||<p>Widening participation to Higher Education (HE) is a priority for this government.
Everyone with the capability to succeed in HE should have the opportunity to benefit
from a university education, regardless of background or where they grew up. Recent
UCAS data shows that whilst progress has been made, with record rates of disadvantaged
students going to university, there is still a long way to go.</p><p>The department
publishes data on HE destinations. This shows that Key Stage 5 students from independent
schools were around seven times more likely than Key Stage 5 students from non-selective
state-funded mainstream schools to have an Oxford or Cambridge HE destination in 2016/17.
This is the same as the Sutton Trust report. The figures also show that in over a
third of mainstream schools and colleges, no students had an Oxford or Cambridge HE
destination. These statistics consider students who attended these universities in
the year after completing 16 to 18 study (entering A levels or other level 3 qualifications).
They do not include students who entered Oxford or Cambridge following a gap year,
or account for differences in the likelihood of completing level 3 qualifications.</p><p>In
our first guidance to the Office for Students (OfS), we asked them to encourage providers,
particularly the most selective, to make further progress in ensuring that disadvantaged
and under-represented students can access, participate and succeed in HE. The department
now requires providers to publish application, offer and acceptance rates by gender,
ethnicity and social background. We expect the OfS to shine a light on those not stepping
up, and want to see it using the full range of levers at their disposal if necessary.</p><p>