Successful pupils in parts of East less likely to go to uni

Published: 17 December 2015 at 17:36


Anglia Ruskin uses new data to close gap between GCSE success and progress to higher education

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Parts of the East of England are some of the areas in the country seeing the most significant gap between expectations and university participation.

New data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has ranked electoral wards in England according to the difference between the number of young people who would be expected to go on to higher education, according to their GCSE results, and those that actually do.

Wards in England have been divided into 10 groups, or deciles. Large swathes of south Essex, parts of Norwich and several areas in Peterborough are in the lowest decile, with Wickford North ward seeing a 10.2% gap between the number of young people who may have been expected to go on to higher education and the number who actually did, ranking it as the 21st lowest out of almost 8,000 wards in England.

Anglia Ruskin University’s outreach team is using the data to ensure they are working in the right areas of the East of England to help people better understand the opportunities available. 

Marc Rothera, Senior Outreach Officer at Anglia Ruskin University, said: 

"This data suggests that there are some areas of our region where people are not fully informed about the education choices available to them. 

"Whilst we recognise university isn’t for everyone, and there are other opportunities out there, we will be using this new data to help guide our outreach activity and ensure young people are aware of the benefits of further study.

"Equally, plenty of people are now deciding to go to university later in life, perhaps to get a promotion, change career or to increase their life experience. We’re keen to ensure everyone, regardless of age or background, is aware of the benefits of higher education, even if it’s not something they’ve considered before. It is never too late to learn."

Anglia Ruskin’s partner Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Collaborative Outreach Network (CPCO) is also hosting a series of events in January across the East of England for people who didn’t attend university after leaving school, but may be interested in furthering their education as mature students. For more information, visit