Rural A-level students ‘much less likely’ to go to university

State school children from London and other cities in England are more likely to go on to university after A levels than those from more rural districts, new figures suggest.

June 20, 2013

The statistics, released by the Department for Education today, show that 56 per cent of London pupils went to university the year after taking an A level or equivalent “Level 3” qualification.

However, in south-west England the proportion of such children going to university in 2010-11 was just 40 per cent, in the South East outside London the figure was 43 per cent and in the east of England it was 47 per cent.

Regions with large urban areas also tended to have a higher proportion than the England-wide average of 48 per cent: in the North West 53 per cent of Level 3 pupils in 2009-10 went to university the following year and in the West Midlands the figure was 49 per cent.

The figures are also broken down by the proportion going on to study at Oxbridge,  Russell Group universities and the “top third” of institutions in terms of selectivity, calculated on mean Ucas entry score.

Although the proportions going to Oxbridge and the Russell Group in each region tend to be close to the England averages of 1 per cent and 8 per cent respectively, the figures in the “top third” category again vary.

In London, 17 per cent went on to the “top third” of universities while in the North East the figure was 11 per cent (although this region did have a high percentage going to university overall at 51 per cent).

Meanwhile, in Yorkshire and the Humber and the South West, 12 per cent went on to the most selective third of universities.

The figures are also published by local authority giving a detailed picture of the districts with the most children going on to university. Outer London boroughs have among the highest proportions with Redbridge having a figure of 66 per cent going on to study at university.

simon.baker@tsleducation.com

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Reader's comments (2)

Maybe when sufficiently robust, additionally make data available of the % students undertaking: i) Approved and professionally accredited level 6 and 7 Higher Apprenticeships, which include university participation, ii) Professionally accredited degree programmes.
Presumably as suggested above, increasing commercial sponsorship of HE fees and likely more students opting for work- and professions-related education (and gaining top marks), will require university league tables data to accommodate the associated weighted information, thereby perhaps modifying the conventional university ranking pattern at the margins, and appropriate THES reporting.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Globalisation

Times Higher Education World University Rankings data reveal the top 200 most outward-looking institutions

Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Tiffany Taylor on a thought-provoking view of the forces acting to ensure survival

Stressed businessman answering four telephones

Some surveys show faculty putting in at least 60 hours a week, but research casts doubt on whether this is a productive routine

Student asking question during class

University of Reading research finds link between undergraduate satisfaction and ethnicity of lecturers

Level of quality compass

Authors argue this means universities should spend less on senior academics and give promising younger scholars more of a chance