Progress Slows in Closing the Attainment Gap
7th Dec 2018
University admission rates are to be monitored from next year to make sure British students aren't being discriminated against in favour of international students.
A recent investigation by The Sunday Times suggested that universities were recruiting more overseas students, while reducing the number of places offered to UK applicants.
The report uncovered that between 2008 and 2016, the number of British undergraduates at 23 universities fell by more than 33,000, while the number of degrees offered to non-EU students rose by 22,000.
Fees for British students are limited to £9,250 a year, however foreign students can pay up to £35,000 a year, making them potentially much more lucrative.
The investigation also showed that thousands of overseas students were being granted fast-track admissions without needing to take A-levels or an equivalent.
Commenting on the findings, former education minister Lord Adonis said the report was "seriously alarming", while the Vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham said such discrimination, if proven, would be "very wrong."
Under rules coming into force from April 2018, universities will have to publish admissions, attainment and retention rates, which will enable the Department of Education to monitor whether British students were facing discrimination.
Despite the controversial findings, it's acknowledged universities had become more market driven and commercially focused, thereby making it rational for them to increase their foreign student numbers.
However, the DofE said they were working to ensure students did not face discrimination at UK universities.
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