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Queen Mary leads the way in widening participation

The percentage of state school pupils studying at Queen Mary University of London has increased to almost 86 per cent, more than four per cent above the university’s benchmark, according to the latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

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State school students enrolling at Queen Mary increased from 83.7 per cent of the student body in 2011-12 to 85.8 per cent in 2012-13. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) sets a location-adjusted benchmark for Queen Mary at 81.4 per cent.

Anne Setright, Queen Mary’s Head of Outreach and Widening Participation, comments: “Queen Mary has a strong tradition of widening participation and we’re incredibly proud of our reputation for attracting talented students from a wide range of social backgrounds.

“Our outreach programmes really focus on encouraging achievement and helping our potential students make the right choices when it comes to applying for further study. Importantly, we also recognise the need to continue working with students throughout their time at university and beyond.”

The percentage of students entering Queen Mary from areas of the country where progression into higher education is traditionally low has risen to 5.9 per cent for 2012-13, up from 4.7 per cent in 2011-12. HEFCE’s location-adjusted benchmark for Queen Mary is 5.2 per cent.

Queen Mary has also seen an increase in students entering the university from lower socio-economic backgrounds, with those in NS-SEC groups 4-7 increasing from 32.5 per cent in 2011-12 to 34.6 per cent in 2012-13, against a benchmark of 26.8 per cent.

Queen Mary’s Widening Participation team works with academic departments to offer a wide range of widening participation activities and establish long-term partnerships with target schools.

The focus is on raising student aspiration and achievement and on providing appropriate information, advice and guidance to support students in making the right choices for successful progression to higher education.

Since 2002/3, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has published comparative data on the performance of institutions in widening participation, student retention, learning and teaching outcomes, research output and employment of graduates. HESA’s 2012/13 report was published in 27 March 2014 and can be found at

Further information on Widening Participation at Queen Mary can be found here

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