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4 February 2010, 06:06 | Updated: 4 February 2010, 06:12
More students from low income families are studying in Suffolk.
New figures show the University's seen a 45% rise in the last 5 years, that's nearly twice as much as the national average.
The data from Action on Access, the national co-ordination team for widening participation, show that Suffolk is well above the national average increase for accepted applicants from deprived backgrounds. The findings also highlight a narrowing of the gap between accepted applicants from deprived backgrounds and those of wealthier backgrounds. These findings are supported by a recent national report from HEFCE, England’s university funding agency, which highlighted that England’s poorest youngsters are 30% more likely to go to university than five years ago.
Changes are likely to be due to a range of different factors, such as spending on pre- and post-16 education, the education maintenance allowance, changes to tuition fees as well as initiatives such as the Aimhigher programme.
University Campus Suffolk (UCS) welcomed its first cohort of students in 2007, with one of its priorities being to raise the region’s educational aspirations. UCS works in partnership with Aimhigher Suffolk and local schools and colleges to increase participation in higher education by under-represented groups, particularly young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Julian Illman, Aimhigher Suffolk manager said, “Whilst a number of partners have contributed to this significant increase, we at Aimhigher Suffolk are delighted that our work has helped widen participation in higher education. Young people, irrespective of their background should have equal right to consider the life changing and exciting experiences presented by studying at this level”. You can hear more from Julian on our news bulletins this morning.