Best boarding schools for Oxbridge admissions

The magic recipe for Oxbridge entrance: which schools do the most to help your child get into elite universities and how can you find out?
Whether the school offers A-Level or IB exams, the data that refers to university entrance rates is likely to be of great interest to parents. Our quick overview will help you work out what to look for.


Schools can also be judged on their ability to help their senior pupils to proceed to university education.

In the UK, the most famous universities are Oxford and Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge) and entrance is fiercely competitive. Among the top 30 boarding schools in Britain, the average entry rate is around 18%.

However, some schools are much more successful than this: in the latest figures, Eton secured an Oxbridge place for 30% of pupils and St Paul’s School for 39%.

Russell Group

Many schools also publish their entrance record to Russell Group universities.

This is a group of 24 leading UK universities with the best research and excellent teaching for British and international students.

Although many of the universities are slightly less famous than Cambridge and Oxford, securing a place at one of these institutions is increasingly difficult.

Pupils who want to proceed to any of these universities will require an excellent academic record to succeed.

International university entrance

There is less information available about university entrance outside the UK, for example to Ivy League colleges.

However, it is thought that this may change as university tuition fees have been recently raised significantly in England and many pupils will now look abroad for tertiary education.

While it is difficult to compare British schools on this criterion, schools will be happy to share news of where their former pupils have gone.

Entrance success

Entrance to prestigious universities like Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group institutions is about more than exam results.

Students will be expected to attend entrance interviews and in some cases sit entrance exams, as well as displayed an outstanding academic and extra-curricular record.

The best boarding schools are highly experienced in guiding pupils through this process, as well as providing career advice to help pupils choose the best route for their post-secondary education.

Find out more

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