The Telegraph is reporting that students at Oxford and Cambridge universities are now made up of roughly half state and half privately educated students (although barely 10% of students across the country attend private schools).
Figures show 55.7 per cent of Oxford entrants in 2014/15 were from the state sector and 61.8 per cent at Cambridge.
But virtually all students attending smaller specialists colleges went to a state school. Staffordshire and Teesside had the highest percentages of state-educated students, at 99.3 per cent each, followed by Bolton at 99.2 per cent…
Overall, 89.8 per cent of UK young, full-time undergraduates starting courses at British universities in 2014/15 were educated in the state sector, according to figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This is up from 89.6 per cent in 2013/14 and 89.2 per cent in 2012/13.
The Russell Group university with the highest percentage of state school pupils starting in 2014/15, was Queen Mary, University of London, at 87.9 per cent, followed by Liverpool at 87.7 per cent.
In England only, 89.6 per cent of entrants were state educated.
An Oxford University spokesman said that, according to their calculations, in 2014, 56.3 per cent of UK acceptances to the institution came from UK state schools…
“Overall the number of successful applicants who fall into any one or more of our target access categories is on the rise – more than 34 per cent of accepted UK candidates are from one or more of our target categories (compared to 31.5 per cent in 2010).”
Or, in other words, despite barely 10% of overall university entrants being privately educated, they fill nearly half the places at Oxford.
The university, in the full article, makes clear that their targets to improve access are for more clearly defined categories of disadvantage, rather than just looking at state versus private schools.
It still must be of some concern though that such a high proportion come from such a small part of the schools system, even if students from those schools are, for a variety of reasons, likely to be higher attainers.
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