I did not say students "should drop extracurricular activities" ("Why being a fancy flautist won't help win a place at Oxford", August 27), as your article falsely claimed, nor did I say they were "wasting their time" doing them). Nor do I have any interest in contradicting David Willetts' sensible comments - I gave the interview months ago, long before he made them, and was merely explaining Oxford's policy.
Extracurricular activities have many benefits. One of them is that many leading universities take them into account as part of the selection process. Oxford does not, unless supporting a student's interest in their subject, as it prefers to assess people's ability for their chosen subject - and we have made this clear for many years.
Mike Nicholson, Director of undergraduate admissions, University of Oxford.