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University tuition fees are said to be making progress possible for UK Universities to increase diversity. The annual £9,000 fee, introduced by the coalition government in 2012, came with the provision to secure gains in access and participation. As a result, higher tuition fees have leveraged £800m into schemes and bursaries for less advantaged students. Entry rates have increased in 95% of parliamentary constituencies since 2006. English pupils receiving free school meals were 83% more likely to go to university in 2017 than in 2006. However, there are variations by region, with 41.8% of 18-year-olds from London going to university in 2017, compared to 28.9% from the south-west and 30.3% from the north-east. Furthermore, the number of undergraduates from black and minority ethnic groups is also said to have risen by 38% between 2007-08 and 2015-16.

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