Only 9 per cent of deaf young people leaving school attended a Russell Group university – the most selective in the UK – in 2015/16, compared to 17 per cent of all students, data showed. The Independent reports.
The figures, which cover state schools, also show that overall 56 per cent of deaf youngsters went into higher education, compared to 60 per cent of all students.
The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is calling on highly selective universities to tackle the “admissions gap” and to develop programmes to widen access for deaf young people.
Susan Daniels, chief executive of the NDCS, said: “The 50,000 deaf children and young people in the UK should have the same aspirations and the same opportunities to thrive and succeed in life as any other children.
“While we celebrate the fact that deaf young people who complete their A-levels now go to university at a similar rate to hearing young people, clearly there is still a big problem when it comes to entering our top universities.”
Florence Grieve, a deaf student at the University of Birmingham, said: “Being less likely to go to a Russell Group university is not a reflection of deaf young people’s ability, but reflects the barriers we face. We need to have the right support, but also the confidence to aim high.”
A spokesperson for the Russell Group said: “Russell Group universities encourage all young people to apply to our universities, whatever their circumstances may be. Applications are judged on merit and are not affected by a student’s disability.”