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Universities 'can have very effective impact in schools'

18 October 2012 Last updated at 14:00 BST

The director of the Office of Fair Access has said that there "we do need to reflect" on whether more money should be spent on bursaries or outreach programmes to encourage students from poorer backgrounds to stay on and sit A Levels.

Professor Les Ebdon told Martha Kearney on The World At One that evidence is building that "universities can have a very effective impact in schools, and raise achievement".

Alan Milburn, the government's independent reviewer of social mobility has said that students from the richest 20 per cent of households are seven times more likely to go to a top university as those from poorest 40 per cent. And he has called on top universities to consider sponsoring a city academy in a disadvantaged area, rather than on fee waivers.