If you’re born into a poor family in Hackney, you’re 2 to 3 times more likely to go to university than a child from a poor family in the North of England. Equally, if you live in Richmond on Thames, you are 15 times more likely to get into Oxbridge than a student in Barnsley. This is the North-South inequality that continues to hold back bright students in deprived areas of the UK. And this is why Linacre Institute exists.
Each year nearly 2,000 sixth-form students from disadvantaged backgrounds with the required academic capabilities to apply to, and win places at, our leading universities do not reach those institutions.
Many of those students are in the ex-industrial parts of the north of England. What part of the country you live in is now a better predictor of whether you will reach a leading university than your social class or your parents’ income.
“You’re more likely to be able to tell a pathway from a postcode”, says Professor Danny Dorling of the University of Oxford.
There is a huge pool of unfulfilled talent and potential in the north of England. We are proud of the work we have done over the last seven years, but there is much more to do.
Linacre has had an amazing impact on the lives of over 300 students in the North of England.
Successful applications to leading universities (Sutton Trust 30) – 98%
Successful applications to Oxbridge – 44%
Our Oxbridge rate is twice the national average and comparable with leading public schools such as Westminster.
A UCAS STROBE report says Reach Higher students are twice as likely to go to UK top 10 university (judged by entrance standard) than kids who look like them socio-economically and in GCSE results.
The effect would actually be greater if our students were compared with other northern students, rather than the national standard.
We do all of this for a fraction of the resources spent on outreach by institutions such as Oxford University. It is estimated that Oxford University spend £108,000 on outreach for each student from a low-income family. We achieve the same result for just £1500.