Richard Harman Letter to The Times: Increasing access of poorer students to leading universities means expanding the number of places available

HMC Chairman Mr Richard Harman writes a letter to the Times 26/02/15 responding to calls from Offa to increase access of poorer students to leading universities


Head teachers of leading independent schools fully support widening access to higher education (Double intake of poor students, universities told, News. Feb 26). Central to achieving this, however, must be a rise in aspiration and in quality of preparation.  If students do not have the right qualifications in the right subjects, they will not get to university or drop out when they do.

Many of our schools have already taken the initiative by delivering a variety of outreach programmes with neighbouring state schools to enhance subject teaching and help with UCAS applications.

To improve the outlook for poorer students it is crucial that such collaborative working be further encouraged. To secure the outlook for the UK as a whole, it is crucial to avoid discrimination against existing students with excellent grades and this requires further expansion of places in higher education to accommodate a new generation of socially mobile young people.


Mr Richard Harman

Headmaster, Uppingham School

Chairman, Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference