Two studies (and Cardiff research) showing state school pupils do better at university than those from private schools will strengthen demands for admissions tutors to give priority to applicants from comprehensives.
The findings, from two separate universities, reveal that students from state schools gained better degrees than independently educated candidates with the same A-level grades.
The internal studies, which have been obtained by the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act, give ammunition to those who support giving special consideration, such as lower A-level offers, to comprehensive school candidates at elite institutions.
The new studies make it harder for the private sector to argue against schemes which give priority to state school pupils. They also suggest that the educational boost provided by attending a fee-paying school is not necessarily maintained in a university setting, where independent study is a vital ingredient.