Help to aim high
I was saddened, but not surprised, to read your article about how so few people from the least advantaged backgrounds are going to university (25 July).
Universities are working hard to encourage students from all backgrounds to apply for places, but progress is unfortunately still slow.
With all the investment and best will in the world, talented students who haven’t been encouraged to aim high will not apply for places.
The National Admissions Test for Law was established eight years ago to test a student’s natural raw ability when applying to study law at university. It provides invaluable information to universities seeking to find the talented students from less privileged backgrounds and is now seen as an essential admissions tool by the University of Glasgow and seven of the UK’s other leading higher education institutions.
Despite working together to achieve best practice and investing in ways to widen participation, universities can only choose from the applications they receive, which at present are overwhelmingly from students with more advantaged backgrounds.
Recent research has shown that fewer than half of state school teachers encourage students to apply for top universities, which explains why many talented students are failing to apply for university places, despite the existence of bursaries and support.
The process of raising the expectations of pupils from less privileged backgrounds cannot start when they start thinking about filling in their Ucas form.
Young people from all backgrounds must be given encouragement throughout their education to aim high, only then will universities be able to level the higher education playing field.
National Admissions Test For Law
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