Fringe Box



Letter: Just Trying Can Change One’s Life

Published on: 6 Sep, 2018
Updated on: 6 Sep, 2018

From David Roberts

In response to: Why More State School Sixth-formers Should Apply to Oxbridge

Laura Neuhaus is spot-on. Oxbridge do a huge amount of outreach to state schools and the socially less advantaged, but this is not reflected in applications.

The problem lies with low aspirations – of students, their parents and (especially) their teachers, who in many cases do nothing to encourage them to ‘have a go’ and in many cases seem to have an inferiority complex about going to some lesser university.

A friend of mine in rural North Wales told me recently his son, who is something of a maths genius, had failed to get into Oxford. According to him, this was because Oxford is “not for people like us”.

I find this defeatist attitude infuriating, and there’s almost nothing Oxford and Cambridge can do about it.

Neither of my parents were graduates and I went to a state school in the Midlands. I was encouraged to apply for Oxford and, to my amazement, got in. I got a First and then a high-status job in the Foreign Office. Just trying changed my life.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *