Back in August, a teacher drew my attention to the following tweet and asked if I might be able to answer it:
Can anybody point me to research regarding outcomes in later life for disadvantaged students who go to university vs. disadvantaged students who don’t? https://t.co/BiYatOdKMh— Mr Pink (@Positivteacha) August 1, 2019
My thread of tweets in response sparked a correspondence between us and, in the end, Matt was kind enough to say I had challenged his whole perspective. He suggested others might be interested too and I should publish some of my thoughts on the topic.
So, in the first of two blogs (here’s the second), here’s how I responded to his initial question…
There is plenty of research showing a significant earnings premium on average for graduates regardless of background. Probably the most comprehensive work is the paper by the IFS ‘How English domiciled graduate earnings vary with gender, institution attended, subject and socio-economic background’. The Sutton Trust has also done many excellent studies on different aspects of this question which is actually a lot more complex than it sounds.