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Gulf in student access grows at some Russell Group universities

Four Russell Group universities in England have seen the access gap between the most and least disadvantaged students grow or stall over the last five years, according to data released by the Office for Students.

At three of the larger, research-intensive universities the difference between the proportion of full-time undergraduates from the most and least advantaged areas had grown since 2013-14, while at the fourth it had stagnated. The OfS uses POLAR data to define how advantaged students are, with those in quintiles 5 and 1 deemed to be the most and least advantaged respectively. 

In 2017-18, Imperial College London saw the largest increase in its access gap among all English universities, at 3 percentage points. In 2013-14, the percentage point difference between the proportion of most and least deprived students was 51.2, which rose to 54.2 in 2017-18.

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