Letter: In praise of life beyond Oxbridge

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The Independent Online
Sir: Whether Oxbridge has or has not a monopoly of the best talent as a source of recruits to the higher Civil Service is neither here nor there. But having lectured on government from time to time to undergraduates at non-Oxbridge universities in my capacity as a non-graduate former senior civil servant, I have found that they simply do not believe that they could succeed in gaining entry. This disbelief is shared by their tutors, with the result that despite the efforts of civil servants who do sometimes venture out on recruiting trips, many of them do not think it worth making the effort.

Oxbridge students and their tutors, on the other hand, regard the higher Civil Service as a quite normal career choice, as of course did their Oxbridge fathers.

Yours faithfully,

I. H. LIGHTMAN

Cardiff

26 October

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