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Top US public universities are not an engine for social mobility

Only 20 percent of selective public universities in the United States are doing high-quality research while giving low-income students a chance to raise their position in society, a study has found.

A report from the centrist Brookings Institution examined universities in terms of two functions for public education: “laboratories”, meaning that they generate research and knowledge useful to society, and “ladders”, meaning that they provide low-income students with the tools to improve their situation.

The authors of the report, published on 11 July, found that one-fifth of the 340 universities they looked at performed well in both categories. The top three scores went to the University of Texas at El Paso, New Mexico State University and the University of New Orleans.

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