A record number of nearly 2,700 sixth formers from state schools and colleges from across Britain have applied this year for 644 places at five free week-long summer schools which the Sutton Trust sponsors for students from non traditional backgrounds at top universities.

The schools for students in Year 12 aged 16+ start next week at Bristol, Cambridge, Nottingham, Oxford and St Andrew’s universities.

The figures from the National Foundation for Educational Research show that the number of students applying has risen by 5.9% from 2494 to 2642 which is more than 4 applicants for every place.

UniversityNo of applicants in 2005No of places and dates
Bristol588113 – 3rd-8th July
Cambridge360117 – 11th-15th, 25th-29th July
Nottingham41172 – 17th-23rd July
Oxford1163260 – 3rd-8th, 10th 15th July
St Andrews12082 – 3rd-8th July

The summer schools are designed to give a taste of university life to encourage applications from students from non-traditional backgrounds aged 16+ in Year 12. These include those with no family history of university attendance, those whose parents are in non-professional occupations or who attend schools with virtually no history of sending pupils to these universities.

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