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If Oxford shrugs

The inside story of how England’s oldest university picks its students, and why it needs to change

By Alan Rusbridger   October 2018

How can Oxford diversify its intake—and what happens if it doesn't? Photo © JAMES BRITTAIN/VIEW PICTURES/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES

The opening scene of the latest Abba jukebox musical, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, is set in one of Oxford University’s ancient panelled dining halls. Lily James is, in flashback, the young Donna, graduating from New College (founded in 1379). In place of a speech she rips into a raunchy rendering of “When I Kissed the Teacher,” which soon has even the vice chancellor (Celia Imrie) casting off her…

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