STUDENT Laura Spence whose rejection by Oxford University caused a huge political row has revealed her plans to study medicine in the UK.

Ms Spence, a former pupil at Monkseaton High School, near Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, chose to take up a place at US university Harvard after she failed to win a place at Oxford University to study the subject four years ago despite predictions of straight A grades in her A-levels.

Ms Spence is now back in the North-East after graduating from Harvard where she studied biochemistry and won a $65,000 scholarship.

In an interview with the Times Higher Education Supplement, she said she had returned to Britain to study medicine, but remained tight-lipped over any possible destination.

One of her original choices for her degree had been Newcastle University.

Ms Spence, who gained five straight As in her A-levels, described how she received "above average" exam results at Harvard.

The former state school pupil's rejection by Oxford sparked a storm as the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, accused admissions tutors of elitism and described Magdalen College's decision as an absolute scandal.

Magdalen College later suffered a 50 per cent reduc- tion in applications from the North-East for study places.

It said that Ms Spence had been judged on her performance in three days of tests and interviews, rather than her social background.

In the interview, she described how she received home-cooked meals from a host family while in the US.

She also researched and wrote a travel guide to San Francisco and joined the university rowing team.

Ms Spence encouraged sixth-formers in Britain to apply to study in the US and said they should not be deterred by the cost.