A Birmingham university is becoming more exclusive - despite attempts to open their doors to pupils from every walk of life.

The proportion of undergraduate students who attended state school has actually fallen at Birmingham University, a new study has revealed.

And the continued dominance of independent schools comes despite a range of measures designed to encourage young people from less wealthy backgrounds to apply.

At Birmingham University the number of new full-time undergraduates beginning their studies in 2011 who attended state schools was 3,497 - 76.1 per cent of the all new undergraduates.

But that was down from 2002 when the 78.9 per cent of new undergraduates came from state schools.

And the report warned that the number of state school pupils was low even after taking into account the fact that young people at independent schools were statistically likely to get better grades.

If every student had the same chance of getting in - once their grades were taken into account - Birmingham would have 161 more state-educated pupils.

The report, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, called on universities to set targets for the proportion of state-educated students they will accept and to look at ways of making it easier for high-achieving school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to win university places.

A University of Birmingham spokeswoman said: “The University runs a number of initiatives to encourage young people from lower socio-economic classes, neighbourhoods with a low level of involvement in higher education, and disadvantaged areas of the West Midlands to apply to university.

“We work with students as they progress through school on a wide range of activities to help them make informed choices, including visits to campus, residential activities, mentoring by undergraduates and subject based support.”