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Record numbers apply for Sutton Trust Summer Schools

Press release issued: 11 July 2003

A record number of sixth formers have applied for places at the free week-long summer schools sponsored by the Sutton Trust at the Universities of Bristol Cambridge, Nottingham, Oxford and St Andrew's.

A record number of nearly 2,200 sixth formers at state schools and colleges from across Britain have applied this year for about 750 places at the free week-long summer schools which the Sutton Trust sponsors at five of Britain's top universities - Bristol, Cambridge, Nottingham, Oxford and St Andrew's.

The summer schools are designed to give a taste of university life to encourage applications from students aged 16+ in Year 12 who would not otherwise consider applying. 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.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: "The number of applicants - 2,188 - is the highest number we have had since the programme started six years ago. It is in keeping with the findings of a recent MORI survey which we commissioned. This showed that a staggering proportion of seven out of ten students (71%) expect to go on to higher education. Many of these are bright enough to go to our top universities but they think they will neither get in nor fit in."

An analysis of the success of the summer schools in defusing myths about Oxbridge and other top universities by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) shows that about a third of the students at the summer schools sponsored by the Sutton Trust succeed in getting into the university where they attended summer school. Most of the others find places at other leading universities.

The NFER monitors the process and success of the summer schools. Its analysis of applications for this year shows that there were 378 applicants for the 120 places at the Bristol summer school which runs from Sunday, July 13 to Friday, July 18.

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