South Bristol Has The Smallest Number of University Goers


South Bristol has just been announced as the area of South West England with the lowest percentage of school leavers pursuing higher education in the university. In spite of all the efforts of education bosses and civic leaders, the tide was still not able to turn the way the county wants.

For the past decade, South Bristol has been listed at the bottom of the league table, making the county consistent in having the fewest proportion of school leavers to university goers.

In fact, last year, only 16.2% of school leavers were able to go to university. While that percentage was already low with a proportion of 1 in 6, the situation got even worse this year as the percentage decreased to 15.9%.

Karin Smyth, South Bristol’s MP, described this fall as ‘disappointing’. She said that it was caused by several factors.

The most troubling concern is how the number of students from the county who finished 6th form and applied for university in the year 2018 actually went up, with 18.9 to 19.2 percentage, and how the number of successful students who were able to get a place at university fell.

On the bright side, South Bristol do not fall at the bottom for the number of university entrants anymore. The Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria got the bottom spot, falling from 17 to 15.7 percentage of university entrants in 2018.

These past few years, the debate about the odd proportion of school leavers and university goers in South Bristol has continued to be more and more prominent, especially for the Labour MP Karin Smyth.

According to Bristol Live’s study, 100% of students from Clifton went to university in 2017 while there was only 8% in Hartcliffe.

The study blamed the lack of accessible 6th form places in particular places of the city, but Smyth believes the situation is far more complicated than that.


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