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MP: 'Confidence' holding students back from Oxbridge

A Welsh MP looking into why many young people from Wales are put off from going to the prestigious Oxford or Cambridge Universities says it's often because they don't have confidence in themselves - or don't believe they're the right kind of person.

More than 87,000 students from Wales applied to go to university in 2012 - but only 700 applied to the two universities that many consider to be among the best in the UK, and just 135 applications across both universities were successful.

Today the universities held an event for prospective students in Swansea to encourage more people to apply.


Welsh students encouraged to apply for Oxbridge

The event at the Liberty Stadium aims to remove university stereotypes Credit: PA

Welsh students will be encouraged to apply to Oxford and Cambridge University at an event at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, which hopes to tackle university stereotypes.

Current undergraduates from Cardiff, Haverfordwest and Swansea will be among the teams brought by both universities to the 2014 Wales and West Country Oxford and Cambridge Student Conference.

Approximately 1,000 local students and teachers are expected to attend.

"Around two per cent of our applications come from Wales," said Sheila Kiggins, Communications Officer at the University of Cambridge.

"We would obviously like this to be higher, and the Conference is one of the ways we are working to encourage more Welsh students to apply."

Wales' foreign-born population increases more than in England and Northern Ireland, new figures show

Merthyr Tydfil saw the biggest increase in it's foreign-born population Credit: ITV Wales News

A major analysis of the migrant population of Wales has been released today by Oxford University.

The figures show Wales' foreign-born population increased by 82% in the last ten years - proportionally more than the increases in England (61%) and Northern Ireland (72%), but less than Scotland (93%).

Merthyr Tydfil saw the second biggest percentage increase of any area in Great Britain at 227% between 2001 and 2011.

Wrexham, Swansea and Newport all saw their migrant populations double, while Cardiff saw an increase of 99% to 45,967 - Wales' largest single migrant population.

Dr Carlos Varga-Silva, the Senior Researcher leading the project said,

'The biggest change has been the increase in the Polish-born population, which increased more than twenty-fold, becoming the biggest migrant group in Wales.

But it is worth noting that Wales has the smallest proportion of migrants in its population of all of the nations in the UK.'