OFFA comment on Universities UK patterns and trends report

Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, has today welcomed Universities UK’s latest report Patterns and trends in UK higher education 2017, commenting:

“This report sets out the excellent progress that has been made over the last decade in widening access for the most disadvantaged young people.

“However, we must not allow the huge successes in improving access for young people to divert our attention from the pressing concerns that remain on access for mature and part-time students, which has been on a steep downward trend for a number of years.

“The report is also quite right to highlight that fair access is not simply a matter of getting in – it’s also about getting on. But sadly, not only do far more students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds leave before completing their courses, but far fewer receive the highest grades when they do stay the distance.

“As I negotiate over their access agreements for 2018-19, I am continuing to challenge and support universities and colleges to prioritise further action on these crucial issues.”


For further information contact Aislinn Keogh (Press and Communications Adviser) at OFFA on 0117 931 7171 or