Research has indicated that graduates who come from wealthy families will earn substantially more money throughout their career than those who come from less well-off families, even when studying the same course at the same university.
260,000 graduates in England were part of the study, which was based on tax data on incomes in 2012-13, and it has shown there is still a big earnings gap between places of study and courses.
The research found that graduates who came from the top 20 per cent of families in terms of wealth, went on to typically earn 30 per cent more than the remaining 80 per cent of families, ten years after they finished university.
Although a large factor would be the course chosen – medical students are more likely to earn higher salaries than arts students – the figures still indicated students who came from wealthy families earn 10 per cent more than those who are less well-off.
“We have seen record application rates among students from disadvantaged backgrounds, but this latest analysis reveals the worrying gaps that still exist in graduate outcomes,” said Universities Minister Jo Johnson.
“We want to see this information used to improve the experience students are getting across the higher education sector.”