Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed the latest UCAS data showing that university application rates for 18 year olds remain at record levels.
The proportion of disadvantaged students applying for university is also at a record high, with 22.6 per cent of disadvantaged English 18 year olds having applied to university courses by the UCAS deadline in January.
This follows statistics released recently which showed that a record proportion of state school pupils are going both to university, and to highly selective universities. 77 per cent of young entrants to Russell Group institutions in England were from state schools, and 90 per cent of young entrants to university more broadly came from state schools.
In Crawley, 35 per cent of 18 year olds applied for university by January 2018, compared with 25 per cent in 2009.
“It’s encouraging that the work to ensure more young people have the opportunity to make the most of their talents is paying off.
“No-one’s opportunities in life should be determined by their background or circumstances. There’s still more to do, but with the proportion of disadvantaged 18 year olds applying to university at record levels, we’re making really important progress.
“In Crawley over the last nine years, the number of 18 year olds applying for university has increased by 40 per cent.
“To enable all young people to choose the route that is right for them, we’re additionally seeing investment in apprenticeships and technical qualifications, so all young people are able to get on in life.”
To ensure university courses offer good value for money, the Government has announced a major review of student financing, frozen the tuition fee cap and raised the repayment threshold to £25,000, saving graduates up to £360 per year from this April.
Nine in 10 young entrants to full-time first degrees in 2016-17 went to state school, which is the highest level recorded.