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Research: Law students among the most likely to be state school educated

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Rich kid stereotype unfounded?

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New stats suggest law students are among the most likely to be state school educated when compared to other degree disciplines.

Of the law students who enrolled at university in 2014-2015, 91.7% are from state schools. This is a whole two percentage points higher than the ‘all subjects’ average of 89.8%, and considerably higher than the likes of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science (71.7%) and combined subjects (76.5%).

Comparable subjects such as historical and philosophical studies, languages, and social studies also scored lower than law, boasting 80.2%, 80.6% and 85.9% respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, the likes of biological sciences (91.8%), creative arts and design (94.6%) and education (97.2%) placed higher than law.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data also shows 35.4% of undergraduate law students are from working class backgrounds, as defined using the national statistics socio-economic classification.

As with the state school stats, this result puts law in the middle/top end of the table when compared to other degree disciplines.

Though there are some exceptions — computer science (41.9%) and education (41.2%), for example — most degree courses are not as heavily populated by working class students as law. Only 17.6% of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science students are from working class backgrounds, as are 23.7% of historical and philosophical studies students and 26.6% of those studying physical sciences.

Law’s result is also over two percentage points higher than the ‘all subjects’ average of 33%.