About 5 percent of the students at Oxford and Cambridge universities went to one of the five top British secondary schools, a report said Thursday.
The Sutton Trust, an education group, examined admissions at the highest-ranked British universities between 2007 and 2009, The Daily Telegraph reported. The group found that students at schools that charge tuition are considerably more likely to be admitted to an elite university than those from state comprehensive schools.
Seven times as many privately educated students are admitted to Oxford and Cambridge and twice as many to one of the top 30 universities, the report said. About one-third of Oxford and Cambridge students come from an elite list of 100 schools.
Westminster, Eton College, St Paul's School, St Paul's Girls School and Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge sent a total of 946 students to the two ancient universities during the three-year period. The first four are fee-paying schools and the last one state-run.
Nick Gibb, the schools minister in the coalition government, blamed the Labor Party.
"Despite all their promises, they left hundreds of thousands of children with little to no chance of getting to the best universities," he said.
Wendy Platt, director general of the Russell Group, which represents Oxford, Cambridge and 18 other top universities, said one problem is that many well-qualified students from comprehensives do not apply to the top universities.