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Cambridge wants soaps to talk it up

September 03, 2008|From the Associated Press

Cambridge University wants to shed its elitist image. It thinks soap operas can help.

The university said Tuesday that it had written to producers of Britain's three leading soaps -- "EastEnders," "Coronation Street" and "Emmerdale" -- encouraging them to include Cambridge in their story lines.

Spokesman Greg Hayman said the approach to the shows -- which are set in, respectively, a gritty London neighborhood, a gritty Manchester neighborhood and a farming village -- was part of a bid to correct the perception that Cambridge was "not for young people from ordinary backgrounds."

"We're very keen to attract the brightest and best students regardless of their background," Hayman said. "One of the better ways of communicating directly with potential students is to talk to them through the soaps and other programs they watch."

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