MP welcomes increase in university applicants from area

PUBLISHED: 07:58 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:58 06 March 2018

Kemi Badenoch in the House of Commons. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Kemi Badenoch in the House of Commons. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Kemi Badenoch, the MP for Saffron Walden, has welcomed new figures showing that university application rates for 18-year-olds remain at record levels and take-up of apprenticeships is continuing to increase significantly.

The proportion of disadvantaged students applying for university is also at a record high, with 22.6 per cent of disadvantaged English 18-year-olds having applied to university courses by the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) deadline in January.

This follows statistics released recently which showed that a record proportion of state school pupils are going both to university, and to highly selective universities.

Some 77 per cent of young entrants to Russell Group institutions in England were from state schools, and 90 per cent of young entrants to university more broadly came from state schools.

In Saffron Walden, 47 per cent of 18-year-olds applied for university by January 2018, compared with 40 per cent in 2009.

Mrs Badenoch said: “This is really encouraging news that shows more young people than ever before have the opportunity to make the most of their talents.

“No-one’s opportunities in life should be determined by their background or circumstances. There is more to do, but with the proportion of disadvantaged 18-year-olds applying to university at record levels, we are making really important progress.

“The investment in apprenticeships and technical qualifications also gives youngsters the best possible chance to choose the route that is right for them. I’m delighted to see that there were over 1.1 million apprenticeship starts between May 2015 and December 2017, and take-up of higher level apprenticeships is increasing.

“More young people taking up apprenticeships and going to university is overwhelmingly positive, not just for Saffron Walden but for the country as a whole. These are the leaders of the future and we have a duty to ensure a comprehensive education so that the future is safe in their hands.”

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