Uneducating the Middle Class

Ministers have spent nearly £350 million trying to increase student numbers from poor backgrounds, but the money has had no effect on the middle-class domination of places.

So says the Sunday Telegraph.

So the Government is taking more action. If money doesn’t work, a firmer approach is required. There are, after all, a limited number of university places. The middle class will simply have to be denied places.

For several years, the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (which processes all university applications as the clearing system) has asked about parental employment and income for purposes of assessing fees. Now applications will also include details of any university degrees their parents have earned. The new form will ask applicants if they have ever been in local authority care. It will also request details of any courses that candidates have been on to prepare them for higher education, such as summer schools or taster courses.

All of this information will now be used for purposes of social engineering. This is not a hidden agenda. UCAS are open about it, even if they mischaracterise it. The chief executive of UCAS said, “It revolves around issues of widening participation in the sense of alerting institutions to people that are entirely new to higher education.” Does he not realise that everyone applying for a place on an undergraduate degree course is entirely new to higher education.

But with more accuracy, he said, “Universities have argued that if they are to be judged on how successful they are at targeting under-represented groups, they need detailed information about the family background of applicants before places are awarded.”

So the message is you need to try hard at GCSEs and A Levels, but you need to to try really hard if you are middle class, because some students are more equal than others.


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