Clause 30 - General duties of relevant authority

Part of Higher Education Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 4th March 2004.

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Photo of James Purnell James Purnell Labour, Stalybridge and Hyde 9:30 am, 4th March 2004

The hon. Gentleman used the phrase ''social engineering'' and one of his hon. Friends used it in an earlier debate. Setting aside whether three As from Eton are worth the same as, or are as difficult to get as, three As from an inner-city comprehensive, the data show that people from a non-traditional background with a particular set of A-levels are less likely to go to university than people from a traditional background with those same A-levels. Surely it is not social engineering to correct that.