Letter: Wooing students

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your leader "Universities must woo working-class students" gives a lamentably incorrect impression of Oxford's efforts in this connection.

You quote the admirable Peter Lampl to the effect that we lag behind Harvard, hardly a sanctum for the disadvantaged of the USA. Oxford is a collegiate university in a deeper sense than Harvard, and the functions of the Oxford Colleges Admissions Office are augmented by the activities of the admissions tutors of the 29 colleges that cater for undergraduate study.

Each college has at least one admissions officer, invariably an academic staff member. The faculties also have academic personnel focussed on recruitment. In all, Oxford has rather a lot of senior staff working together on admissions matters and one of their major preoccupations is the problem you address. I doubt that many of the tenured academic staff at Harvard are comparably involved.

A F ORCHARD

University College, Oxford

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