Cambridge ranks ninth in private school intake figures

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In 2015-16, 61.9% of the University’s intake were state-educated, according to data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, compared to around 54% a decade ago.

These new government figures place Cambridge University as having a lower proportion of students from private schools than Durham, Bristol, and St Andrews.

It has the ninth most privately educated intake, behind Oxford and St Andrews, which are fourth and fifth respectively. Oxford has 55.7% of its intake from state schools, falling from to 57.7% five years ago (although the first figure does not include its most recent intake from autumn 2016, which saw a rise in the number of state pupils).

Specialist institutions are also among those with the lowest proportion of state school students, with the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Agricultural University, and Courtauld Institute of Art topping the list as places of study with the highest proportion of privately educated students.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Sam Lucy, Admissions Tutor at Newnham, described Cambridge as a “diverse place and nothing like the rumours or typical media stories”.

She continued, “Myths persist, but staff and students are breaking through them.”

At the other end of the scale, both Liverpool Hope and Bolton Universities drew more than 99% of their intake from the state sector.

Overall, 89.9% of young, full-time entrants from the UK at British universities in 2015-16 were from state schools. This figure varies across the UK, with Scottish universities accepting a lower proportion of state school students (87%), than universities in England (89.8%), Wales (92.8%), or Northern Ireland (99.2%).

The proportion of pupils educated by independent schools in the UK is 6.5%, rising to 18% in sixth form.

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