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Cambridge don hits back at education minister's attack

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The head of Cambridge University's School of Architecture has blasted the government after it accused his university of an unfair admissions policy. Professor Alan Short said secretary of state for education Charles Clarke was wrong to inflict an 'admissions tzar' on the university, insisting his department has 'absolutely no bias towards applicants from public schools'.

Clarke courted controversy at the end of last year when he told a meeting of university chief executives that he thought that the 'top universities are not doing anything like enough to ensure people from all backgrounds get in'.

Short said that he was 'horrified' by these comments and 'the way Clarke seems to have it in for this university when there is nothing wrong with the way we do business'.

Short told the AJ: 'We would defend our policies to the death as we have a great number of students from social and ethnic backgrounds in the school. There are 10 applicants for every place and we spend a lot of time ensuring the social spread is balanced. The government's opinion is complete nonsense.'

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