I read with interest the piece on the greater success of state-educated students in degree classifications, but I was very surprised not to have seen some control for the institutions attended (“State-schooled are more likely to get a good degree”, News, 24 September). Anecdotally, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge less readily give out firsts and 2:1s and, anecdotally, public-school educated students are over-represented at those institutions; it could follow then that public school students get lower degrees because they attend institutions with tougher degree grade boundaries. The important control would be to show that private-educated students at the same institution do worse than their state-educated contemporaries.
Department of biomedical science
University of Sheffield
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