Universities must act to eradicate discrimination against working-class students, including the mockery of regional accents, equality campaigners have said.
A Guardian investigation has found widespread evidence of students at some of the country’s leading universities being ridiculed over their accents and backgrounds, in some cases prompting them to leave education.
The analysis found discrimination against working-class students was particularly prevalent among Russell Group universities. The group, which is made up of 24 institutions, has a reputation for academic excellence.
In a series of Guardian interviews, students past and present reported bullying and harassment over their accents and working-class backgrounds. Some said their academic ability was questioned because of the way they spoke.
Young Owen, famously, listening to George Formby records while at Oxford in order to preserve his accent.