Oxford University has invited the cream of the Northeast's teenagers to a special conference at Newcastle United's ground with a free lunch and a chance to meet footballers, in an attempt to boost applications.
They have been invited by Andrew Hobson, admissions tutor for Magdalen College, which is still smarting from the Laura Spence affair, and Gerry Straker from the university's admissions office.
With state school applications down this year, the delegation could have its work cut out to undo last year's public relations disaster. But whatever happens, Mr Hobson should enjoy the day out. Brought up in Newcastle, he is a lifelong Magpies fan.