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Policy clash on widening participation

Liberating high-flying candidates from student number controls stifles social mobility, says access boss.

Policies designed to increase competition between universities may also hamper the recruitment of students from poor homes, a conference has heard.

Les Ebdon, director of the Office for Fair Access to higher education, suggested the “ABB” grades exemption from student number controls, under which universities can recruit as many students as they like who have high grades at A-level or the equivalent, is inconsistent with efforts to widen access to universities. His comments were made at an Action on Access event in London on 3 December.

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