“But the proportion of young people going to university has scarcely changed in eight years. At the current rate, it would take Labour over a century to meet their 50% target.”
That’s not an accurate quote of Labour’s goals. The 50% figure is not just for young people attending University, it’s 50% in further education.
Not every young person would benefit from University, but most would benefit from training and/or further education.
That being said the Labour government has failed to achieve it’s 50% goal: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/labour-concedes-that-it-wont-deliver-its-50-target-on-time/401455.article?storyCode=401455§ioncode=26
A MEASURE OF SUCCESS
1999: Prime Minister Tony Blair announces a target of 50 per cent of 17 to 30-year-olds participating in higher education. “In today’s world there is no such thing as too clever. The more you know, the further you will go,” he said.
2001: A deadline of 2010 is set to achieve the 50 per cent widening participation target in the Labour Government’s election manifesto.
2002: The Public Accounts Committee raises concerns that the higher education target “lacks clarity”.
2008: Figures reveal that the participation rate among 17 to 30-year-olds has risen by just 0.6 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2006-07, from 39.2 per cent to 39.8 per cent.
2008: On 1 April, Ruth Thompson, the director-general for higher education, says that the Government will not hit the 2010 deadline, adding that “we never thought we would”.
2008: On 8 April, John Denham, the Universities Secretary, says that progress towards achieving 50 per cent participation in higher education among young people is a “measure of real, valuable and achievable aims”.
I understand Labour are moving away from the 50% in education goal and aiming for more in training: I’m assuming apprenticeships would have never fell under the 50% figure?
A good goal would be as many of our young people in education or training as possible as it improves Britain in the world economy where a well trained/educated workforce moves to where the work is.
I can say from personal experience trying to get a decent education under a Labour government is far easier than it was under the last Conservative government. It was a real struggle to survive when I went to University under the Conservatives, my eldest son started University this year and he’s not having half the troubles I had financially.
As a poor person wanting a University education I felt like the Conservatives didn’t want me to do well.
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