The Guardian homeBy Charlie BallA recent BIS report on higher education participation was flawed, says Charlie Ball – closer analysis reveals rates well below 50%. Almost everyone goes to university nowadays, everyone knows that. Except that not everyone does and we rarely see accurate statistics about how many or what proportion of people actually do. It's quite an important question, bound up with thorny issues of workforce skills, educational aspiration and, of course, how (and how much) the UK taxpayer funds our domestic higher education sector. Against this backdrop came a widely-reported piece of analysis from the department of business, innovation and skills (BIS) on the Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR), which examines participation rates for 17-30-year-old English domiciled first-time participants in higher education in the UK, including outside England. Read more...