By Amy Taylor
Oxford University has announced it is going to consider factors such as potential students’ postcodes, their schools’ overall performance in GCSEs and A levels, if they have been looked after and if they have attended specific programmes for disadvantaged children when deciding whether to give them interviews (but not offers) according to a story in The Observer.
The story says youngsters living in poorer areas will have a better chance of being given interviews than those brought up in more affluent places.
Some critics have lambasted the idea, claiming that it amounts to social engineering but I disagree. Given all the legs up most Oxbridge students have to help them get in and throughout their life anything to help the disadvantaged has to be welcomed.
The idea has led some to say parents could try to beat the new system by renting homes in poor areas. This is of course the complete opposite to when parents rent properties in an affluent area in order to guarantee their child a place at a certain school.
One thing from this becomes clear – whatever systems are put in place, people with the money to do so will manipulate them at the expense of others. It is such attitudes which make the new plans at Oxford and similar schemes so necessary.
This story it also examined in the Fighting Monsters blog.