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Oxford, Cambridge colleges not admitting poorer students to be shamed

world Updated: Dec 13, 2015 19:43 IST
Oxford university

Students walk past the Radcliffe Camera building in Oxford city centre at Oxford University. A UK authority is set to name and shame some colleges from Oxford and Cambridge for failing to admit students from poorer background.(File Photo/Getty)

A UK government advisory body will name and shame leading colleges from Oxford and Cambridge University for failing to be inclusive of students from poorer backgrounds.

Collectively referred to as Oxbridge, the world’s most well-known educational institutions are to be criticised in a hard-hitting annual report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. The report will highlight the failure of some major Oxbridge colleges to accept even half of their intake from state-funded schools in favour of more privileged privately educated students, the ‘Observer’ newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, the commission will say in its report out on Thursday that while attainment of top A-level grades by those from the least wealthy backgrounds is poor, with just 2.2% of the most deprived gaining good grades, these statistics offer no excuse for Oxbridge’s intake figures.

“Large discrepancies between Oxbridge colleges in the number of offers to made to applicants from the state sector illustrate that many should be doing much more,” the report prepared by Labour cabinet minister Alan Milburn and former Conservative cabinet minister Gillian Shephard.

Some of the worst performers expected to be highlighted include University College (Oxford), Robinson (Cambridge), St Peter’s (Oxford), Trinity (Oxford) and Christ Church (Oxford). The commission will, however, welcome Oxbridge’s increasing use of contextual measures as a means of addressing the under-representation of lower-income and state-educated students, but demand greater and better use of it.