No right to cry foul

August 20, 2004

I am dissatisfied with the prominence you have given to commonplace comments made by a recent graduate on the personal advantages of studying abroad. The presentation of facts in your article about Laura Spence ("Laura Spence speaks out", August 6) can only fuel misunderstanding of the issue.

I have had 38 years' experience of admissions to Oxford University and in all this time have found total commitment from my colleagues to seek out the greatest talent and potential, regardless of school backgrounds, state or independent, comprehensive or grammar. As the proportion of students with top A-level results continues to rise, so universities will find themselves rejecting greater numbers of candidates with good grades from all types of school.

As I understand it, Spence was not even a near miss at Oxford. So she chose to study another subject at an American university where her school had sent pupils before. Well, good luck to her.

St Edmund Hall, Oxford

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