Nine in 10 young entrants to full-time first degrees in 2016/17 went to state school, the highest level recorded, according to new statistics out today (1 February).
The statistics, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), measure how providers are performing in boosting access to higher education from disadvantaged groups.
The key findings include:
90.0 per cent of young entrants (under 21) in 2016/17 came from state schools, the highest level recorded.
77.2 per cent of young entrants (under 21) to Russell Group institutions in England were from state schools, up from 72.9% in 2010/11.
11.4 per cent of young entrants (under 21) were from low participation neighbourhoods (POLAR3), up from 10.0% in 2010/11.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds welcomed the figures, but highlighted that more needs to be done to boost participation across the board. He said:
I am encouraged to see a record proportion of university entrants now coming from state schools and disadvantaged areas. Many universities are already doing brilliant work to ensure more young people go on to higher education, and I would encourage this best practice to be shared across the sector.
Of course there is still more to do. That is why we have introduced major reforms through the Higher Education and Research Act, including the Transparency Duty which will require all universities to publish data broken down by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background, shining a light on institutions that need to do more to widen access.