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NUS: Higher education participation rates are a damning indictment of Government policy

In response to the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s publication of UK Performance Indicators in Higher Education today, NUS President Gemma Tumelty said:

"These figures show that, after the Government introduced top-up fees, participation rates in higher education went down across the board. In England, for example, the number of people entering higher education went down by over 15,000 from 2005/6 to 2006/7.

"The Government will want to pull the wool over our eyes by pointing to the miniscule percentage increase in entrants from lower socio-economic backgrounds. But if you look more closely at the actual figures, the number of poorer students entering higher education in England went down by 4,190.

"These figures are a damning indictment of Government policy. By introducing market forces into the higher education sector, they are pricing thousands of people out of entering university and fulfilling their potential."

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