UNITED KINGDOM

Academics warn of 'social chasm' on campuses

A study has shown that undergraduates from poor families are forced to miss out on extra-curricular activities to take “mundane” term-time jobs amid a gulf in the quality of the university experience between rich and poor students, writes Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.

The study – led by researchers at Bristol University and the University of the West of England – found that wealthier students were “far more able to draw upon family resources and had access to influential social networks” to help get work experience or internships during their degrees. It also warned of a “social chasm” between students from private and state schools, which was “exacerbated” by the high cost of some university accommodation.

But the research found that the difficulties faced by poorer students at university helped develop a “resilience which proved valuable to their experience of studying and has prepared them for the world of work”. The conclusions follow the publication of a study by Alan Milburn, the government’s social mobility tsar, which called on Britain’s top universities to do more to boost “sluggish” levels of social mobility.
Full report on The Telegraph site