Secretary of State welcomes delegates to conference sponsored by AQA

Friday 12 Jul 2019

Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, welcomed delegates to this year’s IntoUniversity conference, which was sponsored by AQA and hosted by the University of Manchester.

In his opening video message, Mr Hinds set the scene for the discussions to follow during the day saying he wants to make sure that everyone with the capability to succeed at university should have the opportunity, regardless of their background.

The focus of the day was black and minority ethnic (BME) students’ access to ‘higher tariff’ universities, and under-representation of white working class boys. Panel discussions then considered two specific topics: Why are white working class boys the least likely to attend university? and educational inequalities and race.

From these discussions came the key themes of the day:

  • The importance of intersectionality – how ethnicity interacts with gender, religion or belief, social class and other factors.
  • The difficulty of measuring disadvantage: for example not all free school meal children are working class (and vice versa) and postcode-based measurements of deprivation don’t work for London.
  • Universities could do more to promote BME academics, not just recruit more BME students.

AQA’s Head of Policy James Lloyd welcomed delegates on behalf of AQA and said of the day:

“The Secretary of State’s opening message really helped underline the importance of the issues being discussed and gave further inspiration to our panels of passionate experts.

“We’re looking forward to continuing these discussions, and supporting IntoUniversity in this important work.”