Number of offers to state school students falls

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The number of state school pupils who received an offer from Oxford University fell this year despite an increase in the number of applications. It followed a report that showed Oxford was already failing to meet targets for admitting students from poorer backgrounds.The annual admissions statistics showed that the percentage of successful state educated applicants fell to 51.5% from 54.7% last year. They also showed that privately educated applicants had a greater chance of success (35.9%) than their state sector peers (30.6%), and that men had an advantage over women. The fall in admissions from maintained schools came despite a 3% increase in applications. The overall level of applications was up by 6%.The Director of the Colleges Admissions Office, Jane Minto said she was encouraged by the rise in applications, which showed that the University’s message of welcoming bright students irrespective of background was getting through to young people. She attributed the fall in admissions of state pupils to the greater competition for places and claimed that the admissions process was based on “merit and potential alone”.The fall came a week after a report from the Higher Education Council, which showed that the university was failing to meet its benchmark for attracting working class students. Oxford was set a target of 13% of admissions from lowerincome groups, who make up 40% of the population, but admitted only 9%. Its record fell behind only Cambridge and Exeter as the worst in the country. OUSU President Helena Puig Larrauri said the news was “doubly worrying at a time when the government is discussing increases to university fees.”
Archive: 0th week HT 2004

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