Scottish universities' social mix ‘changed little’

Access to Scotland’s universities remains as socially unequal as it was in the mid-1990s, despite the scrapping of tuition fees and attempts to encourage more working-class students, a major study has found, writes Chris Marshall for The Scotsman.

Research by Edinburgh University found that the composition of students by social class had “changed little” across the UK, regardless of whether or not fees were charged. The analysis of university application figures between 1996 and 2010 showed that, while devolution had led to diverging policies on higher education, there had been a limited impact, with national differences in tuition fees failing to alter social inequalities.

David Raffe, professor of sociology of education at Edinburgh University, who led the study, said: “Our findings provide little comfort either for the market-led philosophy, which is driving higher education in England, or for the claim that free tuition in Scotland promotes wider access for working-class students.”
Full report on the http://Scotsman.com site