This report highlights the disparities between groups from different backgrounds in applying to and being accepted into university.
London is an opportunity city – its dynamism attracts the best and brightest talent from across the country and around the world. Over recent decades, higher education has increasingly become the entry ticket to these opportunities. Four in ten London jobs today require degree-level skills and this figure continues to rise.
The response, in a process that has been mirrored across the UK and much of the world, has been a sharp rise in the number of Londoners obtaining degree level qualifications.
Higher education has shifted from being a minority pursuit to a mass expectation, yet the prevailing social inequality in London suggests that it is not accessible to all.
London’s Calling analyses data from 2010 UCAS applications to map the pattern of access to higher education in London today using data by residence and from 181 London schools. It also uses a new behavioural economics framework to understand the key drivers of young people’s decisions about applying for university.
The report highlights the disparities between groups from different backgrounds in likelihood both of applying to and being accepted into university. Despite this, in some schools and boroughs young people from poorer backgrounds are outperforming their peers.
In an increasingly skills-centric economy, it is vital that London expands its pool of highly skilled workers.
Government needs better to understand young people’s decisions in applying for university, so that London can improve access to higher education and ultimately provide the skilled workers that the city needs.