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Queen Mary ranks top of the Russell Group in new social mobility index

The English Social Mobility Index for 2022, published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), ranks Queen Mary as the best Russell Group university for social mobility and third best in the country overall for a second successive year.

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View of the London skyline
View of the London skyline

Developed by Professor David Phoenix from London South Bank University (LSBU), the Index offers an in-depth measure of universities’ contributions to social mobility, combining how much students from disadvantaged backgrounds progress over the course of their later life and how many students reach these successes.

This year’s Index includes a change in methodology, also factoring in additional data and crucially data for 2022 to provide an up-to-date picture of how each university helps students from low-income backgrounds to succeed in their future careers.

Queen Mary was also named as the best university in the country for social mobility in a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in partnership with the Sutton Trust and Department for Education in November of last year.

Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal, Queen Mary University of London, said: “We are delighted, for a second year running, to be ranked third among all English universities and top among the Russell Group in the English Social Mobility Index. We were equally pleased to be named the top University in the country for social mobility in the Sutton Trust and IFS report of November 2021.

“As Professor Phoenix points out, the two reports are significantly different in methodology. Recruiting students from backgrounds typically under-represented at research-intensive universities like ours, and supporting them to succeed, is at the heart of everything we stand for as a University. We are therefore proud that, whichever way you look at it, we are demonstrating progress in delivering on our mission to open the doors of opportunity to everyone who has the potential to succeed, irrespective of their background.”

The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Higher and Further Education, said: “We should do more to celebrate those universities which make a contribution to real social mobility – that means getting on, not just getting in. This is why I’m so delighted that this new league table is seeking to do exactly that, by highlighting the work that universities such as Bradford, Aston and Queen Mary do to transform lives.”

Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of LSBU, said: “With new higher education funding proposals from Government and a revised Teaching Excellence Framework on the horizon, it is more vital than ever for universities to be able to publicly demonstrate the value they add to their students. I hope this latest version of the Social Mobility Index will provide a valuable tool for institutions to reflect on their work in this area with reference to their own mission and peer groups.”

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