Oxford has been ranked as Britain’s least socially inclusive university by The Sunday Times Good University Guide.
In the first university league table to factor in social inclusion, Oxford ranks bottom based on six measures including proportion of working-class, ethnic minority, and mature students.
The new data shows that just one in ten students at Oxford view themselves as working class, and over 60% of students went to a private or grammar school.
16 out of the 24 Russell Group universities were ranked in the bottom 20 of the table for social inclusivity, with St Andrews, Cambridge, Durham and Bristol also in the bottom five.
Despite eight out of ten pupils attending non-selective schools in the UK, only four out of ten students from Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College came from these kinds of schools.
MP David Lammy, who has previously accused Oxford University of “social apartheid”, declared yesterday that many of Britain’s top universities were still “gated communities for the privileged”.
He went on to say: “The new Office for Students should prove it has teeth – by using its powers to fine or cap the fees of those institutions which fail to distinguish between elite and elitist.”
Oxford University said that last year’s intake had more students than ever “from areas with low traditions of going into higher education.”
They said: “We are continually evaluating initiatives to improve diversity on all counts and investing further in approaches that work.”
“An outstanding example is our UNIQ Summer School, which has helped 1,250 students into Oxford since 2012, and which we are now expanding to reach an extra 500 students from target areas every year.”
The Sunday Times Guide ranked Cambridge as number one overall, followed by Oxford, St Andrews, and Imperial College, with Loughborough awarded Sunday Times university of the year.