Dr Khan said the upturn in state school entries showed its efforts to increase applications from under-represented groups were “bearing fruit”. Oxford has offered 59.2 per cent of places to state school pupils this year, though the final figure for acceptances has yet to be confirmed, the BBC reported.This compares with 55.6 per cent last year, 51.4 per cent in 2005 and 48.1 per cent in 1995. Parliamentary figures show that in 1961 just a third of entrants were from state schools. ‘Intense political pressure on elite universities’ The revelations followed intense political pressure on elite universities to increase their uptake of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.Former Prime Minister, David Cameron, led calls for Oxford University, which he attended, to take more ethnic minority students as figures revealed Oxford had only taken 27 black undergraduates in 2014.Earlier this year it emerged University College was to increase offers by 10 per cent solely for minority students in efforts to widen access. More pupils from state schools will be among the intake at Oxford University this autumn than any time in the last 40 years. Six in 10 places at the university will come from a state-educated background, up almost 10 per cent on just over a decade ago. The record numbers followed calls for leading universities to accept pupils from a wider range of backgrounds.Dr Samina Khan, head of undergraduate admissions at Oxford, said they took responsibilities of diversity “incredibly seriously”. Last year its colleges worked with 3,400 schools on around 3,000 “outreach” projects. Professor Les Ebdon, director of fair access to higher education, welcomed the new data as “good news”. He said efforts to widen access at Oxford University were “a result of the long-term, sustained outreach work that [Oxford] have been doing to attract more applications from disadvantaged students”.But Prof Ebdon said British society was less socially mobile than four decades ago.He told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4: “One of the puzzles is how can we restore the mobility, and there are theories about that.”’Commitment to diversifying Oxford’Dr Kahn at Oxford University said: ‘We take our commitment to diversifying Oxford incredibly seriously – our work in recent years especially through initiatives like our UNIQ summer school for state school students has been about targeting the students and schools that are most under-represented at Oxford.“These figures, along with our continuing progress towards our access agreement targets for disadvantaged groups of students, are a positive indication that all our work is bearing fruit. That we are seeing progress during a time of potentially destabilising changes to university fees, school curriculum and qualifications is all the more encouraging.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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