Cambridge Elitism

With all the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the founding of Cambridge University, we thought we’d temper the festivities with a little bit of a reality check.

British Class System

Cambridge may have some famous alumni but entry still remains the privilege of the rich and connected. Moreover, despite its history this is the place where senior bankers, investors and civil servants learned their trades and look where that got us. It is also important to remember that a good proportion of BBC employees would have studied there – and surprise, surprise, they think its of historical importance just like the Hadron Collider or the Lord Mayor’s Show or the Boat Race.

This may seem like a case of sour grapes, it is, it is because to have studied the same exams, scored the same grades but then told repeatedly by the media that it simply isn’t as good as going to Cambridge really grates the average Brit. 90% of UK students go to state schools. 50% of kids from state schools go to Cambridge. And, these state schools, lest us not forget, are selective, grammar schools in middle-class, affluent areas born to parents who just aren’t able to afford a private education. These are not inner city kids. They don’t do anything differently to other students; they study. But, with all the attention, you’d think they could walk on water.

Ultimately, a far greater proportion of half those kids who enter Cambridge are actually privileged, very privileged, and this or the University shouldn’t be celebrated but expected. This so-called place of learning is a machine of social division. It should be opened up. But MP’s and politicians went there, and they’ll lose their USP if it goes. Like a pheasant voting for a shoot it ain’t going to happen.

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