Gillian Tett cites the Sutton Trust’s Access to Advantage research in an article on university funding for the Financial Times.
If anything, British universities have become more outspoken against parental pressure in recent years, while such influence-peddling has quietly proliferated in the US.
“Family connections or donations do not, and will not, play a role in that assessment process,” insists a Cambridge spokesperson. There is, in other words, a cultural gulf.
Does this mean that the British system is more “fair”? Not necessarily. Money and class still buy privilege aplenty in the UK, albeit in a more subtle way, via access to select schools: a report from the Sutton Trust last year showed that almost half of all Oxbridge places go to children at private schools, although only 7 per cent of kids in the UK attend these.