Not so far ago the findings have showed that the number of students from the poorest backgrounds entering universities has significantly increased. According to Ucas, the university admission service, the number of disadvantaged students winning places at universities this year has increased by 2.3%. This autumn the competition was severe for getting places and one in three candidates has missed out the chance to enter a university.
The Ucas figures revealed also that 19,000 of the 92,000 candidates who got places at the most prestigious universities were from independent schools, compared to 24,400 students from comprehensive schools and 10,600 from sixth-form colleges.
Although the rise in number of working-class pupils was welcomed, the concerns were raised that the increase in tuition fees up to £9,000 a year could reverse the trend. There is a possibility that all the attempts to widen participation could be vain as the government is going to implement the national programme to involve working-class teenagers into English universities. However, ministers consider that in order to widen access, universities should run their own programmes by using essay writing service.
Universities minister David Willetts said about the future of Aimhigher: "What I can guarantee is that we will place on universities an obligation to achieve the things that were previously being achieved by [these] kind of schemes. That, we think, is the best place for the obligation to fall, and we are looking carefully at the best and most effective way in which that can be done, but it should be for individual universities to come up with their proposals for how they can best improve access."
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), warned that the increase of tuition fees could cause fewer teenagers from poorer backgrounds enter universities. He said: "I cannot see this continuing with the introduction of higher university fees. Universities must remain accessible and affordable for students of all backgrounds. This is one of the great successes of the UK education system in recent years. It will be a travesty if university fees discourage less well-off students from attending university, but this is likely to be the reality."
Sir Martin Harris, director of Offa, believes it was necessary for universities to introduce stronger measures on access while the increase in tuition fees is planned.