Recent figures show that there are a rising number of poorer students dropping out of UK universities.

The Finding

According to recent figures, there is a rising number of students from financially homes that are dropping out of UK universities before graduating. The study shows that the drop out rate among full-time students of such socio-economic status had gone up from 8.2 to 8.8 percent. In contrast the same statistic for those without a financial disadvantage was less than 5 percent for the same year.

According to The report: “The gap between the non-continuation rates of the most advantaged and most disadvantaged students has widened in the past year. While more disadvantaged young people are in higher education than ever before, the numbers of those students leaving before completing their studies has risen for the second year in a row.”

It also says: “The significance of this for students is huge.

“Higher education can be a transformational experience that opens doors to rewarding careers and social mobility, but this is only the case if students achieve successful outcomes.”

Differences Between Races?

The report continues to say that this statistic largely increases for the black community in the country. “For black students who complete their degree, the level of attainment is also markedly different: while 76% of white students graduated with a ‘good degree’ (first or 2:1), only 52% of black students did the same,” it says.

“The steep decline in part-time numbers has had severely negative implications for mature numbers, as 93% of part-time learners are mature. The fall in part-time entrants for a seventh consecutive year has meant an overall decline of 58% since 2010-11. Immediate action is required in this area.”

Comments On the Findings

Jo Johnson, the Universities Minister said that there was “still more work to do to ensure no student is missing out”.

“The Higher Education and Research Act will build on this progress by requiring providers, including the most selective institutions, to publish application, dropout and attainment data broken down by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background, holding them to account for their performance and helping students to make informed choices about where they go to study.”

Russell Group’s head of policy, Sarah Stevens also said that its universities are “investing significantly in widening access, nearly doubling funding over the last five years for scholarships, fee waivers, bursaries and outreach activities aimed at the most disadvantaged”.

“The Social Mobility Commission’s report this week made it clear that the UK still has a long way to go to ensure that people from all walks of life have the same opportunities to succeed,” she said.

“Our members work to ensure more young people apply to leading universities, and more students from disadvantaged backgrounds graduate with qualifications and skills that help them into the workforce.”


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