According to the umbrella group that represents university heads, some universities will not accept poor students because of the government plans not to charge tuition fees from poor students for two years. Nicola Dandridge, the Universities UK chief executive, considers that this scheme will not work because many universities that used to accept pupils from disadvantaged
backgrounds could start denying their acceptance.
Nicola Dandridge said: "The problem with the proposal is that there is a very uneven distribution of students on free school meals in universities, with some universities having hundreds of students and some having very few. If there was a requirement for universities to match funds it would be financially punitive to those universities that take higher numbers and therefore act as a perverse disincentive."
Ministers suggested that it is necessary to seek a £150m fund so that poorer students could get year's free tuition particularly those who have success in the essay writing
. Most universities UK supported the idea although it should be revised before being implemented. This proposal helped to persuade many LibDems to vote for the allowance of increasing tuition fees. The party was under pressure from students whom its members promised to vote against the raise of tuition fees.
Dandridge considers that the government should not interfere with the process of admitting students but make it easier for state school pupils to get university places. She said: "That might mean making sure that it is acceptable for universities, for example, to admit state school pupils with lower A-level results ... or the encouragement of state school pupils to do additional foundation years so they can improve their A-level grades."