It is claimed that some of our region's top universities are becoming socially exclusive clubs for the rich and privileged.
A report by the Government's social mobility commission says there has been an alarming drop in the number of students educated in state schools who attend the country's top universities.
Both Durham University and Newcastle University have seen a reduction in recent years.
However, as Kenny Toal reports, they say they are doing all they can. You can watch his full report below.
More top news
Police say they are treating a fire which almost destroyed a Grade II listed building in Hartlepool as arson.
Knife-wielding robbers broke into a couple's home, threatened the householders and then made off with their Christmas presents.
It happened as the teenager was walking to school this morning. Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police.