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Improve access for white students, says minister

The UK government has urged universities to re-evaluate their admissions policies after it published data showing white pupils are the least likely ethnic group to enter higher education.

While much recent debate has focused on black and minority ethnic participation, data published by the government on 22 November shows just 37 per cent of 15-year-old white pupils from state-funded schools in England were at higher education institutions by age 19 by 2016-17. This contrasts with 59 per cent of black pupils in the same year, a significant rise from that group’s 44 per cent participation rate in 2009-10.

“There is no reason why a white working-class child growing up in Sunderland or Somerset should be less likely to go to university than any other child growing up in this country,” said education secretary Damien Hinds in a statement.

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