Arab Today, arab today oxford diversity and free school meals
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Oxford diversity and free school meals

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Oxford diversity and free school meals

Arabstoday

Free school meals are a bad measure of diversity at selective universities (Editorial, 3 March) – not least because a significant number of students are not eligible for free school meals simply because they attend sixth-form colleges, further education institutions or (on bursaries) independent schools. And many students opt not to claim free school meals even if they qualify. Around 10% of Oxford University students come from families with incomes below £16,190 (the key eligibility criteria for free school meals). Only about one in 10 of these students actually claimed free school meals – the rest wouldn't have been counted in any of the figures related to free school meals, which you cite as an indicator of Oxford's poor access record. In fact, of the 80,000 students eligible for free school meals in the United Kingdom, only 176 achieved three As at A-level – the minimum requirement for making a competitive application to Oxford. The good news is that more than one-quarter of those students on free school meals getting the grades ended up at either Oxford or Cambridge – a sign that those achieving at the level necessary to go to Oxford or Cambridge are getting in, regardless of background.

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