Should Oxbridge ‘dumb down’?By TheStudentGuide
The controversial new director of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) Les Ebdon, says universities risk losing their world-class status if they fail to admit more students from state schools.
In the first interview since his appointment, Les Ebdon commented
If the top universities are to retain their positions, they need to access the full range of our society. Otherwise, they are losing a major source of potential."
Both Oxford and Cambridge take more than 40% of their entrants from fee-charging schools, which educate only 7-8% of children overall.
Prior to taking up the post of director of OFFA, Ebdon had been vice-chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, recruiting nearly all of his students from state schools to study unconventional subjects such as journalism, sport and social work.
Ebdon says universities should use "contextual data" and admit students from disadvantaged areas on lower A-level grades than their more advantaged peers.
What do you think – should top class universities like Oxbridge lower their entry grades in order to admit students from less privileged backgrounds? Tell us below.