We are committed to improving choice and reducing barriers to ensure that there is fair access for all to the learning opportunities available. Further education operates across society, having a real impact on businesses, young people and adults, including those from disadvantaged and minority communities. In 2007-08, over 2.6 million people were participating in learning at a FE college.
This Government are fully committed to ensuring every young person has a fair chance of attending university. And we are making progress with the proportion of young entrants from lower socio-economic groups going to university increasing steadily, reaching almost 30 per cent. in 2007. A New University Challenge, with an investment of up to £200 million, will establish new campuses, particularly in areas with no history of provision, and provide places for 10,000 extra students.
In January 2009, the New Opportunities White Paper announced a wide-ranging package of investment and support from across Government for people to make the most of their potential throughout their lives giving them lifelong chances to succeed.