Oxbridge warms to the North

19th May 2000 at 01:00
OXFORD and Cambridge universities targeted two under-represented groups this week: northeners and students from further education colleges.

One thousand sixth-formers from the north of England, Wales and Scotland travelled to Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, to attend a conference aimed at breaking the southern stranglehold. Only 3 per cent of Cambridge students and 1.9 per cent at Oxford come from the North.

Susan Stobbs, Cambridge head of admissions, told the conference tht colleges had organised hardship funds to help students in financial difficulties. "We don't want potential applicants... to miss out on a fantastic experience," she said.

A group of Oxford colleges have announced a drive to recruit FE leavers, who make up only 4 per cent of students. They will target 30-40 colleges to attract working-class and mature applicants. A recruitment officer will visit the colleges to try to persuade their brightest to apply.

see FE Focus, III

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