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Vince Cable comments on Office of Fair Access’s decisions on 2012-13 access agreements

“Progress over the past few years in securing fair access to the most selective universities has been inadequate. Only around 40 pupils out …

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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“Progress over the past few years in securing fair access to the most selective universities has been inadequate_._ Only around 40 pupils out of the 80,000 on free school meals currently make it to Oxbridge at the moment.

“The government therefore tasked OFFA with setting more demanding tests than in previous years. We are satisfied that universities and colleges are showing their determination to improve. Indeed, by 2015, we expect the sector’s investment in access to be more than £600m.

“We will be monitoring performance on fair access closely every year to ensure we see tangible progress in opening the doors of our universities to the most disadvantaged.”

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts went on to say:

“We told universities to be much more ambitious with their plans for attracting people from low income backgrounds in exchange for charging students more. This will result in a step change in social mobility with university investment in programmes such as summer schools, scholarships and fee waivers reaching more than £600 million annually by 2015.

“The majority of students will not be paying £9,000. No one should be put off going to university for financial reasons. No first time undergraduate will have to pay up front costs and there is a very generous package of financial support. Graduates will make lower monthly repayments than they do now.”

Notes to editors

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Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone

Fax

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Email NDS.BIS@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Name Emma Griffiths Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5982 Fax

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Email Emma.Griffiths@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Published 12 July 2011