The Student Room Group

Is it easier for a private student to get into Oxford than Cambridge?

Is it easier for a private student to get into Oxford than Cambridge?
Original post by chloechan821
Is it easier for a private student to get into Oxford than Cambridge?

I've never seen any evidence of this being the case. Why would it be?
Reply 2
Original post by DataVenia
I've never seen any evidence of this being the case. Why would it be?


The proportion of private school students is around 5% higher in Oxford than in Cambridge.
Original post by chloechan821
The proportion of private school students is around 5% higher in Oxford than in Cambridge.

The proportion of students from independent (private) schools at each university tells you nothing about the likelihood of gaining entry unless you also factor-in the number of such applicants.

For 2022 entry to University of Cambridge, there were 3,909 applicants from independent schools*, of which 816 (20.9%) received offers and 737 (18.9%) were successful in gaining entry. (See Table 2.1 of Cambridge's Undergraduate Admissions Statistics 2022 cycle, here.)

For 2022 entry to University of Oxford, there were 3,855 applicants from independent schools*, of which 815 (21.1%) received offers and 785 (20.4%) were successful in gaining entry. (See Table 4.1 of Oxford's Annual Admissions Statistical Report, May 2023, here.)

So, in terms of the chances of successfully gaining a place, the likelihood is 20.4% vs. 18.9% in Oxford's favour. Obviously correlation is not causation.

(Note also that the offer rates were almost identical, at 20.9% vs. 21.1%; the difference is that Oxford applicants were more likely to accept the offer, meet their offer grades, and subsequently accept the place, than were Cambridge applicants.)

* I've only include the stats for home applicants (not applicants permanently resident outside the UK applying following education in independent schools/college within the UK).

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