Oxford University to accept more state school pupils amid diversity drive
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After much scrutiny and criticism, Oxford University will this year be welcoming more pupils from state schools than any time in the last 40 years. After a massive push from the university’s outreach programme, almost 60% of students will come from a state-educated background, up almost 10% on just over a decade ago, according to the BBC. There have been calls for leading universities to accept pupils from a wider range of backgrounds, and Dr Samina Khan, head of undergraduate admissions at Oxford, said they take responsibilities of diversity “incredibly seriously”. Last year its colleges worked with 3,400 schools on around 3,000 “outreach” projects, and Dr Khan said the upturn in state school entries shows its efforts to increase applications from under-represented groups are “bearing fruit”. Oxford has offered 59.2% of places to state school pupils this year, though the final figure for acceptances has yet to be confirmed. This compares with 55.6% last year, 51.4% in 2005 and 48.1% in 1995. Parliamentary figures show that in 1961 just a third of entrants were from state schools. However despite the surge in state school pupils accepted to Oxford this year, some people have taken to social media to express how the estimated 59.2% figure is still not good enough.