Great expectations

In 1999 Tony Blair told the Labour Conference: “If we are in politics for one thing, it is to make sure that all children are given the best chance in life.”

A decade on, that dream seems even further away.

Last month, Gordon Brown announced a “national crusade” to improve social mobility for the country’s most underprivileged children.

In a controversial move, discriminating against people on the grounds of class will be made illegal, just as it is on the basis of sex, age or gender. Though exactly how it will be possible to identify such discrimination remains unsurprisingly unclear.

Former health secretary Alan Milburn will head a new commission aimed to widen access to professions traditionally seen as the bastion of the middle classes, such as law, medicine and the media.

So, in the wake of all this government bluster it’s good to know that, on the ground at least, some things never change. The Cambridge paper, Varsity, today published a list that shows the average weekly budget and annual parental income of the parents of students by subject.

And, thank goodness, there are no surprises here. Topping the list with an average budget of £182 and an average parental income of £118,000 are the HAGS: the History of Art Girls.

As in life, following hot on in their heels are the Management boys with an average budget of £171, though the second-highest parental income is in Economics at £117,000.

The group with the lowest parental income are the Education students, on £46,500. Other altruistic professions – the doctors and vets – are average in the parental income groups but sit at the bottom of the tables when it comes to weekly budgets.

All of these are rather higher than the national average salary of around £30k (which has no doubt plummeted since last year). And how many students actually know for sure their parents’ income?

Still, if it shows one thing for sure, it is that we are all still obsessed with money, who has it and how much. I just wonder how many of these students will grow up to have anything like the income of their parents.

The Varsity list in full:

Average weekly budget/Average Parental Income

History of Art £182, £118,000

Management £171, £67,50

Architecture £155, £83,100

Land Economy £153, £74,000

Geography £148, £104,000

Classics £137, £84,600

Economics £137, £117,000

Maths £134, £78,000

Philosophy £129, £57,700

Computer Science £127, £50,900

Oriental Studies £125, £87,800

English £122, £61,200

SPS £119, £77,600

Law £112, £80,000

Music £107, £80,000

MML £106, £62,200

History £106, £74,800

ASNaC £104, £63,300

Theology £103, £74,900

Engineering £92, £68,100

Natural Sciences £90, £64,600

Arch & Anth £89, £52,200

Medicine £86, £62,300

Education £78, £46,500

Vet. Medicine £76, £64,600

 

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1 Response to “Great expectations”


  1. 1 jenny February 3, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I would be fascinated to see a similar breakdown for Cambridge societies. I have a feeling the average parental income of those who join the Union would top even that of the HAGS.


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