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Two-thirds of Boris Johnson’s cabinet were educated at independent schools, a new report shows

According to a report from the Sutton Trust social mobility charity, published today, 64 per cent of the newly appointed cabinet attended private schools, while 9 per cent went to grammar schools and 27 per cent were educated at a comprehensive.

Cabinet ministers are therefore nine times more likely to have gone to private school than the general population.

Almost half of the 33 ministers attending Mr Johnson’s new cabinet – 45 per cent – were educated at Oxford or Cambridge universities. This compares with 31 per cent of all Conservative MPs, 20 per cent of Labour MPs and 24 per cent of all MPs. A further 24 per cent of Mr Johnson’s Cabinet went to other Russell Group universities excluding Oxbridge.

This report says that 29 per cent of current MPs in the House of Commons were privately educated, while in the Conservative Party just under half of MPs – 45 per cent – went to fee-paying schools, compared with 15 per cent of MPs in the Labour Party.

Read more at: https://www.tes.com/news/two-thirds-johnsons-new-cabinet-privately-educated

Overseas students face ‘unacceptable’ visa costs after outsourcing

International students and staff at British universities are facing “unacceptable” difficulties and costs in applying for visas, after parts of the application process were outsourced to a company charging up to £200 for appointments.

Universities say that the system, run by the French IT services company Sopra Steria, is already struggling to cope with the numbers renewing their student visas within the UK, and fear that it will be chaotic in September when more than 40,000 students are expected to use it.

“Despite constructive engagement between the Home Office, UK Visas and Immigration and universities, the current capacity and level of service being offered by Sopra Steria remains unacceptable,” said Alistair Jarvis, the chief executive of Universities UK.

“Students and universities cannot be expected to pay to address Sopra Steria’s broken system. We are calling on Sopra Steria to fully address these concerns before the September surge of students so that students can start their courses with the visas they need.”

Universities UK, which represents more than 130 British higher education institutions, has received a stream of complaints about Sopra Steria from its members, and from students unable to book free appointments required to scan documents and take fingerprints.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jul/29/overseas-students-face-unacceptable-visa-costs-after-outsourcing