15 March 2012

DfE university scheme is 'tokenism'

The university think-tank million+ has described the ‘Dux’ scheme launched today by the Department for Education as ‘tokenism’. The scheme will allow schools to select one Year 9 pupil and one teacher to visit a Russell Group university. Schools will be able to reclaim travel expenses and the costs of supply cover from the Department. There has been no consultation about this scheme other than with a few universities and the cost to the public purse has not been revealed.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-million+, said: “It is extraordinary that Ministers in the Department for Education have decided to provide public funds to pay for the travel expenses of a small number pupils and supply cover for teachers, to visit a very small number of universities which attract high levels of endowment funds and which are supposed to be funding their own outreach activities. The same Ministers abolished the Educational Maintenance Allowance which helped large numbers of pupils from lower income families continue their studies and progress to university.

“This scheme is pure tokenism and suggests that Education Ministers have no real understanding of the role of all universities in supporting opportunities and increasing aspirations.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Full details of the ‘Dux’ scheme can be found here.