In the article , Mansfield College Principal Helen Mountfield KC told The Times that using schooling alone as an assessment of disadvantage is “much too blunt a measure”, after Cambridge announced it would scrap state school admission targets.

She said: “We use sophisticated measures of disadvantage and participation in higher education. There are some schools where a lot of people will get three As or above in their A-levels, but there are others where if you did that you really are a remarkable outlier.

“I’m very sensitive to that being described as social engineering because it’s almost reverse engineering. It’s trying to say how we would find clever people who might not immediately be obvious, then to support them when they get a sense that they might succeed.”

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Read more about Mansfield’s plans to continue to democratise access to an Oxford education through its campaign:

For Mansfield. Forever.

“I really believe that clever and interested people are broadly evenly spread in society. It is about trying to find the people with both the aptitude and talent, interest and determination who are going to benefit most from higher education.”

Mansfield College Principal, Helen Mountfield KC