Top institutions need more cash to scout for state school students

June 23, 2000

Top universities need more money to fund teams of professional talent-spotters targeting state-school and poorer pupils, MPs heard this week.

Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, told the education select committee on Tuesday that admissions systems at the United Kingdom's leading universities are amateur and ad hoc compared with those at Ivy League equivalents in the United States.

The lack of a professional and coordinated admissions system in the UK contributes to "scandalous" under-representation of state-school and poorer students at top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, he said.

"We are saying that this is such an important function (and) that it is not being handled professionally. I do not think that our universities put enough into it, but that is not their fault because they are very resource-constrained. Leading universities have historically not reached out and found people to come and I think there are resource implications to that," said Mr Lampl.

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