Sutton Trust report on 'commuter students'

27 February 2018

Responding to the Home and Away report from the Sutton Trust, Sarah Stevens, Head of Policy at the Russell Group, said: “Our universities work hard with their local schools to ensure that access to university is within reach of those from communities close to campuses. 


“There is no on-size-fits-all method of attracting potential students to study at their local university, but our universities reach hundreds of thousands of pupils across the country, through work with 8,000 schools. They use mentoring, summer schools and campus visits to inspire and equip young people to apply to university.

“Our members are making progress in widening access in their local community, with the number of disadvantaged and state school students progressing to Russell Group universities increasing steadily over time.”

Examples of Russell Group university schemes include:

  • The University of Bristol works to identify and attract those local students with potential to succeed at university through its Bristol Scholars scheme.  The scheme focuses on local schools and colleges, recognising the impact of educational and domestic disadvantage on students’ predicted grades, giving a tailored programme or of academic support during sixth form studies and an offer of a place at university for those that apply.  Of the 63 offers made in 2017, 79% were from state schools, 76% were the first in family to progress to higher education, and 40% were entitled to Free School Meals at school.
  • The University of Oxford has a thriving IntoUniversity (IU) learning centre based in one of the city’s most socio economically disadvantaged regions. Launched in 2014 IntoUniversity Oxford South East is a collaboration between the University of Oxford, Christ Church College and charities IntoUniversity and The Queen’s Trust.  The centre provides mentoring, academic support and aspiration-building programmes for 900 students. The team at the centre works closely with local schools and community organisations to support pupils aged seven and upwards with their homework and provide guidance and advice on university applications and subject choices for GCSE and A Level.

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