Newman University is ranked in the top 10 UK universities for the social mobility of its graduates

25/11/2021 by Alison John

Newman University, Birmingham welcome front of campus

Newman University is ranked in the top 10 UK universities for the social mobility of its graduates, according to new analysis published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The IFS partnered with the social mobility think tank the Sutton Trust for the analysis, which combined data on the number of university entrants who were eligible for free school meals at school with the figures on graduate earnings. These were then adjusted for cost-of-living differences that impact graduate salaries in different areas of the country to arrive at a ‘mobility rate’ per institution. This represents the share of university’s graduates that were both in the top 20% of earners aged 30 and also from free school meals backgrounds.

Professor Jackie Dunne, Vice Chancellor of Newman University, said: “This piece of work from the IFS and the Sutton Trust highlights the important role universities have to play in improving the life chances of students and contributing to social and economic development in our regions and beyond.

“With a large percentage of first-generation students, mature students, and commuter’ students, as well those studying part-time degrees, Newman has long been committed to creating opportunities for those from non-traditional backgrounds to reach their full potential.

“We recognise there is still more we can do to improve access to a high-quality university education for local people and will continue to invest in strengthening relationships with both employers and the wider community to ensure our offer reflects the needs of our local communities.”

The analysis is believed to be the most comprehensive exercise of its nature in the UK. It found that if students from all economic backgrounds had access to university, and all graduates had the same chance of reaching the top 20% of earners, the mobility rate would be 4.4%. The average mobility rate for the whole higher education sector was just 1.3%, with Newman University scoring 2.4%.

Selective universities typically scored lowest in the analysis, with Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chair of the Sutton Trust, noting that the research showed that less selective universities “are really doing the heavy lifting to promote social mobility.”