UCAS figures show poorer students still far less likely to apply to university

UCAS have released new figures that paint a changing picture in university admissions – but poorer pupils in England are still far less likely to apply to university than their better off peers. Figures for poorer pupils are up, but the gap is still wide.

Other findings from the admission figures include:

  • White teenagers are less likely to apply than Asian or black pupils
  • 45% of Asian teenagers applied compared with just 31% of white teenagers
  • The proportion of black teenagers applying has rocketed from 24% to 39%
  • Highest application rates are for Chinese teenagers
  • Girls are more likely to apply than boys

The Ucas study compares the application rates of 18 year olds in England’s state schools this year with the 2006 cohort.

The rise in applications from poorer pupils (those eligible for free school meals) is good news – up from 11% in 2006 to 18% in 2014. However, with the rate of applications for their peers at 37% there has been little change in the gap between these two groups.

Schools, businesses, universities and the government must work together to identify the reasons behind this gap, and help poorer students achieve their potential.

Helen Robinson