Queen’s Uni doesn’t like common people, study indicates…

IS Queen’s University elitist and are its students spoilt? A study reported in the Guardian suggests that more than half (55%) of the students at Queen’s come from the richest homes – while “just over a third (36%) of John Lewis’s customers and 34% of House of Fraser’s come from the same group”. And at the other end of the scale, just 33% of Queen’s students are from the poorest homes. The study suggests that Queen’s is dominated by children of white, middle-class parents who own two cars and a home with four bedrooms. So the kids might live in Student Land, but on average they’re still posher than John Lewis.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    33% from the poorest homes – sounds quite impressive to me actually. How does this compare to other top Uni’s in the UK?

  • DC

    And your point is?

  • willis

    Queens has a good reputation for social inclusion.


    However UU is better. Not hard to see why, modular degrees, HNC, HND, Not the way to get Russell Group status though.

    Bit of a daft survey.

  • Willis,

    You do know QUB has modular degress too right? As for Russell Group status, do you really believe QUB is one of the top 20 research universities in the UK, or do you think it’s more likely they decided they had better have a full geographic spread?

    But yes, 33% is a good rate for a university.

  • Cinte

    Not often I would post something here or indeed in defense of Queen’s, but it is true that for a university of its sort it actually has a good record on social inclusion. This is a non-story.
    In any case, nearly all places are offered entirely on the basis of A-level grades. It is difficult to see how it could be accused of discriminating.
    Garibaldy, you are right about the Russell Group thing.

  • kensei

    So that’s 55% top quartile, 33% bottom quartile? 88% total? The story appears to be that the middle quartiles are leaving in droves.

  • Glencoppagagh

    This survey covered only 17 institutions of which, apart from Queen’s, only Bristol, Warwick and possibly Hull could be considered leading universities.
    The really depressing thing about Queen’s is that it is one of the most parochial establishments in the UK. What % of undergraduates doesn’t come from NI? Less than 5%?

  • Danny Boy

    Exactly! The most depressing thing about Queen’s is that it empties at the weekends while everyone brings their washing home to mummy. That’s part of the reason why we still don’t have anything like the sort of rumbunctious, international, unpredictable cultural life that other university cities enjoy. The younguns who live here have never really left home.

  • Greenflag

    So the really bright well off and not so well off kids leave for the ‘mainland ‘ . The ‘spoiled ‘ wealthy not so bright stay behind so mammy can do their washing at the week end . Meanwhile the brightest of the poor clamber up into an economy where all the good paying jobs are in non productive government while entry to any remaining good paying jobs for local ‘profesionals ‘ are kept for family members .

    Sounds like either an eventual ‘social ‘ revolution or a recipe for continuing stagnation economic and politic . You can toss a coin for either outcome .

    But 33% from the lowest quartile is impressive and probably twice or more what a comparable figure would be for the Republic’s universities .

    Was’nt it the great Turkmenbashi – Niyazov of Turkmenistan who stopped education for most people especially ethnic minorities such as Russians , Uzbeks and Koreans at age 14 . Once asked about this policy by a visiting foreign head of State as to why he thought this was a good policy Niyazov replied /

    ‘uneducated people are easier to govern ‘

    So that’s why we had the Penal laws back in the good old days eh ? Who ever would have thought it ?

  • Glencoppagagh

    Your comment reminds me of Holyland residents saying how much they looked forward to a bit of peace and quiet at the weekends.
    “So the really bright well off and not so well off kids leave for the ‘mainland'”
    Could be right Greenflag, so the ones left behind are all really jumped up yobs doing what’s necessary to get into white-collar rather than blue-collar trades.

    PS Am I right in thinking that Queen’s was at least thinking of closing its classics and philosophy departments a while ago? That might have put paid to its Russell group pretensions.

  • Greenflag

    ‘to get into white-collar rather than blue-collar trades. ‘

    No safety nets there either I’m afraid – many of the formerly ‘safe ‘ white collar financial ‘trades ‘ are heading for the Hindustan , Poland or Szechuan province in China .

    Seems the safest bet is still the ‘government ‘ payroll as long as it lasts followed by local professional i.e doctor , solicitor , or plumber , electrician . With many cars now ‘digitized ‘ even ‘mechanics ‘ will no longer be needed in the numbers they once were .

    I recall one ‘private ‘ school in the Republic which was a ‘haven ‘ for some of the spoilt and none too bright (academically speaking ) offspring of some of our nouveau ‘riche ‘ as they say . Their ‘leaving cert ‘ results were topped by the CBC and several other non private schools on the other side of town .

    The ‘rich ‘ kids if not academically inclined would always find a ‘university ‘ in the USA to cater for their ‘special ‘ needs .

    Still you can put too high a price on education also . I’m still trying to work out how all those chappies with advanced degrees with Phd’s growing out of their earholes could not foresee this present world wide economic meltdown ?

    Is it just the present era which has failed in it’s economic futurising ? Apparently not . The London Stock Exchange was still selling and recommending German Development bonds just a couple of days before World War 1 broke out /happened / ?

    Methinks the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi was more accurate in it’s prognostications 😉

  • willis


    Fair point about modular degrees. I’m certainly not suggesting Queens are behind the times. I am shocked though that the Russell Group might make a cynical choice.

  • Earnan

    I just finished an application to QUB for a masters degree. I wonder what quartile I would fit in.

  • Glencoppagagh

    “many of the formerly ‘safe ‘ white collar financial ‘trades ‘ are heading for the Hindustan , Poland or Szechuan province in China”
    You’re right Greenflag but I had in mind the trades which have the additional appeal of a guaranteed state income like medicine, the law to a large extent, and teaching of course.

  • picador

    Queen’s is dominated by children of white, middle-class parents

    Multi-cultural imperialism alert!

  • picador

    The really depressing thing about Queen’s is that it is one of the most parochial establishments in the UK.

    Well, fancy that – we are not as British as Finchley!

    ‘Diversity’ is all very well but should never become an end in itself.

  • mnob

    Well the answer is simple.

    The fact that Queens uses outmoded disciminatory practices such as academic selection is to blame.

    Scrap academic selection for univiersities and all will be well.

  • Researcher

    The data doesn’t actually split out Queen’s numbers versus the others. The 55% number is an amalgam across the sample. I can’t find the specific number for Queen’s split out.

  • latcheeco

    Jefferson was big on education for the same reason as Turkmenbashi.
    Lol, like many U.S. universities where admission is based mainly on ability to pay rather than ability to answer.

  • Rory Carr

    Perhaps Queen’s is considering dropping its classics and philosophy departments in order that it might be able to live up to John Lewis’s standards of being “Never Knowingly Undersold”.