These are the unis letting in the fewest state school pupils
Honestly, I’d never have guessed
At some of the country’s top unis, it still looks like a stretch to get in if you’re from a state school or working class background.
A student Tory in white tie burns money in front of a homeless man in Cambridge. In Durham, a student was offered money for sex just because she went to state school. Keep looking at these incidents and it becomes pretty clear Britain’s top unis have a class problem.
With widening participation plans and outreach schemes, unis say they’re doing everything they can to fix this. But there are still universities with shockingly low stats on social diversity, new analysis in the Sunday Times Good University Guide has revealed.
We've focused on the six unis who scored the worst on the Sunday Times' overall measure of social inclusion. The measure combines a number of different stats, including proportions of students from non-selective state schools, ethnic minorities, working class backgrounds, and deprived areas.
10 per cent of Oxford students are from working-class backgrounds, worse than any other uni in the rankings, and a shocking 4.1 per cent of students are from deprived areas.
Only Queen’s University Belfast has a lower proportion of state school students than Oxford’s 39.4 per cent.
Obviously Oxford has a stereotype, and certain colleges feel like extensions of certain private schools, but it’s a stereotype which bears fruit in passing comments. Whilst looking round on an open day in 2013, a pair of state school teenagers were greeted by a student saying “Oh, they’ve let the commoners in”.
How the least socially inclusive unis rank for letting in non-selective state school students:
Doing marginally better than Oxford, working class students take up only 10.2 per cent of Cambridge's student body, and 4.4 per cent are from deprived areas.
Wealthy private school pupils continue to dominate the campus as 40.1 per cent of Cambridge students went to state schools.
It's something that can reflect in the culture. Tom Rasmussen, a northern and working-class student spoke of being made to feel unwelcome when joining Cambridge last year. "Professors, teachers and lecturers were shocked by my accent, my mode of speaking and reasoning," he wrote in the Independent. "One Director of Studies asked me if ‘Cambridge was really the right place for someone like me'."
Coming in third place for the worst economic equality, 14.2 per cent of Bristol students are working class, and only 5.2 per cent of students are from deprived areas.
The proportion of state school students at Bristol is 50.2 per cent.
In Stoke Bishop, an area of Bristol consisting of six university halls, you’ll be lucky to find anyone who wasn’t privately educated. One of which is Badock, crowned the “Poshest Hall” in 2017, where over half of the students are from independent schools.
How the least socially inclusive unis rank for letting in working class students:
Only 14.2 per cent of Durham students are working class, and a tiny 6.4 per cent are from deprived areas.
The population of students who went to non-selective state schools is a mere 46.4 per cent. Nearly 1/3 of Durham students are privately educated, despite the fact they only represent seven per cent of all pupils in secondary education.
For working class Durham students, this is reflected all too often. In May this year, a Durham student, Lizzie Jane, revealed how a private school guy offered her money for sex, simply because she went to state school. She called it "an example of classism and sexism that's tied into many people's experience of Durham uni culture."
Once home to literal princes and princesses, St. Andrews has failed to shed its royal reputation as only 14.2 per cent of its students are from working-class backgrounds, and 3.5 per cent are from deprived areas.
54 per cent of the university's students come from state schools. Therefore it is hardly surprising that The Scotsman's comment section branded St. Andrews students as “Country-Club Kids”, “Kids from the Shires”, “The Elite Below Oxbridge,” and so on.
This year, St. Andrews saw the arrival of an Indian billionaire's daughter. The fresher bought a mansion to live in throughout her four years, as well as hired twelve staff to look after her while she studies. Need I say more?
How the least socially inclusive unis rank for letting in students from the most economically deprived areas of the country:
Edinburgh is yet another top university where the social divide is huge. 18.7 per cent of the student population is working class with 4.1 per cent from deprived areas.
In 2012/13, 67.7 per cent of Edinburgh students were accepted from state schools. This year The Times recorded that the intake was only 60.2 per cent. It seems as if universities are taking steps backwards, and university remains a middle-class affair.
In 2015, after a night club hosted a chav night with a £100 prize to the "best dressed chav", The Edinburgh Tab wrote that it was “just living up to the ugly stereotype of Edinburgh being full of the rich elite who look down on anyone who didn’t go to private school."