First, some people question whether there really are 3,000 young people every year who get the grades to enter a top university but end up elsewhere (as the Sutton Trust reported in 2005). Recent statistical evidence seems to indicate that the shortfall could still be very high, but it’s difficult to pinpoint a precise figure, I agree.
Second, talk of the ‘missing 3,000’ does raise questions about how ‘top’ universities are defined. Who’s to say some of these young people aren’t making a rational choice to study at a less élite universities? And who’s to say their degree programme isn’t the right one for them?
Thanks, as always, for the feedback.