Students to vote on a motion to cap private school admissions at SU AMM meeting

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By Eve Bentley-Hussey, SU Correspondant

In 2020 the University ranked 113/116 for social inclusivity with 36 per cent of students having attended private school.

A motion to reduce admissions of private school students to 7 per cent will be proposed by a student and voted on at the next AMM meeting on 2 March.

For the year 2019-2020, over a third of students at the University of Bristol attended a private school previously. But the motion, proposed by second year History student James Fishwick, wants to reduce this to reflect the proportion of the national population.

The motion will be voted on by students at the SU's Annual Members' Meeting, which will be held online this year | Epigram / Siavash Minoukadeh

This motion has been put forward in response to criticism of the university for its low levels of social inclusivity, especially when admitting students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

The motion intends to promote social inclusivity and campaign for a limit and reduction on the percentage of students from private school backgrounds to make the student body more reflective of the wider United Kingdom.

If the motion is passed, this will include a series of actions such as:

  1. initiating meetings and working groups with various university staff, including the admissions teams, Widening Participation department, academic faculty and others;
  2. working work with groups such as the Social Mobility Commission, the Sutton Trust, the 93% Club National Foundation and other education policy groups;
  3. running a university-wide survey about social inclusion from the point of view of the students;
  4. adopting a public position of support on the motion and lobbying senior figures within the university to make their position known.

The motion has been seconded by Jason Palmer, the SU Equality, Liberation & Access officer.

The motion statement says the policy ‘would require the university to proactively reduce the private school population until in line with the national average of wider national population that goes to a private school (7%).’

The motion will be proposed and debated at the virtual Annual Members’ Meeting which any student can attend and vote in. If the motion is passed, the private school admissions cap will become SU policy for the next three years.

Featured image: Tom Taylor / Epigram


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