Letter: Wooing students

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your leading article "Universities must woo working-class students" (Review, 13 August) claims that British universities need to send out alumni to persuade working-class pupils that universities are not simply for Hooray Henries.

In fact Cambridge University Students' Union sends out hundreds of students to state schools every year to encourage state school applications.

Our experience is that, particularly in less wealthy areas, there is a reluctance to pursue a university education because of the prospect of leaving university with thousands of pounds of debt. Perhaps more significant is the conclusion of the Dearing report that the abolition of the maintenance grant would be regressive in its effect and likely to impede access to higher education.

This is clearly at odds with your assertion that there is no evidence that the introduction of loans is a deterrent to poorer students - an assertion with no evidence to sustain it.


Cambridge University Students' Union