A common accusation levelled at Cambridge is that a disproportionate undergraduate number of places are given to those who went to private (or public) school and that, as a university, it is for people from a certain background.
That statistic is in fact inaccurate because amongst other things it excludes students who are educated abroad. A more accurate representation of the statistics which are available here is as follows
In the year 2017, 3,497 students were accepted to Cambridge of which:
- 1049 came from state schools
- 593 came from grammar schools
- 1070 came from independent schools
- 772 came from overseas or had “other” types of specifciation .
A few points on this
- Grammar schools, given their rarity since the abolition of the tripartite model in the 1960/70s. are especially competitive destinations for secondary school pupils. Given how competitive they are, that they select on the basis of the ability to afford a house in the catchment area and/or to pay for tutors. As such, they should be considered private schools in all but name.
- One must take into consideration whether those comprehensives and SF colleges are in fact truly comprehensive or whether they select like grammar schools, albeit on an unofficial basis
- Given the fact that some comprehensives are incorrectly categorised as comprehensives and not private schools, I have decided to lump in the category “other” with overseas to coutnerbalance this.
So according to this, it is more accurate to state that only 1049 out of the 3497 people who were accepted by Cambridge as undergraduates come from state schools and that as such only 29.97% of undergraduates at Cambridge came from state schools, which is less than a third.
Of course Cambridge (and indeed Oxford) might use the odd instance of tokenism as a form of public relations to cover for the fact that the proportion of people it accepts from state schools is rather insignificant.
Of course, all this neglects the all important fact that students from state schools can also experience problems being accepted once they matriculate, as I can relate, and as is very much indicated by the reaction of Cambridge and the British establishment in general to this blog amongst other things.
I know that, to give one example, Chris Waugh, former student liasion officer at St Catharine’s college, can agree with this assessment of Cambridge being a place for certain people and how he was subject to harassment which included having his front door burnt down.
Update 16:30 29th June 2018
I should probably state that in relation to my case and that of Chris Waugh, it is important to state that what one must understand about Cambridge is that the people who run the university cannot be described as remotely normal and do not have the normal range of mental faculties (such as empathy).
An indication of this can be seen through the fact that
- The FCO, who of course have strong links with Cambridge given that it is part of the establishment
- are involved in this affair
- are monitoring what I have written
As a consequence of the above and in the manner of Jimmy Saville, they try and detract from their own responsibility with regards to what occurred and refer to the help they’ve given in situations where people are fleeing wars.
In other words, refugees, wars and commemorations are very handy because they enable one to show one’s munificence and for things like poisoning, stalking, attempted murder, psychological torture to be overlooked.
Update 17:08 29th June 2018
Cambridge rather amusing prove my point about empathy by not being aware of how they come across to others. The following tweets which appeared since the last update look very much look like tokenism and an attempt to demonstrate how diverse they are (which may be in response to what I have written above about lack of diversity).
It is very easy to wheel out a group of people from a different race but the reality is that Cambridge has a problem in terms of racial diversity.