Commenting on the Social Mobility Commission State of the Nation 2017 report, University Alliance Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell said:
“The Social Mobility Commission is right to call for a comprehensive social mobility strategy aligned to the Industrial Strategy. Universities, working with partners across the education system and beyond, have a central role to play – and a responsibility to do so.
“As the report recognises, Alliance universities are already playing a significant role in their communities working to raise attainment, promote outreach and encourage student volunteering – as well as taking steps to address the BME attainment gap and to make sure that students entering with a range of qualifications can succeed. But there is always more work to do, and we look forward to engaging closely with the Office for Students and Director for Fair Access and Participation to extend these activities.
“Social mobility for people who are already in work is just as important as for young people and this aspect is too often overlooked in debates on these issues. In recent years we have seen a dramatic fall in mature and part time learners and urgent action is required in order to address this”.
Notes to editors:
The Social Mobility Commission State of the Nation 2017 report cites projects being undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University, Coventry University and UWE Bristol on a range of issues including teacher recruitment and retention, raising school attainment, increasing the diversity of Degree Apprenticeship intakes and flexible degree provision to improve accessibility. The full report is available online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/662744/State_of_the_Nation_2017_-_Social_Mobility_in_Great_Britain.pdf
Last year University Alliance published Supporting thriving communities: the role of universities in reducing inequality: https://www.unialliance.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Supporting-thriving-communities-UA_WEB.pdf
Earlier this year University Alliance published proposals to address the decline in part-time and mature study in Lifelong learning: ladder and lifeline: https://www.unialliance.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/UA-Lifelong-learning-spotlight-paper-web.pdf