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March 12, 1999

(Photograph) - Oxford University undergraduate Charles Blacklock shows potential applicant Philip Nartey around as part of a 'shadowing' scheme to encourage ethnic minorities to come to Oxford.

It emerged this week that black and Asian students were proportionately more likely to apply to Oxford or Cambridge than white students. But the researchers from the National Foundation for Educational Research, commissioned jointly by the institutions, also found that potential applicants were still put off by a perception of the institutions as elitist and expensive.

Students wrongly believed that Oxbridge gets more applications per place than other universities.

Applicants were most likely to be young men from grammar schools with highly qualified parents. Oxbridge admissions officers said teachers' misconceptions also deterred applicants.

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