Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Oxbridge needs 'tilting back' in favour of state schools, argues Ben Kentish
14 May 2022, 15:34
Ben Kentish has argued Oxbridge needs "tilting back" in favour of state schools so it "no longer discriminates" against kids who didn't get the "training" and "teaching they need to go to those top universities".
It comes as the Education Secretary has said Britain should be "very proud" of its private schools as he hit out at suggestions that elite universities should "tilt the system" to accept more pupils from state schools.
Nadhim Zahawi pushed back against the idea that Oxford and Cambridge should accept more pupils from state schools and exclude the children "who are performing"
Cambridge University vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Toope recently told private schools to accept that they will get fewer students into Oxbridge in the future, saying they'd be "welcoming others" rather than telling students from private schools "we don't want you".
Ben Kentish, who is a former Cambridge graduate, said: "I think the system is already incredibly tilted. When you look at how overrepresented children who went to private schools are at our top universities, I genuinely struggle to see how you could say otherwise.
"So I think the system does need tilting. It needs tilting back, so it no longer discriminates against kids who went to certain state schools, largely comprehensive, who didn't get the training, maybe the teaching they need to go to those top universities."
Ben continued: "I think Oxbridge is right to say that it will actively seek them out, and actively give them opportunities that it isn't giving to children who have had a better education, a more privileged education.
"Some state schools do that, [and Oxbridge are] not discriminating against people who went to good state schools, and some people will say that's unfair.
"The difference for me is, admissions should be on genuine merit - how intelligent and hardworking and able you are, and that doesn't necessarily correlate with money.
"So what Oxbridge are saying here is 'if your parents have been able to buy you a better education, then that's going to count against you'."