Give students from all backgrounds chance to prosper

23rd May 2008 at 01:00
We are concerned by the Sutton Trust's findings in its report, Primed for Success, that many pupils, particularly those from lower social backgrounds, do not receive adequate information at school about higher education
We are concerned by the Sutton Trust's findings in its report, Primed for Success, that many pupils, particularly those from lower social backgrounds, do not receive adequate information at school about higher education.

We are alarmed by increasing evidence that some teachers may not be encouraging students to consider Russell Group universities, such as Glasgow and Edinburgh.

It is vital that pupils are given accurate information and guidance when making choices which will affect their life chances, particularly those from families who haven't been to university. The report found young people from poorer backgrounds were less likely to recognise differences between universities than their better-off peers. It points out that candidates should be told they will enjoy higher salaries if they graduate from "prestigious universities". Going to a Russell Group university gives graduates a salary "top up" of 6-10 per cent, depending on the course, and about pound;3,000 a year more for entry-level graduate jobs.

Russell Group universities are making conconcerted efforts to ensure pupils receive better information and guidance. In addition to mentoring schemes and summer schools, we intend to hold conferences to inform teachers about applying to our universities.

It is in all our interests to ensure we give all candidates the chance to flourish and attend the best university for them.

Wendy Pitt, director general of the Russell Group.

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