Nearly 40% of Bristol University students came from private school last year

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By Lucy Downer, Deputy News Editor

The University has come in the bottom 15 of UK institutions for its admission of state-school students.

According to new data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the proportion of British state school pupils going to university has fallen for the first time in eight years. State-educated British students now account for 89.8 per cent of entrants overall, a drop from 90 per cent in the 2016-17 academic year.

Only 65.9 per cent of students admitted to the University of Bristol in the 2017-18 academic year came from state-schools, falling below the university’s benchmark of 79.3 per cent.

The University of Bristol is amongst the lowest-performing 15 UK institutions, who each take less than 70 per cent of their first-year undergraduates from state-schools.

The fall in state school students came despite a rapid expansion of the higher education sector and an emphasis on widening participation and access programmes by universities at the encouragement of regulators.

Last year only 11.6 per cent of students came from 'low participation neighbourhoods', based on the sector’s measure of disadvantage, which is based on educational attainment in small areas. That rate is only slightly higher than the 10.9 per cent recorded in 2012, when tuition fees were first raised to £9,000.

The University of Oxford remains the university accepting the lowest proportion of state school pupils, with just 58 per cent starting in 2017-18, closely followed by the University of St Andrews, on 60 per cent, and the University of Durham and Imperial College, on 61 per cent. Cambridge University was next, with 63 per cent of its intake from state schools, with the universities of Bristol and Exeter on 66 per cent.

More than 100 higher education institutions had 90 per cent or more of their intake from state schools. Among members of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, Queen Mary University in London had the highest rate at 91 per cent.

Featured image: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde


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