UUK Report: Social Mobility


The Social Mobility Advisory Group was set up in October 2015, at the request of Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, with the aim of identifying practical ways to address inequality in higher education. The Advisory Group has considered the evidence and drawn together recommendations as to ways forward, acknowledging that there will be no simple solutions to embedded social inequality that passes from generation to generation. No one organisation or sector can resolve such deep-rooted inequalities. Instead, the extensive work that universities have been carrying out over many years needs to be built on, and collaborations and partnerships extended.

You can download the report here: Working-in-partnership-final

Key themes from the report

Some consistent themes have emerged from the group’s work, and in the report:

  • The need to move away from the perception that people only have one chance for university study, at the age of 18
  • Sustained change can only be achieved through collaboration and partnership between universities, schools, colleges and employers
  • The need for a rigorously evidence-based approach to social mobility
  • The importance of evaluation to inform and shape future work

The implications for how universities work with schools and colleges is of great importance for improving outcomes for disadvantaged students.

Prior attainment at school has a significant influence on the higher education outcomes for young people, with research for BIS5 finding that GCSE attainment was the strongest predictor of whether pupils went on to higher education. This reinforces the importance of universities working collaboratively across the education sector.

To read the full report please visit: Universities UK