Iain Dale voices concern over 13% white working-class boy university attendance number

28 September 2020, 22:13

It's 'appalling' that only 13% of white working-class boys go to university, says Iain Dale

By Sam Sholli

Iain Dale has said that it's "appalling" that only 13% of white working-class boys are attending university.

His comment comes after a recent report found 13% to be the proportion of "male, white British, free school meals" pupils going on to higher education, a lower number than for the previous year.

Iain said: "Now we talk a lot about equality. We talk a lot about equality of opportunity. It is appalling that, of that demographic, only 13% go on to higher education. That's lower than the previous year."

According to the report, the biggest single rise in university entry over the past ten years has been among black students.

The report showed that 59% of black students are progressing to higher education, with the number standing at 64% for Asian students.

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"If we were having this discussion a few months ago when Black Lives Matter was at its height, I think a lot of you would have said obviously it's people from an Afro-Caribbean background who might have one of the lowest university attendance rates. Not so," Iain also said.

"Why do only 13% of white working-class boys feel university is right for them? Surely it stands to reason that [the number] should be a lot higher," he added.

The report also showed that 85% of sixth formers in private schools go onto higher education.

"I do think that this is an issue that divides a lot of people," Iain said.