Alan Milburn’s recent report into social mobility and higher education says little that is really controversial or particularly surprising. He has outlined the data that shows up the unequal admissions across universities and surveyed the policies that have aimed to address it – from the National Scholarship Programme to Aimhigher. But his central question too easily repeats the widespread assertion that social mobility in the UK has at best stalled or at worst is in decline. And that this has largely happened since the 1990s. But he is at least partly wrong.