Social mobility ‘unintended victim’ of tuition fees

By staff

Social mobility will be severely hit by the introduction of tuition fees, according to new analysis.

As a record number of students fight for university places ahead of the increase in fees next year, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) published new analysis of the recent higher education white paper highlighting tuition fees' effect on relative disadvantage.

The institute drew particular attention to plans to allow universities to recruit as many students with AAB grades at A-level as they like, a plan which it found would entrench social divisions in the higher education sector.

 “The expansion of places for AAB students will lead to an even higher number of students from privileged backgrounds at our most elite institutions," said University and College Union (UCU) general secretary Sally Hunt.

Liam Burns, National Union of Students (NUS) president said: "Ministers' claims that their proposals will put power in the hands of students have been shown to be spurious and it is increasingly clear that the course they are pursuing will actually restrict access to university for disadvantaged students, entrench existing social divides, and cost far more than expected.

"At precisely the time we are celebrating the successes of A-level students in their exams it is a deep irony that their prospects have been put at risk by ministers who have got their sums spectacularly wrong and failed to think through the devastating impact of their policies."