A correlation between sixth form pupils’ addresses and their likelihood of applying to university has been found, showing regional variation. Almost half of applicable London residents applied to university in the last year, compared to only 32 percent of pupils from the South West.
Wimbledon, in London, was the area with the highest application rate, with 70.3 percent of eligible pupils applying to university. This is compared to only 17.4 percent in Havant, Hampshire, the area least likely to see its residents apply.
Reviewing the UCAS data has shown that, the top 10 percent of areas had 55 percent of 18-year-old students submitting applications by the primary 15 January deadline.
In contrast, only 24 percent of applications from the lowest 10 percent applied before this date.
Overall, Tory constituencies had a slightly higher application rate, boasting a rate of 38 percent of students applying to university, compared to 34 percent of Labour constituencies.
The data was sourced from UCAS and the figures do not include students who applied directly to universities. Malcolm Trobe, the interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, claimed that the results “reflect the well-known link between socio-economic inequality and educational attainment”.
However he noted: “there are a range of social factors which must also be addressed in disadvantaged areas, such as improving the provision of secure, well-paid employment, and good-quality, affordable housing.”
The Department for Education in England stated that applications from poorer 18-year-olds have improved across the board since 2007, with the exception of 13 UK constituencies.
The most prominent example is Chelsea and Fulham, where applications have increased by 24 percent.