mobility and access, presenting pathways to higher education for all and not just the upper echelons of society. The emerging success stories of graduates from modern universities imply there is still the prospect of levelling the playing field and lessening the dominance of any ‘elite’. There is a huge societal issue at hand that must be addressed if the best and brightest people for roles are being shut out on the basis of background and not merit.
“These findings indicate the need more than ever for the protection of student opportunity funding which has enabled universities to adequately support students from disadvantaged backgrounds when entering higher education: to continue cutting funding exacerbates the inequality and further disadvantages those from different backgrounds.
“It’s time for politicians, academic institutions and employers to recognise there’s more work to be done to change the fabric of Britain if we want to do better.”
Notes to Editors
1. For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Rochelle Owusu- Antwi, Press and Communications officer: firstname.lastname@example.org | 020 7717 1658
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at www.millionplus.ac.uk
3. The full Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission report 'Elitist Britain?' can be found here