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BAME young people most positive about university

HIGHER EDUCATION: BAME adults are most likely to have a positive view about university

BLACK AND ethnic minority young people are more positive about university than their white peers, new research released today has revealed.

The research, conducted by Universities UK (UUK) using polling data from BritainThinks, has shown that BAME adults are much more likely to say that universities have a positive impact on their family (60 per cent) compared to white adults (43 per cent).

They were also found to be more likely to say that universities have a positive impact on the UK as a whole (68 per cent) compared to 57 per cent of white people.

The findings, based on the responses of 2,063 UK adults, show that despite negative coverage in relation to racial diversity, post university job prospects and the increasing cost of higher education, people from BAME backgrounds have retained their confidence in the country’s universities.

Of the 18-24 year olds polled, 55 per cent agreed that universities had had a positive impact on them personally, as did 44 per cent of 25-34 year olds but 35 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Professor Janet Beer, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: “There is a myth that the public are sceptical about the merits of universities – and that an increasingly large number of young people think higher education is a waste of time. In fact, as this research shows, the opposite is true.

"The public are hugely positive towards universities and see the benefits of a university education. Crucially, this is most true of those with direct experience of university – existing students and recent graduates. That is one of the reasons why demand for university places has remained high despite there being fewer 18-year-olds in the population.”

In a statement, UUK said: “Over the last 18 months, there has been significant media coverage about university access and attainment, particularly for ethnic minorities. This debate has raised valid questions that the sector must deal with, and UUK is working together with the NUS to help universities tackle the gap in BAME students’ achievements at university.”

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