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Big guns

Elite universities remain largely the realm of the most privileged.

The children of professional parents are three times more likely than those of working class parents to attend one of the research-intensive Russell Group of universities, according to research published today by John Jerrim of the Institute of Education. In the US, the equivalent group is six times as likely to attend one of the most selective American universities.

The study, released to coincide with a Sutton Trust summit on access and admission held in London today, also finds children from disadvantaged backgrounds account for just one in 20 enrolments at the most selective institutions in both countries. Children from advantaged backgrounds make up more than half of all enrolments at the same universities.

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