Universities failing state school pupils

Almost a third of the UK’s universities are still admitting fewer pupils from state schools than expected, figures suggest.

The institutions, which include most of the elite universities, are not meeting centrally set “benchmarks” for recruiting state school teenagers, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

The agency said 30 per cent of UK universities, 47 in total, are not meeting their benchmark. This includes 14 out of 20 of the leading Russell Group universities, considered to be theUK’s best.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Just 59.3 per cent of young full-time first-degree undergraduates starting at Cambridge in 2009-10 were from state schools, despite the university having a benchmark of 70.4 per cent.

At Oxford, 54.3 per cent of entrants last year were from the state sector, despite a benchmark of 70.2 per cent.

Liverpool, Sheffield, Southampton, Cardiff, Glasgow and Queen’s University Belfast were the only Russell Group universities to exceed their state-school recruitment quotas.