Essentially, I feel you either take both of those ideas, or neither of them.
It's probably just an age thing, but I feel the balance was about right in the late 80s/early 90s.
There was enough support around then that bright working class kids like me / EdEx could get into decent universities, but there was not the expectation that everyone had to go to university, and to not do so was somehow a failure.
Once Blair had started on the 'send 50% of people to uni' scheme, things were only going to go one way.
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