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Background Information on Section 1. David Eastwood’s Twin Drivers: Finance and Politics  As early as the 1970s, public expenditure pressures combined.

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Presentation on theme: "Background Information on Section 1. David Eastwood’s Twin Drivers: Finance and Politics  As early as the 1970s, public expenditure pressures combined."— Presentation transcript:

1 Background Information on Section 1

2 David Eastwood’s Twin Drivers: Finance and Politics  As early as the 1970s, public expenditure pressures combined with the expansion of numbers in Higher Education to make the systems of student support unsustainable.  Finance: First, students were asked to contribute much more towards the cost of their maintenance; next, they were asked to meet at least some of the costs of their tuition.  Politics: Meanwhile the overall political tendency has been to focus less on sustaining the quality of the system than on issues such as access and participation, i.e not enough money and too much politics.

3 Dearing Report, 1997  Concludes that students will have to pay towards the cost of university.  Recommends funding priority for institutions committed to widening participation. Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998  Annual tuition fee in England of £1k.

4 Gordon Brown and Laura Spence, 2000 “It is an absolute scandal that Laura finds an old establishment interview system denying her access to the first university of her choice, though she was worthy of a scholarship to Harvard.” “I say it is time to end the old Britain where what mattered was the privilege you were born to not the potential you were born with. Remove the old barriers, open up our universities and let everyone move ahead.” Announcement of Top-Up Fees, 2003  Charles Clarke announces plans for top-up fees.  Unveils the Office for Fair Access (Offa), intended to widen access to university.

5 Bristol “Boycott”, 2003 Some Bristol departments decide to discriminate against independent school candidates This discrimination, identified by the HMC Survey, is defended by individual academics, whilst being denied by central authorities HMC and GSA advise schools to exercise caution. The effect on applications in SIV subjects makes the initiative impossible to sustain Rebellion on Top Up Fees, 2004  In New Labour’s biggest backbench rebellion, 72 Labour MPs vote against the government  Government majority of 5 for implementation of £3,000 fees  Welcomed by university leaders, but angers student unions  The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats say they will scrap tuition fees

6 The Schwartz Report, 2004 Recommends five principles:  Transparency  Fair selection based on achievement and potential (n.b. “applicants should be assessed as individuals: it is not appropriate to treat one applicant automatically more or less favourably by virtue of his or her background, school or college”)  Reliable and valid assessment measures (e.g. aptitude tests, such as BMAT, UKCAT, LNAT)  Minimise barriers for applicants  Develop professionalism in admissions

7 The Durham Modifier, 2009  Individual departments silently introduce ‘modifiers’, differential offers based on DCSF tables of school achievement  As at Bristol, key elements are institutional denial, isolated confessions, a flawed database and subsequent requests for rapprochement The Browne Review, 2009 To be published after the General Election, and then debated

8 HMC Survey Dipstick approach, selecting a few key subjects at a few key universities Independent Schools Council Survey, since  Gathers statistics from all independent schools  Has consistently, like the HMC survey, allayed concerns about discrimination.  In 2010, showed: o The offer rate, defined as the percentage of applications receiving an offer, was 69.5% across all courses o The percentage of applicants who received at least 1 offer was 96.7%. o The average number of offers per applicant was 3.3.

9 HMC Survey by Professor William Richardson, 2009  Uses HESA not ISC data.  Demonstrates that in all years for which records were available ( ): o independent school entrants to top 30 UK universities maintained their relative position o among top 10 universities, independent school entrants consolidated and enhanced their position o in the leading 30 universities there was particular reliance on independent schools in sustaining undergraduate study in SIV subjects o in the 10 highest ranked universities this became more marked, with 40% of all SIV subject places awarded to independent school applicants o explained by the high achievements of independent school students in public exams, and their interest in SIV subjects, in which the leading universities dominate.

10 A level statistics, 2010

11 Males and Females year olds Percentage achieving grade A*ABCDE Other A* to E Total Entries Biological Sciences Chemi stry Physics Other Science , , , 900 1, 426 Example for science subjects: Maintained schools

12 8, 816 8, 058 6, Males and Females year olds Percentage achieving grade A*ABCDE Other A* - E Total Entries Biological Sciences Chemi stry Physic s Other Science Independent schools


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