Admissions officers treat vocational school qualifications on a par with academic A levels when deciding who to admit, according to new research by the Higher Education Policy Institute.
It suggests that those taking vocational qualifications at Level 3 are, if anything, overrepresented in higher education when their achievements at GCSE are taken into account.
Co-author Bahram Bekhradnia said: "There is no problem with parity of esteem, and indeed the far bigger problem is those with A levels who don't go to university."
The report Vocational and Academic Routes into Higher Education - Is There an Issue of Parity of Esteem? is available from www.hepi.ac.uk