Cambridge University has made more offers to state-school pupils this year compared with last year, in contrast to Oxford University, writes Caroline Davis.
Susan Stobbs, Cambridge's director for admissions, said offers to state-school pupils had risen by 1 per cent. But she would not disclose the number of offers the university had made for entry this autumn, saying they were still too fluid. Last year, 1,672 students (56 per cent of the cohort) who took places at Cambridge were educated in state schools.
"The numbers are steadily increasing, which reflects the applications," Ms Stobbs said. "We are absolutely committed to widening participation, but with fair selection and admitting on merit."
Oxford has made 1,781 offers to state-school pupils, 174 fewer than last year. Offers to independent-school pupils are at a three-year high of 46 per cent. It said it was committed to access for all, but "selection is based solely on merit, and we will not impose quotas".