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£9K fees do not deter pupils from university
STUDENTS did not seem to be put off by increasing university fees as youngsters tore open their A-Level results yesterday.
More than 2,500 teenagers hugged, cried and celebrated at schools and colleges across the county.
This was the first year of students who will be affected by the tuition fee hike in September, with course fees costing up to £9,000 a year.
Nationally, the number of students getting into universities this year dropped by seven per cent.
But Clark Lawfull, head of sixth form at Oxford’s The Cherwell School, said: “I’m aware of the national figures, but I can’t say we’ve noticed a significant reduction.
“For our students, the culture is still very much about going to university.”
It was a similar story at Abingdon’s John Mason School, where acting head of sixth form Carl Tysom said: “People at John Mason have not been put off. I haven’t seen a huge difference this year.
“Their aspirations have not been tarnished by the prospect of debt.”
The county’s best performing state school was once again Oxford’s The Cherwell School, with 40 per cent of grades at A* or A.
Headteacher Paul James said: “Once again our students have produced outstanding results and it is a pleasure to see that the hard work and determination of our students and teachers has paid off.”
Nationally, 357,915 students were accepted into a university or college, compared with 384,649 on results day last year.
A total of 629,140 people applied for universities and higher education institutions, compared with 681,593 at the same point in 2011.
One student celebrating yesterday was 18-year-old Alice Tapper from Wheatley, who received four A*s, three of which were in maths.
The Wheatley Park pupil, who will now study physics at St Anne’s College, Oxford, said: “I was living and breathing it for a while.”
Cheney School pupil Wilson Ho, 19, from Abingdon Road, Oxford, achieved four A* grades and will read aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, London.
He said: “I am delighted, this is what I prayed for for months.”
Fellow Cheney School pupil Alex Nicol-Harper, 19, from Headington, will be heading to Cambridge to study Natural Sciences.
After picking up four A*s, she said: “I didn’t think I would be able to hope for these results.
“The tuition fees never made me think twice about it, but university needs to be accessible for everyone who wants to go.”