Oxford University ‘to take more state pupils’

Oxford University is set to take its highest number of state-school pupils in decades.

According to the BBC, the university has offered 59.2 per cent of places to state-school pupils, up from 55.6 per cent last year.Although final acceptance figures have yet to be confirmed, the number of state-school pupils attending Oxford University has been increasing steadily since it first published its admissions figures in 1990.The figures will be welcomed by the university. Oxford, and many other top-performing universities, has faced calls to be more open to pupils from more diverse social backgrounds.In 2015, the university invested around £6 million in outreach activities involving 3,400 schools.According to the university’s website, they are “committed to ensuring that our undergraduate admissions processes identify students with outstanding academic potential … whatever their background”.

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Back in January 2016, then Prime Minister David Cameron said that the top universities need to work harder to broaden their intake.Wendy Piatt, director general of The Russell Group of UK universities, explained, “There are still too many children from disadvantaged backgrounds underachieving at school and receiving poor advice and guidance.”Only 7 per cent of UK school children are educated privately in the UK, yet they still represent the remaining 40.8 per cent of places being offered by Oxford University.With the top universities able to charge tuition fees of up to £9,250 a year, it remains to be seen how these institutions will be able to close this gap further.

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