University College Oxford has been praised for increasing its undergraduate intake by 10% this year so that those from deprived backgrounds can grace the hallowed halls of the elite estabishment. And to help these students settle in, the Oxford college is also offering a four week ‘bridging course’, which includes a £500 grant for each undergraduate, to help them adjust to university life. Those from poorly performing schools in socially and economically deprived areas will be specifically targeted. Oxford University vice-chancellor Prof Louise Richardson said “I am delighted to welcome University College’s creative new initiative to bring to Oxford more smart students from disadvantaged backgrounds and to provide them with an innovative bridging programme to help ensure that they thrive here.” And by creating new places, no one loses out as Master of University College, Sir Ivor Crewe, said “In offering new places, we’re not reducing anyone else’s chances of gaining a place at University College – we’re creating a new opportunity for new students.” Clever stuff. Just what you’d expect from the Oxford boffins.