James Forsyth

Levelling higher education’s playing field

Levelling higher education's playing field
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Last summer I was showing some 17 year olds around the House of Commons. They were bright and engaged and all wanted to go to university. But as they told me what they were doing for A-Levels my heart sank. They were all doing subjects that were going to put them at a massive disadvantage in applying to a top-rank university. The most worrying thing was that they were completely unaware of this.

So it is welcome news that the Russell Group, made up of the 20 best universities in the country, has now published a guide advising students on which A-Level subjects are held in the highest regard by universities. This is the kind of information that schools that regularly send children to top universities pass on almost automatically to their pupils.

Ensuring that everyone has access to this information will do a bit to level the playing field. But the story in today’s Guardian about the problems at one south London school is a reminder of how much more work there is to be done on that front.