Corbyn Wrong on Working Class Student Numbers

Jeremy Corbyn this weekend repeated a false claim that fewer working class people are going to university. He first made the claim during the general election campaign. He was wrong then. And he’s wrong now. The Labour leader said at a rally on Saturday:

“Fewer working class young people are applying to university. Let’s end the debt burden and scrap tuition fees.”

The claim was also attributed to him by the Unite union’s political department. It is factually incorrect, as fact-checkers Full Fact explain:

“There are a number of ways to measure what a ‘disadvantaged pupil’ is, but on all UCAS measures young students from disadvantaged groups in England are more likely to go to university now than any other year on record.”

Below is the university entry rate for pupils on free school meals (the orange line). In 2010, 11% of pupils on free school meals went to university – now it’s over 16%. (H/T @olivercooper.)

University admissions body UCAS introduced a new comprehensive measure to gauge access inequality last year. It takes into account a student’s sex, ethnic group, hometown, whether they attended a private or state school, and whether they received free school meals. It shows the participation of the most disadvantaged students is at a record high. Jez knows what he’s saying is wrong. He has been corrected before. He’s repeating an untruth because he knows it riles up the fan base…




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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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