Top tier targets

January 21, 2011, 2:28 AM GMT+0

Half of British adults want universities to set targets for recruitment from state schools to increase the proportion of people from poorer backgrounds going into higher education, our poll has found. However, a significant percentage did not feel that lowering entrance requirements for state school applicants was a suitable way of achieving this goal.

  • 50% support giving universities targets for the number of state school students they recruit
  • 26% are against the idea

However, a significant majority opposed the lowering of entrance requirements for state school students.

  • 63% were against the idea of different entrance requirements for different students
  • Whereas just 19% were in favour of giving state school students lower entrance requirements than their privately schooled peers

Lib Dem deputy leader, Simon Hughes, recently told the Guardian newspaper that top tier universities should recruit over 90 percent of their students from state schools and that, in their current state, universities ‘failed miserably’ to reflect the makeup of society.

His comments came in response to figures from the same newspaper which revealed that, despite only 7.2 per cent of pupils in the UK attending private schools, students from independent schools make up a quarter of the numbers at the top universities, rising to 46.6% for Oxford University and 43% for Cambridge University.

See the survey details and full results