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Upwardly mobile: Brunel ranked 6th for social mobility

IFS Mobility 920x540

Brunel University London has been ranked 6th in the UK for its work helping graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds into high-paid work.

The new analysis, from the highly-regarded Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) and social mobility thinktank the Sutton Trust, found that those who join Brunel from a low-income background have an increased chance of being a high-earner at the age of 30.

To compile their rankings, the IFS developed a score for each university known as their ‘mobility rate,’ which represents the number of graduates that received free school meals when they were children but then went on to be amongst the top 20 percent of earners for their age at 30 years old.

The benchmark ‘mobility’ rate – the baseline score if students from all backgrounds had equal access to university, and then had an equal chance of reaching the top 20 percent of earners – was worked out by the IFS as 4.4 percent, a score that only seven UK universities, including Brunel, were able to meet or exceed. Across all UK universities, the ‘mobility rate’ was just 1.3 percent, meaning only 1.3 per 100 graduates who received free school meals ended-up amongst the highest earners.

The news came on the day that Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi MP visited the Brunel campus to learn about the West London Institute of Technology, a joint collaboration between Brunel, HCUC (Harrow College and Uxbridge College), Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business, which aims to provide a wide range of qualifications designed to help young people find rewarding, well paid work with local employers.

Speaking at the end of his visit, Mr Zahawi said: “It is a truly remarkable thing. If there is a dream for a Secretary of State for Education as to how policy we are implementing should work, it is here, being delivered at Brunel University London.”

Prof Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice Chancellor and President of Brunel, said: “We have a passionate commitment to and a strong track record in supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds, ensuring that they develop the skills they need for rewarding graduate jobs. With more than 80% of our undergraduates from underrepresented communities, and average graduate salaries in the top fifth of all universities, we are proud to help our students fulfil their potential.”

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