Libby Hackett discussed cuts to widening participation funding in the Huffington Post.
‘Reports that some universities are lobbying for cuts to government grants that help disadvantaged undergraduates stay on and succeed at university are deeply worrying. At a time when youth unemployment in the UK has reached nearly 1.4million (18.9% of the youth population) and more jobs than ever now require a higher education qualification, it is inconceivable that a government that has championed social mobility would remove critical funding to support students from poorer backgrounds.
‘Government has worked hard to ensure higher fees have not deterred large numbers of students from applying to university. But what is the point of getting them through the door without an equal commitment to supporting the work that helps these same students to succeed and get a good job? Even in terms of economic efficiency this makes no sense; students that drop out would be much less likely to repay their loan.
‘There is a lot of talk about making access to university fair for all. Of course, this is essential for economic efficiency and social justice. But increasingly evidence shows that simply getting into university does not ensure graduate success: the ‘best’ graduate jobs remain closely linked to the socio-economic and education status of ones parents’ and skewed according to ethnicity, gender and type of schooling.’