Parts of Fenland are a “cold spot” for teenagers going to university.
Figures released by the Higher Education Funding Council for England has revealed that just 7.8 per cent of teenagers from Waterlee, which is one of the most deprived areas of Cambridgeshire, are moving onto higher education.
Nearby Kirkgate, March East, Manea and Elm and Christchurch also have low participation.
The data is now being used by Anglia Ruskin University, which has increased its outreach activity to ensure young people from the most deprived areas have access to information about higher education, at a time when the Government has reduced its funding for careers advice services.
Marc Rothera, outreach and recruitment manager at Anglia Ruskin, said: “It is vital that young people realise that university is for everyone, it shouldn’t be a postcode lottery.
“There are deep-seated socio-economic reasons why some areas have lower participation than others and we’re committed to challenging the fact that too many young people in rural or low income areas of our region do not even consider higher education as an option.”
Waterlees ward member on Wisbech Town and Fenalnd District Councils, Virginia Bucknor, is calling for more help.
She said: “Now they have recognised that this is an area that needs encouragement for people to want to go to university and have the opportunity to go, how are they going to assist us in taking this forward?
“I would love any help they want to give.”