Oxford, Cambridge reject Labour claim that they are elitist

November 14th, 2007 - 2:15 am ICT by admin  
Both universities have rejected fresh attempts to pressurise them into admitting more working-class applicants.

Labour’s favourite think-tank — The Institute for Public Policy Research — has claimed that pupils from fee-paying schools were over-represented at both universities.

It also said the institutions must stop blaming a lack of working class applicants for the failure to widen the social mix. They must instead be more pro-active in encouraging applications from students at comprehensives who had achieved three As at A-level.

But Cambridge attacked the IPPR’s research as ‘misleading’ while Oxford said it was fundamentally flawed.

Dr Geoff Parks, head of admissions at Cambridge, said: “About a fifth of students doing A-levels get three As.

“Cambridge is interested in the top five per cent. The A grade at A-level is no longer a good means of identifying a field of competitive applicants.”

The IPPR’s findings were released days after Universities Minister John Denham said the question of whether Oxbridge is biased against state pupils must be settled before a review of tuition fees in 2009.

As part of an agreement with the Government to charge

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