Oxford University

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

Oxford and Cambridge are being accused of being so socially unique that they recruit extra college students from eight prime colleges than virtually three,000 different English state colleges put collectively.

The Sutton Belief social mobility charity says the main universities are failing to draw a large sufficient vary of expertise.

Belief founder Sir Peter Lampl stated all younger individuals wanted a “honest probability”.

Oxford College stated they “very conscious” that they “should work tougher”.

The examine examined Oxford and Cambridge admissions knowledge between 2015 and 2017 and located a handful of colleges, largely non-public, disproportionately dominating the variety of locations awarded.

Over- and under-represented

The Sutton Belief says pupils from eight colleges stuffed 1,310 Oxbridge locations over three years, in contrast with 1,220 from 2,900 different colleges.

These 2,900 colleges have been these with traditionally few admissions to Oxbridge – and accounted for about three-quarters of secondary colleges.

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

The charity was utilizing anonymised admissions knowledge – however it says that it believes most of those eight locations have been non-public colleges plus a few huge state sixth-form faculties.

The faculties are believed to incorporate Eton, Westminster and St Paul’s.

The analysis additionally discovered that prime reaching unbiased faculty pupils have been twice as possible as state faculty pupils to use to Oxford and Cambridge, even with the identical capacity and predicted grades.

The report reveals the imbalance in admissions:

  • 7% of all UK pupils attend non-public colleges
  • 18% of these taking A-levels are at non-public faculty
  • 34% of Oxbridge functions are from non-public faculty
  • 42% of Oxbridge locations go to non-public faculty pupils

The examine says there are some elements of the nation the place significantly few younger state-educated individuals get locations.

These embody:

  • Halton
  • Knowsley
  • Lincolnshire
  • North Lincolnshire
  • Portsmouth
  • Rochdale
  • Rutland
  • Salford
  • Southampton
  • Thurrock

The examine blames a scarcity of recommendation and steering for candidates and requires higher details about what’s required for entry and for admissions to have in mind younger individuals’s backgrounds.

“If we’re to make sure that all younger individuals, no matter their background, have a good probability of getting in to our prime universities, we have to tackle the patchwork of upper schooling steering and help,” stated Sir Peter Lampl.

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

“All younger individuals, no matter what space they develop up in, or what faculty they go to, ought to have entry to top quality private steering that enables them to make one of the best knowledgeable selections about their future.”

Martin Williams, Oxford College’s pro-vice-chancellor for schooling, stated the college accepted the necessity to do extra to widen entry.

“We’re very a lot conscious that Oxford should work tougher to draw a extra consultant collection of college students from throughout the UK,” stated Prof Williams.

Oxford runs summer season colleges to encourage extra deprived college students to use – and the college says there are plans to draw extra college students from locations the place it had recruited few college students previously.

The college says it spends £7m per 12 months on outreach schemes and is promising a brand new “detailed motion plan” with modifications to ensure there are locations for college kids of “excellent potential from all backgrounds”.

A spokesman for the College of Cambridge welcomed the concept that “extra help ought to be made accessible to college students earlier than they select their A-level topics and agree there ought to be extra provision of careers recommendation”.

However Cambridge rejected “reducing grade necessities”, saying this could “place unfair strain on college students and that’s one thing the college can’t help”.

Eradicating boundaries

The Schooling Secretary Damian Hinds, talking on Thursday, stated that main universities ought to settle for college students with the brand new technical , often known as T-levels.

He stated it will be an “error” to have a “blanket rejection” of younger individuals making use of with the brand new vocational exams, the place they have been related.

Oxford College says it’s ready to see how the T-levels develop earlier than making a choice.

Mr Hinds was launching plans for an overhaul of vocational schooling – saying such exams wanted to be of sufficiently top quality to be held in the identical esteem as A-levels and tutorial .

“It wants a system which may be very top quality, is effectively invested in, is effectively accepted – and never everyone passes,” he stated.

He warned of a “plethora of mediocre” that not effectively understood by both the general public or employers however stated, he wished to take away “false boundaries” between tutorial and vocational and that each might be routes into greater schooling.

On the Sutton Belief report, Mr Hinds stated: “While potential and expertise is evenly unfold, the alternatives to profit from it generally aren’t.

“Current knowledge reveals progress has been made for deprived college students going to college, there’s nonetheless a protracted strategy to go.

“I need universities to work with us, take into account the information rigorously and take a look at their very own admissions insurance policies to work out what will be achieved to make sure that their college is open to everybody who has the potential, regardless of their background or the place they’re from.”

Tim Bradshaw, chief govt of the Russell Group of main universities, stated: “We wish to recruit college students with potential and drive, no matter background, and we’re working arduous to enhance social mobility.

“There was progress lately however at the moment’s analysis underlines that this stays a giant problem.”