Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial or bust?

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An article in today's Financial Times makes depressing reading if you don't happen to be at one of the three universities named above. Fortunately, it may not be true.

According to the FT, investment banks are restricting their graduate recruitment to such an extent that they're now only targeting students from an 'inner circle' of universities comprising Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial.

The FT says some banks are also prepared to put effort into recruiting from an outer circle of universities comprising the LSE, UCL and Warwick, but that's about it.

The article quotes the director of Oxford's careers service, who says one bank told him it was reducing the number of university campuses it visits from 67 to 25, as a result of which it will only be visiting two universities in the UK.

But heads of European graduate recruitment at two leading banks told us there's been absolutely no reduction in the number of universities they target. "Careers services are bound to say this kind of thing as a way of attracting applications to their university," says one. "We haven't cut back on the universities we target and - as far as I'm aware - neither have our peers."

"For larger banks this isn't an issue," insists the other.

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