UK: 'Pay universities to admit poor students'

Universities could be paid to take in more students from poor backgrounds under a controversial £7 billion (US$11.2 billion) Coalition plan to improve social mobility, write Graeme Paton and James Kirkup for The Telegraph.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was expected last week to announce the creation of a 'fairness premium' designed to give deprived children access to the best education from birth to adulthood. The plans are likely to prompt accusations of 'social engineering', particularly among private school leaders concerned that middle-class pupils face being overlooked in the race for places at top universities.

The move will also be seen as an attempt to divert attention from a hugely damaging Liberal Democrat split over student tuition fees. Earlier this week, Business Secretary Vince Cable provoked outrage among Lib Dem backbenchers by endorsing a contentious review of higher education that recommended a sharp rise in the cost of a degree.
Full report on The Telegraph site