A Bullingdon in reverse: how working-class student club is taking on elitism

The 93% Club, begun at Bristol University by a state-educated student, is snowballing nationally, with big firms now taking note

Sophie Pender was the first in her family to go to university and believed what her mother had always told her – in a meritocracy you can use education to rise above your family circumstances.

For Pender, this was perhaps more important than for most students leaving home for university. Her childhood had been deeply affected by her father’s addiction to drugs and alcohol. “We lived on a council estate in Borehamwood and had very little money. My mum did her best. But Dad was violent, and things had become so bad there were panic buttons in the house connected to the police station to protect us should he try to visit.”

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