London Met ranks ninth for social mobility

New research found the University to be one of the best in England for social mobility.

Date: 24 November 2021

London Met has ranked ninth in the country for social mobility, according to a new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in partnership with the Sutton Trust and Department for Education.

The research calculates a ‘mobility rate' for universities, subjects and individual degrees, based on how many students from disadvantaged backgrounds get in, and how many of them go on to be high earners after graduation.

It focuses on the rate of those who have moved into a high income bracket, having been eligible for Free School Meals while young. The research uses data from a cohort of young people who attended university in the mid 2000s and recently turned 30, as well as projecting forward for more recent cohorts. London Met recorded a mobility rate around three times higher than the average mobility rate across all English universities in the study.

Head of Widening Participation and Outreach at London Met, Liz Routhorn, commented that, "We are so proud that London Met has been recognised for its commitment to social mobility in this report. Across the University, we're focused on supporting students to reach their aspirations with the belief that everyone should have a chance to reach their full potential. 

"University can be transformative for everyone, but especially those from lower income backgrounds. We're always working hard to find new ways to open up these opportunities to a wider range of people.

"Thank you to our staff who work so hard to enhance the future prospects of our students, and our students whose diversity of life experience makes the London Met community so rich."

The report's authors write that, "Higher education is a key driver of social mobility in this country. Young people from less well-off backgrounds who attend university are more likely to become socially mobile into higher income brackets, and income gaps are lower between graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers compared to non-graduates.

"While universities are already rated and ranked on a variety of measures, few of them look at what universities are doing for those from underrepresented backgrounds specifically, and the wider social contributions made by these institutions.

"In fact universities which take on more disadvantaged students actually suffer under many of the measures commonly used in league tables, including those which reward universities for the grades of their students before they even start. This research aims to provide an alternative view.

"In early 2021, the Higher Education Policy Institute published a similar exercise. While the results seen here are similar, this research is for the first time able to track labour market outcomes specifically for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, rather than looking at average salaries."