Cambridge no longer the biggest home of privately educated students

Figures released bust the myth

Cambridge now has a record high of previously state-educated pupils attending the university, with results from the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealing a figure of 61.9%. 

We’ve beaten universities like Durham, St Andrews and Bristol, who admits just 61.4%. In response, the university has decided to lower their standard offer by two grades for students at low-performing schools – those who are in the bottom 40% for A-Level results.

Cantabs will be pleased to know that the Other Place is trailing behind with an admittance of just 55.7%, making it the university with the lowest percentage of state-educated students out of the higher performing, mainstream institutions. However, figures from the latest Autumn 2016 intake have not been included, which would undoubtedly have seen a rise in acceptance of students who weren’t from a private school background.

sorry Oxford, no beating us this time

Speaking to the BBC on the matter, the Cambridge director of admissions, Dr Sam Lucy, revealed that the proportion of state-school entrants had, over the past decade, risen from 54% to 62%, stating “Myths persist, but staff and students are breaking through them.”

Although 89.9% of state-educated children attend university in the UK, according to figures from 2015-2016, there is still work to be done. England is being beaten out by Wales (where 92.8% of students at university are state-educated) and Northern Ireland (99.2%.) However, Scotland’s intake from the state sector is lower than ours, at 87%.

Specialist institutions such as the Royal Agricultural University and the Royal Academy of Music still predominantly admit privately educated students, with under half of their intake having been to state school.

From the BBC report: the results in full

The concern about the door being closed to those at poor performing schools is reflected in the results from the Independent Schools Council, which shows that, whereas around 6.5% of children are privately educated from a young age in the UK, this figure rises to 18% after the age of 16.

Improvement in entry figures will undoubtedly continue, but for the moment, many competitive universities still admit large proportions of privately educated students.