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Hi,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/aug/20/private-schools-pupils-top-alevels

The universities minister, David Lammy, defended the government's record on expanding university access after accusations that Labour had abandoned the policy by refusing to lift the cap and allow more people on to degree courses.

1. What does "record" here mean?

2. Does to lift the cap mean raising the cap or simply removing the cap?

"We have an aspiration of 50% that has driven the growth in university numbers. We've got 43% of students opting for university and we can see the demand and appetite is still there. We will have more people at university this year than ever before in our history."

3. I don't understand the first sentence. What is an aspiration of 50%?

Thanks in advance
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1. What does "record" here mean?-- a report, list, or aggregate of actions or achievements
2. Does to lift the cap mean raising the cap or simply removing the cap?--It could be either, but I suspect removing it.

3. I don't understand the first sentence. What is an aspiration of 50%?-- 50% of high school students express an aspiration to attend university.
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Thanks!