4 October 2012

Million+ responds to latest stats which show increase in young participation in higher education

Latest statistics, published by HEFCE, show increase in young participation in higher education by 2 percentage points to 34.7% in the period 2005-6 and 2010-11

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of million+ said:

“We are pleased to see improvements in higher education participation rates among young people, and particularly to see the most significant improvements in areas where traditionally participation has been lowest. However, the data does not tell us about mature students, who form a significant part of the widening participation agenda.

“The data published is used to allocate funding towards widening participation and demonstrates that sustained efforts by teachers, collaborations between schools, colleges and universities willing to offer opportunities to a new generation of students and a strong commitment from central government, which is backed by funding, pays off.

“Nonetheless this is no time for complacency at a time when the overall numbers of people going to university is falling and changes in university admissions and fees are creating confusion and worries among potential students and parents. Widening participation across the university sector will only be achieved by injecting greater stability into the system, and communicating to the public the breadth and depth of what’s on offer from our universities.”


Notes to editors:

  1. Since the mid-2000s there have been substantial and sustained increases in the proportion of young people living in the most disadvantaged areas who entered university with increases of over 30 per cent between 2005 and 2010 and over 50 per cent since 1995. The proportion of young people from the most advantaged areas who entered higher education has also increased, by over 5 per cent over and over 15 per cent in the same periods.
  2. The participation rate of 18 and 19 years olds has increased most in London by almost 5 per cent, a proportional increase of 12 per cent, despite the capital already having one of the highest participation Other areas with large increases in young participation rates include the North East, the North West and the East of England, which had increases of around 2.5 percentage points
  3. For all the data see http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/newsarchive/2012/name,75684,en.html
  4. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk. For more information please contact Jean Candler on 020 7717 1655 or 07900 277819.