Russell Group response to Sutton Trust report on measuring disadvantage

14 May 2021

In response to the Sutton Trust report that found commonly used markers of disadvantage were not effective at identifying low-income students, a Russell Group spokesperson said:

“This research by the Sutton Trust adds to a body of evidence demonstrating why Government’s continued use of POLAR as the primary measure to identify under-represented students is flawed.

“To ensure disadvantaged young people do not miss out on the benefits of university, the OfS should give universities the flexibility to set targets using appropriate measures for their local circumstances. Universities should also urgently be provided with access to better contextual information such as free school meals eligibility data so they can identify, target and support prospective applicants from under-represented backgrounds.”

The Russell Group action plan to transform opportunities for disadvantaged and under-represented students, Pathways for Potential: How universities, regulators and Government can tackle educational inequality, can be found here.

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