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The government has named a new Social Mobility Commission chair

There has been a lot of water under the bridge since former education secretary Justine Greening made social mobility her top priority for the Department of Education. Since her departure from the DfE in January 2018, education policy has been moulded by Damian Hinds, for 17 months, Gavin Williamson, who somehow lasted 26 months, and now Nadhim Zahawi, appointed last month.

These days, social mobility tends to be rolled into the government’s “levelling up” agenda—and universities undoubtedly have a key part to play. As former universities minister David Willetts outlined in his Higher Education Policy Institute treatise last month, levels of participation in higher education are holding back wages in the so-called Conservative “red wall” seats—often areas with lower levels of access to higher education. 

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