IZA DP No. 1979: Social Class and Undergraduate Degree Subject in the UK
Although past research has found strong social class effects on the decision to undertake higher education in the UK, there is only sparse empirical work investigating social class influences on the choice of degree subject at the undergraduate level. Using Universities' Statistical Record data for the period 1981-1991, we find no social class effect on students’ undergraduate degree subjects enrolled. Our analysis suggests that in a period pre-dating the mass expansion of higher education, the replacement of student grants with student loans and the introduction of undergraduate student tuition fees, the UK university system granted equal opportunities to students from different social classes in terms of the degree subject enrolled.