Universities fail ‘working class’ tests

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SCOTTISH universities enrol fewer pupils from poorer backgrounds than institutions anywhere else in the UK and have the worst drop-out rates, new figures show.

Research from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that 27 per cent of students at Scots universities came from poorer backgrounds in 2010-11, compared with 31 per cent in England and Wales and 39 per cent in Northern Ireland.

Edinburgh University and Edinburgh Napier had drop-outs of 3.7 per cent and 10.8 per cent respectively, while the national average for leaving in first year was 9.4 per cent.

At Edinburgh College of Art, 21.5 per cent of students were reportedly classified as working class with a 4.8 per cent drop-out rate, while 30 per cent of intake at Queen Margaret University were deemed working class, averaging a 11.9 per cent drop out. Heriot-Watt was 30.2 per cent with 9.9 per cent of students leaving early.