Independent Reviewer’s report on Higher Education (called in media “Alan Milburn’s Report“) is published today. Here is one of the bits related to mathematics:
Universities can do more to ensure that students have the essential skills they require to complete their degrees. Applicants from
disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to have developed certain skills, such as essay writing. Clearly some university courses will rightly require a high level of prior knowledge, for example, some science subjects require students to have a high degree of mathematical knowledge on day one in order to succeed. Other courses will have far fewer direct constraints. [...]
Universities should consider what support they can provide to help particular groups of under-represented students succeed in completing their studies. In some cases, this will require assessing what skills universities require students to have in advance and which ones they can develop after admission.