Yes, absolutely no one saw this coming. At no point did anyone ever say that it was clearly the intention of the tories to make higher education the preserve of the elite again. No one.
The former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins recently told Cherwell, the Oxford university newspaper, that if she were an admissions tutor for the university she wouldn’t “want a Tyrone in her tutor group” when she could have a “Cecil”. In a brilliant retort, a young student called Tyrone wrote an open letter to her pointing out that while he was the only Tyrone in Oxford, there were no “Cecils” at all.
Of course the wider point is still true – despite years of progress, there are still too few pupils from comprehensive state schools and low income backgrounds that get into our top universities. Labour made efforts to address this in government – the proportion of 18 year olds from the bottom socio-economic groups going to university increased during our time in office. Although more still needed to be done, the gap was narrowing. This government risks making it wider.