Oxford University is to expand its UNIQ programme following newly released data showing continuing problems with access.
The scheme, which provides spring and summer schools for students from under-represented backgrounds, will increase its intake by 50% from next year.
Students who apply through the scheme have a 14% greater likelihood of gaining a place at Oxford.
The announcement of the scheme’s expansion comes after a release of access data by the University showed that 17 of the top 20 schools for Oxford admissions are fee-paying.
Vice chancellor, Louise Richardson, said: “UNIQ is a wonderful example of what can happen when bright students are given the chance to realise their potential, increase their confidence and raise their aspirations. These 500 extra places will enable even more young women and men to see for themselves that an Oxford education is within their reach.”
The expansion will be funded by £75 million donations from the University and Sir Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman. Heyman and Moritz already fund a scholarship which the University announced would be expanded to every new student from a UK household earning £16,000 or less.
Sir Michael Moritz said: “We’re delighted that our £75 milllion gift, coupled with matched funding of £75 million from the University, has been able to generate additional funds to support an expanded UNIQ scheme.
“UNIQ has an outstanding track record in lifting the success rate of applicants to Oxford from disadvantaged backgrounds, exactly the groups that out gift is aimed at.
“We’re equally pleased to see the Moritz-Heyman scholarships expand to build on the success of the last six years and become available to all UK students from households with an annual income of £16,000 or less.”
5,500 students have used the programme since it launched in 2010. 1250 of those have gained places on Oxford courses.