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Birkbeck placed in top five for significantly contributing to social mobility

Birkbeck’s achievements in positively improving the lives of graduates receives commendation in new Report from the Higher Education Policy Institute.

This is a photo of graduates at the entrance to Birkbeck's main building.

A new paper, Designing an English Social Mobility Index, released today by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has considered the performance of UK universities and placed Birkbeck fourth for its impact on advancing the social mobility of its graduating students.

Social mobility as a social impact measure correlates well with Birkbeck’s unique teaching model which supports students to balance their personal lives alongside career progression. By virtue of a large portion of Birkbeck’s student population being mature learners and others returning to education alongside other commitments, the ability to measure the success of its graduates using the new metrics is much welcomed.

Professor David Latchman, Vice-Chancellor said, “I am delighted that Birkbeck has been recognised for the contribution it makes to promoting social mobility. Many of our students come to us with non-traditional qualifications and balance their studies with personal responsibilities; which makes the pursuit of their studies that much more challenging. Some university league tables have not taken these factors into account when assessing the contribution that particular universities make to social mobility and it is pleasing that this report approaches social mobility from a different perspective.”

Three years ago, Birkbeck recognised that some league table indicators were providing a useful framework for students in general but were not capturing the required data for students considering the non-traditional and flexible learning environment that Birkbeck provides. While appreciating the value of the domestic league tables, the College took the decision to refrain from publishing within the periodical listings. 

The College is pleased to see the introduction of social mobility rankings for universities alongside and complementing current league tables and is supportive of this method being best placed to track student outcomes. 

Further Information

Read the report from the Higher Education Policy Institute here.

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