Oxford University urged to publish entrance exam results amid bias row – The Telegraph

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College don says tutors 'should have nothing to fear' from publishing the results to prove they are not biased against free-paying schools
The University of Oxford should publish entrance exam results to prove they are not biased against fee-paying schools, a college don has said.
Professor Lawrence Goldman, Emeritus fellow at St Peter’s College, said admissions tutors “should have nothing to fear” from publishing the annual results as they provide an “objective measure” amid the discrimination row.
He made the comments after Melvyn Roffe, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, said that “alarm bells should be ringing” over Oxford and Cambridge’s use of contextual data to increase their intake of state school pupils.
The Telegraph last week revealed state school pupils are now more likely than those from private schools to get into the University of Cambridge, which uses its own sophisticated schools database to compare a teenager’s GCSE performance to the rest of their school year group.
In a letter to The Telegraph, Prof Goldman said more than 90 per cent of applicants to Oxford’s major subjects take written entry exams which are marked “without knowledge of a candidate’s identity or educational background”.
It would be “relatively easy” to break down their average test results by school attended and “compare the results with the proportions of candidates from different types of school who are actually offered a place at Oxford”, he said.
He added: “Tutors rightly defend the exercise of their judgment in choosing pupils. Such an analysis would help everyone understand how that judgment is being used. Those who now doubt the fairness of the system would have an objective measure against which to test their claims. 
“Those who defend the current procedures should have nothing to fear from the annual publication of the results of these tests.”
The state school intake last year increased to 72.5 per cent at Cambridge from 62.7 in 2017, and from 58.2 to more than 68 per cent at Oxford.
Oxford and Cambridge dons have said their intake should reflect that seven per cent of UK pupils at GCSE level are privately educated.
Helen Mountfield, principal of Mansfield College, Oxford, told The Sunday Times: “I believe academic aptitude and intellectual interest are widely spread in society, and so I would expect universities that are fairly identifying talent to end up with about 90-95 per cent of their home students being state school educated pupils, because that is broadly reflective of where students are educated.”
Dorothy Byrne, president of the all-women’s Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, added: “Ideally, the UK student population at Cambridge University should reflect the percentage of pupils at state schools, which is 93 per cent.”
Top universities face pressure to enrol more state school students from the government, with the regulator, the Office for Students, consulting on a new framework for access to universities.
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