Social mobility briefing

29 July 2019

Russell Group universities are working hard to ensure all students have equal opportunities to access the benefits of higher education.

All students deserve to have the opportunity to realise their potential, regardless of their background. We believe passionately in the transformative power of higher education; a commitment to improving social mobility and social justice is deeply rooted in all our universities.

Russell Group universities are making steady progress in widening access to their institutions, with the number of disadvantaged and under-represented students at our universities increasing over time.


Activities include:

• engaging in an enormous range of activities designed to encourage successful applications from students from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds: from mentoring, summer schools and campus visits, to sponsoring schools and providing CPD for teachers.

• working closely with schools and colleges: our universities make a positive impact with thousands of schools across the UK every year, reaching hundreds of thousands of students.

• closing gaps in continuation, attainment and progression by providing academic, pastoral and financial support for disadvantaged students to ease their transition to university, help them succeed in their studies and progress to work or further study.

• evaluating the success of their activities to build a strong evidence base and design interventions which will be highly effective, for example, in supporting specific groups of students.

Progress in widening access and supporting student success needs to continue and the rate of change needs to improve. The root causes of under-representation are complex, and ambitious, long-term efforts are needed across a range of agencies to address these issues effectively – with universities playing a key role alongside schools, employers, charities, local authorities and Government.

Social mobility briefing

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