18/01/2012 05:17 GMT

Student Elly Nowell Sends A Rejection Letter To Oxford University

A student has sent her own "rejection letter" to Oxford University stating it did "not quite meet the standards" of other institutions she was considering.

Elly Nowell, from Winchester, Hampshire, had applied to Magdalen College to study Law but during her interview spent her "entire time there laughing at how seriously everything was being taken".

The 19-year-old told the BBC she realised attending "an institution I fundamentally disagreed with was bizarre".

"While you may believe your decision to hold interviews in grand formal settings is inspiring, it allows public school applicants to flourish... and intimidates state school applicants, distorting the academic potential of both," the letter continues.

Second year student Christy Rush, currently studying Law and a resident at Magdalen College, told student paper Cherwell the letter was a "pathetic publicity stunt".

"As it happens Magdalen has a really diverse intake, both in terms of race and education," she continued. "I find it very difficult to believe someone actually turned down a place at Oxford just to be self-righteous. Frankly the whole thing sounds like a pathetic publicity stunt.’

An Oxford University spokesperson said: "Despite what the candidate said, we would point out that the actual admissions figures speak for themselves: of the seven UK students who received offers for Law and joint school courses at Magdalen, only one was from an independent school."

The university has come under fire for their lack of diversity among its students; in 2010, fewer than 1% of Oxbridge students were black. Last month it disclosed the number of British black students accepted in 2011 had risen to the highest in 10 years: a meagre 32.