THE lion’s share of university places are still being snapped up by people from middle class backgrounds. Working class youngsters are put off by the eye-watering costs that come with studying for a degree.

Students across the region will spend today waiting nervously for their A-level results – many hoping to go on and study at university.

This time last year the gap between rich and poor students being granted university places reached a record high, prompting concerns over the shameful lack of social mobility within education. While the number of students from more affluent backgrounds has climbed steadily in recent years, places going to those from the poorest percentile have stalled.

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The sudden halt in numbers followed a decision made by David Cameron’s government to scrap student maintenance grants for pupils from lower income families. It now means almost one in 10 working class students drop out of their first year of university. The majority blame the cost of attending university – both the day-to-day costs and the prospect of £50,000 of debt when they graduate – for their decision to quit.

Young people voted in massive numbers for Labour in the General Election after the party offered the prospect of scrapping the £9,000 a year tuition fees.

It is unclear if Jeremy Corbyn would have been able to find the cash to fulfil his bold promise, but it certainly struck a chord with students facing a debt mountain which they will carry for decades.

Students from wealthy families are fine either, but if Theresa May is serious about giving everyone in Britain an equal chance then she needs to tackle the reasons behind money being a barrier to higher education.