In Brief

The eight schools that ‘dominate’ Oxbridge

The elite universities admit more students from handful of private institutions than from almost 3,000 other schools combined

Oxford and Cambridge admit more students from just eight elite schools than from three-quarters of all the other schools and colleges put together, statistics show.

The data - from a newly published study by social mobility charity The Sutton Trust - confirms fears that despite a highly publicised drive to make Oxbridge more accessible to all, admissons to the two universities “are still dominated by a tiny number of schools”, the Daily Mail says.

Eton, which charges £40,000 a year, Westminster School (£39,000 a year) and St Paul’s in London (£37,000) are among eight schools that have sent a total of 1,310 pupils to Oxbridge over the last three years.

During the same period, 2,894 other schools across the country sent just 1,220 students between them.

Overall, 42% of Oxbridge places go to independent/private school students, even though just 7% of the general population attend such institutions.

Eton gets 60 to 100 students into Oxbridge each year and employs a dedicated universities officer, who is “available at any time during the A-level years for interviews with boys or parents”, The Guardian reports.

St Paul’s employs 11 specialist UK university advisers, while pupils at Westminster are given personalised mentoring and university preparation classes.

The Sutton Trust said it could not disclose the other five schools on the elite list - “a condition of obtaining the data from Ucas”, says The Independent.

But based on published admissions data, it appears that just two of the eight are state schools: Hills Road Sixth Form College, in Cambridge, and Peter Symonds College, in Hampshire.

The report also highlights a “disparity between regions” in terms of admissions, with “about 6% of those applying to university in the south of England winning a place at Oxbridge, compared with 3-4% of those from the north or the Midlands”, ITV News adds.

In areas including Rochdale, Rutland, Salford, Lincolnshire and Southampton, two or fewer comprehensive pupils got into Oxbridge over the three-year period.

Sutton Trust founder Sir Peter Lampl said: “If we are to ensure that all young people, regardless of their background, have a fair chance of getting in to our top universities, we need to address the patchwork of higher education guidance and support.

“All young people, regardless of what area they grow up in, or what school they go to, should have access to high-quality personal guidance that allows them to make the best informed choices about their future.”

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