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Nine out of 10 new university students state-educated, figures show

Official data shows that the proportion of state-educated students varies by university.

Nine out of 10 new UK university students in 2016/17 were educated at state schools, figures show.

But official data shows that the proportion of state-educated students differs significantly by university.

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(PA Graphics)

At some institutions, all UK students who started full-time undergraduate courses in the autumn of 2016 were from state schools, whilst at others, around half of students were from the state sector.

The data, which covers full-time UK undergraduates, also shows that just over one in 10 (11%) came from disadvantaged neighbourhoods – those areas that traditionally see fewer people going on to higher education.

  • 2016/17 - 90%
  • 2015/16 - 89.9%
  • 1998/99 - 85%

Overall, the proportion of students from state schools has risen over the last two decades to 90% in 2016/17.

The previous year, 2015/16, the figure was 89.9%, and in 1998/99, it was 85%, according to figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).

The latest data shows that in 2016/17, there were four universities where all new UK students starting their first, full-time degree were state educated.

One was in Wales, Glyndwr University, and the other three in Northern Ireland – St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Stranmillis University College, Belfast and the University of Ulster.

In England, the University of Bolton had the highest proportion of state-educated new students at 99.6%.

At the other end of the scale, the Royal Academy of Music – a small specialist college, had the smallest proportion of state-educated students at 44.1%.

Of the larger universities, Oxford had the smallest proportion of state school entrants at 57.7%, followed by Cambridge at 62.6%.

Both have seen an increase in the proportion of state-educated students, with Oxford up from 55.7% in 2015/16 and Cambridge up from 61.9%.

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