The proportion of young people in Dover and Deal applying to universities has soared since 2009. Around one in three – 29% – of 18-year-olds in the area had applied by the UCAS deadline in January this year, compared with 23% in 2009. That is incredibly encouraging.
But there are other paths too. Apprenticeships and technical qualifications have rocketed and they are getting more investment than ever. It means every youngster has the chance to get on in life. More than 4,000 apprenticeships have been created in Dover and Deal since 2010. It demonstrates the work done to ensure young people from all backgrounds can make the most of their talents.
Across the UK, university applications from disadvantaged students hit record highs at 22.6%. There were record numbers from state schools too – 90% of the total and 77% of those attending Russell Group universities.
Over the last year the Government has introduced further measures to reform student financing. It announced a major review to ensure courses offer value for money, froze the tuition fee cap, and raised the repayment threshold to £25,000 from this April, saving graduates £360 a year. Further reforms through the Higher Education and Research Act will require universities to publish demographic data on students, shining a light on institutions which need to do more to widen access.
Meanwhile there were more than 1.1 million apprenticeship starts between May 2016 and December 2017. Higher-level apprenticeships in 2016/17 shot up 35% compared to 2015/16.
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