24 August 2011, by Prof Glyn Davis
Over the many decades the university sector has collected data on the social origins of public university students, one result has persisted: with rounding, only 15 per cent of students come from the geographic areas home to the 25 per cent of the population with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES).This disappointing result is not for want of effort by universities. Many remedies suggested are already long-standing practices. Universities make allowance for disadvantage in their entry requirements, and encourage outreach programs to disadvantaged schools. There are support mechanisms to support completion as well as commencement. And yet, despite institutional efforts, the status quo endures.