DEBATE: Should universities be forced to interview disadvantaged students with poorer grades?

Following on from Alan Milburn’s report on the inequalities evident in the access to higher education The Youth Agenda asks, ‘Is the government’s latest suggestion of forcing universities to offer poorer students automatic interviews and offers at lower grades the right path to follow?’

On the one hand the tactic could mean access to higher education for many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not be able to go otherwise.  These young people may well be the first from their families to go to university.  They are also likely to have lower grades due to a lower level of support or opportunity rather than intellectual ability.

On the other hand the move could undermine the educational achievements of those young people who have worked hard to achieve the higher grades to get into university.

Ultimately, if such a policy were to be implemented, the test of it’s success or failure would be it’s acceptance by business.  If the value of a degree in the UK was undermined then either businesses would move abroad or foreign workers with the necessary abilities will be imported in.  If hoardes of hidden gems are unearthed by the move though, then entrepreneurialism and innovation in the country could take off.

In the mean time, have your say with The Youth Agenda’s latest poll:

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Related articles: 

Social Mobility: Universities need to do more says Alan Milburn – BBC
The Open University welcomes Alan Milburn’s report on social mobility – The Open University
The Social Mobility Foundation welcomes Alan Milburn’s report on social mobility – The Social Mobility Foundation
David Willetts comments on Alan Milburn’s report on social mobility – BIS
Fair access to professional careers – Alan Milburn’s Full Report

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One Response to DEBATE: Should universities be forced to interview disadvantaged students with poorer grades?

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