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Analysis of new peers by their higher education

  • 28 August 2015
  • By Nick Hillman

On this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Lord Norton of Louth, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, noted that one of his former students, Kevin Shinkwin, had been included in the 2015 Dissolution Peerages list published yesterday.

It triggered HEPI to undertake a quick analysis of the higher education of all 45 new peers. Although there are a few blanks (most of the information was taken from Wikipedia), three things stand out:

  • The dominance of Oxford (not Oxbridge as there are 11 new peers from Oxford and only one from Cambridge and not the Oxford-Cambridge-London golden triangle as there is only one apiece from the LSE, UCL and Queen Mary)
  • The fact that the overwhelming majority did go to university (given the average age of those accepting peerages is relatively high, they would have typically been educated when only a small proportion of the population went to university)
  • Arguably, the relatively strong performance of Scottish institutions (as Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow all feature)

Originally, we planned to include a third column showing the current mission group status of each university but there didn’t seem much point, given the results…

New peerHigher education (usually undergraduate)
James ArbuthnotCambridge
Rt Hon Gregory BarkerRoyal Holloway
Catherine FallOxford
Simone FinnOxford
Stephen GilbertNot known
Rt Hon William HagueOxford
Robert Hayward OBERhodesia
Rt Hon Douglas Hogg QCOxford
Rt Hon Andrew Lansley CBEExeter
James Lupton CBEOxford
Ruby McGregor-Smith CBEKingston Polytechnic (now Kingston University)
Anne McIntoshEdinburgh
Michelle Mone OBENot applicable
James O’ShaughnessyOxford
Emma Pidding CBENot known
Stuart Polak CBENot known
Councillor Gary PorterNot known
Councillor Elizabeth RedfernNot known
Rt Hon Andrew RobathanOxford
Kate RockNot known
Councillor Jane Scott OBELancashire College of Agriculture (now Myerscough College)
Kevin ShinkwinHull
Philip Smith CBENot known
Philippa StroudBirmingham
Rt Hon David WillettsOxford
Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt CHOxford
Sir Alan BeithOxford
Sharon BowlesReading
Sir Malcolm BruceQueen’s College (now Dundee)
Lorely BurtSwansea
Rt Hon Sir Menzies ‘Ming’ Campbell CH, CBE, QCGlasgow
Lynne FeatherstoneOxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes)
Don FosterKeele
Jonny OatesExeter
Shas SheehanUCL
Sir Andrew StunellManchester
Dorothy Thornhill MBENot known
Rt Hon David BlunkettSheffield
Rt Hon Alistair DarlingAberdeen
Rt Hon Peter HainQueen Mary College (now Queen Mary University of London)
Rt Hon Tessa Jowell DBEAberdeen
Spencer LivermoreLSE
Paul MurphyOxford
Rt Hon Dawn Primarolo DBEBristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England)
Dave WattsNot known


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