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Charles hears of challenges facing ‘under-represented’ students at Oxford

The Prince of Wales talked to students at University College, Oxford (Darren Staples/PA)
The Prince of Wales talked to students at University College, Oxford (Darren Staples/PA)

The Prince of Wales has been told about the “challenges” of going to university from an under-represented background in a talk with Oxford students.

Charles, who personally suggested discussing the issue with undergraduates, had a 30-minute conversation with 12 students in the residence of Baroness Amos, master of University College.

One of the students confessed that she thought “there would not be anyone from a similar background as me” when she came to Oxford.

Baroness Amos, the first black head of an Oxford college, encouraged the group to tell the prince about “their journeys” and “some of the challenges that they faced”.

Prince of Wales visit to Oxford
The Prince of Wales is greeted by Baroness Amos (Darren Staples/PA)

“Oxford has changed over the years, we now have a number of programmes which are really helping people to diversify the university and make it much more inclusive,” she said.

However, Michael Hutchinson, president of the college’s graduate student body, said the university was not improving quickly enough.

Charles said he had come to Oxford to “get a bit more knowledge, get a bit more information” about inequalities in education.

Mr Hutchinson continued: “He’s here to find out from students where the real bottlenecks are, where the real issues are.

“The important part is communicating their experiences and what is good and what is bad about what currently exists with access provision.

“Things are moving but not fast, not super-fast.”

A crowd of students built up outside the master’s residence while the prince was inside, as others watched from the windows of their accommodation.

Charles laughed and pointed at them as he left, apparently surprised by the gathering.

“Have we stopped you going anywhere?” he asked. “You must have exams at the moment.”

“Guess what you just missed?” one student said to a friend, who arrived as the prince’s Audi rolled away.

“Just the future King of England.”

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