Figures reveal appetite for higher education in Tower Hamlets

Department for Education figures reveal that Tower Hamlets has the highest percentage of students in higher education after completing A-Levels or equivalent qualifications of any inner London borough.

The preliminary statistics, published on Tuesday, indicate that 78 per cent of students who completed A-levels or equivalent courses in the 2008/09 academic year were in higher education in 2009/10.

This was 14 per cent higher than the average UK figure, which stands at 64 per cent and eight per cent higher than the inner London average of 70 per cent.

Of the 78 per cent who continued in education, 70 per cent went on to study at university, but only 4 per cent attended the most prestigious Russell Group of universities. The data was taken before the hike in tuition fees - which are now capped at �9,000 per year - a development which has resulted in a 7.7 per cent decrease in application numbers in 2012, according to UCAS.

However, the borough had the joint lowest percentage of pupils continuing in education after completing key stage four qualifications such as GCSEs of any of the inner London boroughs.

84 per cent of pupils in Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Islington continued in education past GCSE stage. The UK average was 85 per cent, and the average in the inner London boroughs was 86 per cent.