University participation rate stalls

28 Mar 2012

The proportion of young people in England entering university has hit a plateau -- stilll short of the 50% target set by Tony Blair's government.

The latest official statistics shows that 47% of people aged between 17 - 30 entered university in 2010-11. That represents no change on the previous year - the first time in recent years that there has been no year-on-year increase. 

In 2006/7 the participation rate was 42% and it climbed steadily to 47% in 2009/10, but since the advent of the coalition government that increase has halted. The 50% target has, of course, not been endorsed by coalition ministers.

Women  ahead of men

Female participation at 52% remains well ahead of that for males, which is is 42%.

The statistic - known as the Higher Education Initial Participation Rate - measures the probability that a 17 year-old will enter university by the time they reach the age of 30.

Read the full statistical bulletin here.

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