London schools and colleges are driving social mobility, study shows

  • By jourdanwongmuhammad

For the first time the number of London students in higher education whose parents did not go to university, 28,357, has overtaken those whose parents did go to university, 27,633 – research commissioned by London Councils can reveal. 
In its fifth year, the Higher Education Journey of Young London Residents report, produced by London Councils, Newham Council and the University of East London, focuses on the impact of higher education on social mobility. 
The report maps the course young London residents aged 18-24 take after they complete formal education, and this year it shows that young Londoners progressing to university are from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds – 40 per cent of entrants are from some of the most deprived postcodes in England. 
There has also been a 14 per cent increase in participation among BAME students on average since last year’s figures. However the gender gap among university entrants in 2015/16 has continued to grow; with 45.8 per cent male and 54.1 per cent female in London. In 2014/15, 46.7 per cent of university entrants were male and 53.3 per cent female.
Higher education participation in London rose to its highest ever level in 2015/16, surpassing the previous peak in 2009/10, which was before the introduction of the first tuition fees increase. This pattern of increased participation is also reflected at borough level across the capital.

Cllr Peter John, London Councils executive member for business and skills, said:

“It is exciting to see that there are now more London students pursuing higher education than ever before, and that opportunities at this level are beginning to spread to all areas of our society. 

“This demonstrates London boroughs’ continued work to provide all young Londoners with a strong educational foundation that gives them options for how best to use their talents. It is only right that the rich diversity our capital is now being reflected in universities across the country and indeed the world.

“Our report sends a clear message that London is home to an increasing number of aspirational and talented young people who are ready for higher level jobs in the capital. However the rising gender gap is cause for concern and government must ensure that schools and colleges are adequately funded to support all their students.” 



Notes to Editors:

The Higher Education Journey of Young London Residents  report was commissioned by London Councils and conducted by Professor John Storan and Gary Tindell BSc, MBPsS from University of East London; and Sheila Weeden MBA MEd from London Borough of Newham.

View  the report here.

Further breakdown of the figures are available upon request.