Arab Today, arab today oxbridge entry \still stubbornly linked to postcode\
Last Updated : GMT 06:23:41
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Oxbridge entry \'still stubbornly linked to postcode\'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Oxbridge entry \'still stubbornly linked to postcode\'

London - Arabstoday

Some 280 school-leavers from Surrey, which contains some of the country’s most affluent addresses, got into the two universities in a single year – as many as the combined total from almost a third of England’s local authorities. Figures also show that 11 areas failed to send a single student to Oxford or Cambridge, despite repeated attempts to widen access to elite institutions. The figures underline the extent to which children’s chances of a decent education remain stubbornly linked to postcode and family background after 13 years of Labour. Last night, the Conservatives warned that thousands of young people had virtually no chance of getting into top universities because of a failure to tackle “social mobility black spots”. It follows the publication of figures showing that privately-educated pupils are almost seven times as likely to get into Oxbridge as those from state comprehensives. Damian Hinds, a Tory member of the Commons education select committee, who obtained the latest data in a Parliamentary question, said it underlined the “shocking truth of educational inequality under Labour”. “Despite promising the earth and spending billions of pounds more on schools, by the time they left office leafy Surrey produced more Oxbridge entrants than 47 poor local authorities combined,” he said. “In the 21st Century it is a disgrace that young people’s futures are so determined by where they happen to grow up.” Figures published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show the number of children from each of England’s 150 local authorities admitted to Oxbridge and the 20 leading Russell Group universities in 2009/10. The councils with the 10 highest numbers of Oxbridge entrants were all in the south-east, topped by Surrey, followed by Oxfordshire with 210, Hampshire with 180, Hertfordshire with 175, Kent with 150, London’s Barnet with 125 and Buckinghamshire with 120. By comparison, no students from 11 councils made it to Oxford or Cambridge – Gateshead, Halton, Hull, Knowsley, Middlesbrough, Plymouth, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, St Helens, Stoke-on-Trent and Thurrock. The pattern was repeated for entrance to the Russell Group, which also represents universities such as University College London, Imperial College and Edinburgh. Surrey sent 1,930 students to these universities – 63 times more than from Thurrock in Essex. Five local authorities had more Russell Group entrants in 2009 than 61 others combined. The disclosure follows a series of fierce Government attacks on leading universities for failing to create a more socially-balanced student body. Earlier this year, Nick Clegg accused Oxford and Cambridge of being effectively biased against poor pupils, saying they had to ensure “British society is better reflected” in their admissions to justify state funding. But universities have defended their record, saying that the number of deprived students has increased in recent years. The Russell Group has also repeatedly blamed the schools system for failing to encourage enough students from poor backgrounds to apply.  

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