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After years of criticism that Oxford University favoured students from upper-class private school backgrounds, the university is implementing changes with the hope of better balancing the socio-economic backgrounds of students that the famed institution recruited.
The university is using postal codes, academic achievement, and the high school to find students who have high academic potential but would not traditionally get an interview at Oxford. These students are granted the opportunity to interview for admission. They are not necessarily granted admission.
Certain elements of British society are very upset by the change and are labeling it “social engineering” and an attack on the middle class.
It’s horrible: how dare universities go in search of academic talent who didn’t have a rich daddy to pay for private school?
Oxford has been forced to change their admission procedures across the board as record numbers of students are applying with “straight A” marks. (Students at private schools were three times more likely than average to “achieve” straight A marks)
With grade inflation rampant and elite British universities not inflating their enrolment to match, tensions are rising as students with straight As are being rejected by elite universities.
The current outrage over Oxford’s outreach efforts are merely an extension of this fight. Private schools are increasingly concerned with changes to admission formulas which favour students in public schools and they’re not afraid to state so.