Fewer working class boys going to university
Girls from the same background are now a third more likely to enter higher education than boys, creating a worrying gender gap, according to research by the Independent Commission on Fees.
Figures show that fewer working class boys are going to university since fees of up to £9,000 a year were introduced last year.
Last year, 134,097 girls were accepted by English unis compared with 110,630 boys, down on 2011 by 5.9% and 7.5% respectively.
The Commission also highlighted a “worrying” widening of the gap between rich and poor entrants to the best 13 universities.
Students from the top five richest areas are ten times more likely to go to the best universities than those from the poorest fifth.
Commission chairman Will Hutton said: “In working class areas, there has been a decline in boys, while the number of girls has risen.
"This is worrying as men are already under-represented. The higher fees may be having an impact.”
The number of students accepted to UK universities fell from 431,000 in 2011 to 407,391 last year, a 5.5% drop and the lowest since 2008.
The report also confirms evidence that mature students - aged 20 and over - suffered the biggest drop in acceptances, with 7.6% fewer acceptances in 2012 than in 2010, twice the 3.3% decline for younger students as a whole.
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