Oxbridge: rich in research, poor in state-school pupils

January 23, 2003


  • Undergraduates 15,950
  • Postgraduates 6,200
  • Students from low social classes 10%
  • Hefce teaching income £53m
  • Hefce research income £65m
  • Income from Hefce 32%

Oxford anticipates a £4.3 million deficit in the next financial year. On publicly funded teaching, it is £23 million down. Estimates put its underfunding per UK/EU undergraduate at £3,400.

If Oxford decided to charge its 10,630 full-time home/EU undergraduates the full £1,900 top-up fee it would gain about £20 million.

Oxford would also have to meet the requirements of the access tsar. About 10 per cent of its students come from lower social classes. But Hefce performance indicators put it just below its benchmark figure.

The white paper threatens the role of the colleges by calling for more centralised admissions.

Oxford's shortfall on publicly funded research was £69 million. The white paper's pledge to give more research to fewer institutions could significantly benefit Oxford.


  • Undergraduates 18,770
  • Postgraduates 8,000
  • Students from low social classes 9%
  • Hefce teaching income £54m
  • Hefce research income £68m
  • Income from Hefce 32%

The white paper rhetoric struck a raw nerve for Cambridge. The UK's top research institution is embroiled in internal strife over issues of governance and management and a £10 million deficit.

Cambridge opposed tuition fees, arguing they would deter students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. But an extra £22 million from tuition fees would help address its funding crisis.

Cambridge would also become an obvious focus for an access tsar: data show that it has the worst participation rates for students from poorer backgrounds in the UK. This year it increased acceptances from state schools by 3 per cent.

Vice-chancellor Alec Broers said: "We remain committed to admitting the most able students regardless of background and would be concerned about any increases in regulation."


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