Admission by lottery

November 9, 2007

Alan Ryan is quite right that no amount of tinkering with current admissions procedures would "alter the state/private balance of the intake - let alone their class background" (Letters, November 2).

If we really did want to do that, we would have to reject the assumption that the cleverest candidates should go to the "best" universities, otherwise the public schools and their clients will always find a way of playing the system: after all, that is their raison d'être .

Everyone who achieves minimum university entry qualifications should simply indicate the sort of degree they wish to take, together with any geographical constraints on where they can go arising from other commitments and circumstances, and then be allocated a place by lottery. That would break the class stranglehold on university education in the UK.

Bob Brecher, Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, Brighton University.

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