Universities and Science Minister David Willetts went on to say:
“Applications from students from disadvantaged backgrounds for 2012 entry are holding up well. Now we want more progress in widening access and improving retention and we have tasked OFFA with helping universities to identify what works best.
“We want universities to be genuinely ambitious with their plans for attracting people from low income backgrounds. Our reforms are delivering significantly more investment in outreach, retention and financial support for disadvantaged students. Both the proportion and amount of higher level fee income devoted to widening access will increase significantly from 2012/13.”
Notes to editors
1. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
· To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
· To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
· To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
· To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.
2. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.