Cambridge state school intake rises
The proportion of state school pupils accepted to Cambridge rose last year, amid a record number of applications to the university.
New figures released by the prestigious institution show that for applications from UK students, just over three in five places (62.2%) went to state-educated youngsters in 2014, up from 61.4% in the year before.
The increase comes after a dip in the number of UK state students admitted to Cambridge in 2013.
Overall, Cambridge had a total of 16,752 applications for courses last year, up 3.5%, and accepted 3,448, indicating that there were around five students competing for every place. There were 10,310 applications from the UK alone.
Across all courses 97.3% of accepted applicants gained at least an A* and two A grades at A-level, the university said.
Dr Mike Sewell, Cambridge's director of admissions, said: "We are delighted to see another increase in the number of talented students applying to study at Cambridge. Our applicants are highly qualified and the University's admissions process is highly selective. Inevitably some impressive applicants will be unsuccessful.
"We can assure all applicants that they have been assessed holistically as an individual. Those who have been successful have won their offers and acceptances on the basis of their academic achievements and by demonstrating their potential to excel at Cambridge."
The figures show that 37.8% of places were awarded to privately educated students last year, down from 38.6% in 2013.
Engineering saw the biggest increase in applications (up 12.1%), followed by computer science (up 11.9%), natural sciences (up 10.8%) and psychological and behavioural sciences (10.5%).
The statistics cover students applying from September 2013 onwards to start a degree course at Cambridge in October last year, as well as those deferring their entry to this autumn.
Under major reforms, all universities charging between £6,000 and £9,000 a year in fees now have to set out clear plans to ensure that disadvantaged students are not put off going into higher education.
Cambridge said that as part of its access agreement with the Office for Fair Access (Offa) it has a target to admit between 61 and 63% of its students from state schools and universities by 2015/16.
In 2013/14, the university spent over £4.5 million on over 4,000 access events for would-be students as well as teachers. It also runs college and departmental open days, summer schools, masterclasses, taster days, a student shadowing scheme and school visits.
Separate figures from Oxford show that last year, o f UK students attending state or independent schools or colleges in the UK, 56.3% of places went to youngsters from the state sector and 43.7% to those from the independent sector.
The university has said it believes that school type is a "crude and sometimes misleading indicator of disadvantage" adding that its aim is to increase access for under-represented groups and using school types is not the best means of doing that.
It also said that overall, more than 34% of all those accepting an offer to Oxford for 2014 come from one of the groups it is targeting with its access work - which includes those from schools and colleges that have traditionally had limited numbers going to Oxford, those from disadvantaged areas and disabled students.