East of England is a ‘cold spot’ for going to uni

Published: 27 August 2015 at 15:37

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Government data reveals participation rate in some areas is as low as 5%

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Parts of the East of England had amongst the lowest proportion of young people going on to university in the country, according to the most recent data produced by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England).

According to the figures, just 5% of teenagers from the Nelson census ward in Great Yarmouth went on to attend university. Several areas in Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are also in the lowest participation quintile.

The data, which focuses on the 2005/06 and 2010/11 academic years, shows patterns of low university take-up in traditionally rural areas of East Anglia, as well as low-income areas.

The data is now being used by Anglia Ruskin University, which has steadily increased its outreach activity to ensure young people from the most deprived areas in the East have access to high quality information about higher education, at a time when the Government has reduced its funding for careers advice services.

Marc Rothera, Outreach and Recruitment manager at Anglia Ruskin, said: "It is vital that young people realise that university is for everyone, it shouldn't be a postcode lottery.

"There are deep-seated socio-economic reasons why some areas have lower participation than others and we're committed to challenging the fact that too many young people in rural or low income areas of our region do not even consider higher education as an option.

"It is important that teenagers seek advice from as many sources as possible, including schools, friends and higher education providers such as Anglia Ruskin, because we're well placed to help them to find out more.

"Anglia Ruskin provides outreach services such as campus visits, taster days and talks and workshops which complement schools' careers advice provision and ensures young people have access to good quality general information about university and university life.

"Whether they choose to carry on their studies here at Anglia Ruskin or elsewhere, it is important that everyone with the potential to succeed at university has all the information they need to make good decisions about higher education."

The full data for the entire UK can be found here.