University Loans Denied If No GCSE Maths and English

The university minister Michelle Donelan’s proposal to stop loans to students without GCSE maths and English is a pernicious attack on young people from the poorest backgrounds.

 

It is well accepted that pupils living in disadvantaged areas are more likely to be taught by inexperienced maths teachers and are less likely to have access to quality resources and support. This makes it all the more important for universities to consider various factors when deciding whom to admit – not just academic achievement.

 

In addition, the government’s proposed changes to the university funding system will mean that universities will be incentivised to recruit students from more affluent backgrounds who are more likely to repay their loans. This will further entrench social inequality and prevent talented students from poorer backgrounds from accessing the education they deserve.

 

The government must rethink these plans before it is too late. If not, they risk further alienating young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and exacerbating social inequality in our country.

 

However, with the uninspiring nature of the current Tory government, it seems unlikely that they will change course. This is yet another example of their disregard for those who need to support the most.

 

The proposed changes to university funding are a pernicious attack on the poorest students. The government must rethink these plans before it is too late. If not, they risk further alienating young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and exacerbating social inequality in our country.

 

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Foundations like the Nuffield Foundation (2018) and the Social Market Foundation (2016) have found that pupils living in disadvantaged areas are more likely to be taught by inexperienced maths teachers or someone without a subject degree. This makes it all the more important for universities to consider various factors when deciding whom to admit – not just academic achievement.

 

By closing off this route to university for those without good GCSEs in maths and English, the government is effectively shutting out many bright young people who could go on to succeed if given a chance. This is yet another example of the government favouring the privileged few over those who need to support the most.

 

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