I agree with Kenneth Smith ("Data to end quota debate", Letters, 29 November) that we could simply look at finals data for the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge to see if we can discern differences between state and privately educated students in terms of degrees awarded. However, I wonder if it would tell the whole story.
It is quite possible, with a quota on the number of undergraduates from private schools (and so, fewer of them), bright 18-year-olds from comprehensives and further education and sixth-form colleges might flourish instead of feeling somehow second-class and less worthy of their place.
It might also open up opportunities for them to attend any institution rather than the handful that are known among state-school careers advisers as having a better (that is, more balanced, more mixed) demographic.
David Mead, Professor of public law and UK human rights, School of Law, University of Essex