UCL was the first university in Britain to admit students regardless of:
  • Race
  • Class
  • Sex
  • Religous belief or lack thereof
It is aggressively meritocratic, but does engage in social engineering of its undergraduate population to the extent of maintaining an approximate 50:50 balance between arts and sciences, and between males and females. This includes the halls of residence, whose occupants are placed to ensure that everyone is exposed to people of different backgrounds. It places emphasis on the interview as part of the admissions process, in addition to UCAS tariff, and actively seeks out interesting people, to whom it may offer a reduced academic entry requirement.

UCL is elitist, but in the best sense of the word. Once you are in, it is made very clear to everyone that wherever you came from does not matter, you are part of UCL now, and that UCL considers itself and its people second to no-one in the world.

(Disclaimer: I went to UCL from a state comprehensive)