EXPERT COMMENT: Class Pay Gap report

Posted by ap507 at Jan 26, 2017 10:25 AM |
Leaving journalism to the privileged carries the risk of leading to journalism for the privileged’, says University of Leicester academic

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 26 January 2017

By Dr Daniela Rudloff

Lecturer from the University of Leicester School of Business, Work and Employment Division, comments on a new report from the Social Mobility Commission.

Dr Rudloff says: “Findings from the newly published Class Pay Gap report suggest that doctors, journalists and law professionals are amongst the professions which draw primarily from people with already privileged backgrounds.

“That journalism is becoming ever more inaccessible is not surprising; aspiring journalists often have to go through a string of unpaid internships to get their foot on the ladder. But those requisite unpaid internships are only available to the financially secure, preferably with parental support, thus driving the less fortunate (and well off) out of the profession. This should concern us because leaving journalism to the privileged carries the risk of leading to journalism for the privileged.

“Another shocking yet unsurprising statistic: The report states that ‘73% of doctors are from privileged backgrounds while less than 6% come from working-class backgrounds’ (p. 16). The report collected data from 2013 to 2015; long before Hunt started imposing the new contracts on junior doctors. If already only 6% of the doctors come from working-class contracts, what will even lower pay and even worse working conditions do to social mobility? How long until becoming a doctor becomes a privilege of the few who can afford what little pay the job brings?”

In a rare move for a Medical School, the University of Leicester, in partnership with a local charitable trust, has launched a new Foundation Year course for its Medical degree programme aimed at increasing access to the medical professions from less-represented group.

The University of Leicester, consistently one of the most socially inclusive of the UK’s leading universities with a long-standing commitment to providing fairer and equal access to higher education, is now recruiting students residing in the East Midlands for its new Medicine with Foundation Year degree. They will be supported by scholarships provided by the University and the local charitable trust, who have contributed £2 million towards the cost of the course.

Although it is encouraged by the Medical Council, very few UK Medical Schools offer a Medical Foundation Year with Widening Participation at its heart. Currently 80% of all medical students in the UK stem from just 20% of schools, and of the 11,125 students who entered medicine and dentistry in 2011 just 4.1 per cent were from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. In particular, addressing the lack of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds entering the medical profession is a key national priority.

In taking on the degree students will be given a direct route into the University’s innovative new medical curriculum that takes advantage of the cutting-edge new Centre for Medicine on campus.

More on Leicester’s Medical Foundation Year here:

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

You can contact Dr Daniela Rudloff on:

e:  daniela.rudloff@leicester.ac.uk

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