As a champion of diversity and inclusion, Sadiq Khan MP today joined the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Alan Milburn MP and Pat McFadden MP, the business minister, at the St George’s University Widening Participation Unit, which seeks to help students from a wide range of backgrounds enter the medical profession.
The visit follows a report by the Rt Hon Alan Milburn MP, which identified the medical profession as having a "closed shop" mentality – a problem the Widening Participation Unit is tackling in Tooting.
The unit works with schools and Further Education colleges to support applications from students currently under-represented in the higher-education sector, and who have the potential to make a positive contribution to the life of St George’s and the NHS workforce.
Sadiq Khan MP said: “Isn’t it great that St George’s University is being used as a template for the best possible policies to make our universities accessible to all? The Prime Minister was keen to learn for himself the secret of our success.
“We should be very proud that our university is playing a key role in making our society more equal.”
Sadiq passionately supports the government's investment in education. Since 1997, the number of young people from Tooting going to university has risen by 58% and there has been a 100% rise in the number of local students that have completed apprenticeships since 2003/04.
Sadiq has also been heavily involved in a planned merger between South Thames College and Merton College. The aim of the merger is to safeguard the provision of further education to local communities while enabling the merged institution to focus on providing access to meaningful career pathways and sustainable employment opportunities for both young people and adults.
With only an estimated 29% of students – 16% at the Russell Group universities – coming from lower socio-economic backgrounds, Gordon Brown has welcomed the Milburn report.