Overwhelmingly I find that cultural silos exist more outside of the classical or operatic field. The charge of cultural elitism against people who love the classical arts is deeply ironic when I think of the many I speak to who partake of little more than Robbie Williams and X Factor.
An Oxbridge tutor has suggested future candidates would be better chosen by "putting their names in a bowl" and picking them
Students at St Andrews' University have been shamed into apologising for dousing themselves in what appears to be champagne
I would like to take this opportunity to give you an insight into what it is really like to live in St Andrews, from one non-champagne-chucking pleb to another.
More than 10% of the best UK high-flyers were educated at a handful of prestigious private schools, new research suggests
This media obsession with Oxford and Cambridge... creates an atmosphere of misplaced arrogance and grandeur within those institutions, it fuels the perception that we are ruled by an elite, impenetrable, Oxbridge club, and worst of all it intimidates poorer students away from applying to what are seen as alien institutions that only lets in posh kids.
What seems obvious to people who went to a school where the closest thing to a tuck shop was the Chicken Spot over the road, is not what they believe over at Britain's top schools. Ask most Wickamists, Etonians or Salopians* and they'll tell you that getting into Oxbridge from a state school is easier than looting trainers in a riot.
Here's some advice about getting into the big two that's a little less 'be yourself' and a little more 'prepare like so'. I graduated from Oxford a couple of years ago and while I was there I worked at University open days and for my college as an interviews chaperone. I know the system, and in my next three posts I'll reveal what you need to do to get in.
I used to really like Lucy Mangan. I identified with her tales of a northern childhood and a slightly awkward and eccentric family. Someone even paid me the compliment once of saying that my blog made her wonder whether I was Lucy Mangan's distant cousin. Praise indeed.