Degree still linked to class

19th May 2006 at 01:00
Class inequalities in Britain have changed little despite the enormous expansion in university education in the 1980s and 1990s, a conference at Edinburgh University has heard.

Between the mid-1980s and 2002, the proportion of young people entering higher education at the age of 18 rose from 11 per cent to 27 per cent but David Raffe, director of research in the school of education, said this had mostly benefited the middle classes.

Attainment and participation in higher education were substantially up and proportionately more young Scots gained qualifications and went on to university than in England and Wales.

Professor Raffe said: "Despite wider inequalities, Scottish working-class youngsters consistently outperformed their English peers. But inequalities within each Scottish cohort grew wider between the ages of 16 and 18."

The Scottish upper secondary system encouraged participation in university education "but the most advantaged social classes responded most".

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now