New figures have suggested that there are still fewer pupils from poorer families getting into North East universities.
Institutions across the region say that pupils' aspirations must be raised - an idea also echoed by Oxford and Cambridge Universities, who today set up shop in St James' Park to try do exactly that.
You can watch the full report from our education correspondent Dan Ashby below.
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Middlesbrough kept their unbeaten re-entry into the Premier League going drawing 0-0 at West Brom.
He has agreed a two-year contract at St. James' Park and becomes the tenth new face in the Magpies' first team squad this summer.
On the back of three consecutive Championship wins, the Magpies sit fourth, poised to move into the automatic promotion places.