Pupil 55 times less likely to attend Oxbridge

    December 23rd 2010, 4:42am - Posted by Administrator

  • There is no denying in that the rising education fees will have the biggest impact on the pupils already on free school meals. According to an article published on BBC news, the Sun Trust said that with the new fees structure, pupils on free school meals are now 55 times less likely to study at Cambridge and Oxford.

    The charity expressed its concern that the increased fees structure and cut in education support program would make it almost impossible for poor students to go to England's top universities. People studying in private schools have 22 times higher chances to join top universities in UK than those who have been on free school meals as the charity revealed. The Trust said that top universities like London School of Economics and Kings College London had a higher proportion of students who were eligible for free school meals.

    The year 2012 will allow universities to charge up to £9000 tuition fees per year. Universities will receive their fees up-front by the government which will have students repay that amount once they start earning. There has been a great confusion about the modalities of new education policy and not much has been disclosed to public to date. However, the government has shared some details of the new plan and that includes the government being responsible to pay for the first year’s tuition fee for the students eligibile for free school meals. The university that plans to charge students over £6,000 a year will be required to fund the student’s second year. However, the Sutton Trust is concerned with the new fee structure since it believes that the top universities of the country have a very low number of poor students. The trust called government’s attention to the least-funded universities that entertain most financially wretched students and will be hit hard under the new tuition fee policy.

    The trust revealed the figures showing prodigious gap between the most privileged and the all other classes of the society. It said that the new policy will badly impair the ability of students from low income and middle income to enter university and colleges. The report on the matter presented by the trust also expressed its concerns over government’s decision to scrap AimHigher, a government body that organizes programs to inspire students from underprivileged backgrounds to take higher education. The trust president said that all the reforms planned and announced by the government on education stand as a huge barrier for poor students to access higher education.

    The Russell Group of research-intensive universities responded to the Sutton Trust’s apprehensions and said universities have invested millions of pounds in scholarships and bursaries and have taken many initiatives intended to help the least advantaged students. The group further added that universities have and will continue to take every possible measure to ensure students find most chances to win a place in universities.

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