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Is it true you can BUY your way into Oxford?

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    Don't rate me down, but I've heard across the grapevine that some people with contacts in Oxford and with some extra moolah can BUY their way into Oxford.

    For example, this super rich russian guy in my year is not really oxford mat. He's a distinctly average student who isn't really loquacious enough to blag his way in via interview or personal statement. He has links to admissions tutors in Oxford and a **** load of money and got an Oxford offer for law at BBB.

    WTF? :hmmm:

    OPINIONS?
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    Maybe he was amazing at his interview ,but I don't think that such a university will need money from bribes.
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    (Original post by danat)
    Maybe he was amazing at his interview ,but I don't think that such a university will need money from bribes.
    But see, that's the thing. He's so isolated and not talkative at all! I wouldn't put him down as an oxford candidate let alone getting such a low offer!
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    what would be the point of paying tens of thousands more than anyone else if youre not even guaranteed to get a top paid job?~
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    (Original post by ellasmith)
    But see, that's the thing. He's so isolated and not talkative at all! I wouldn't put him down as an oxford candidate let alone getting such a low offer!
    Need proof tbh, sounds too good to be true.
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    (Original post by ellasmith)
    But see, that's the thing. He's so isolated and not talkative at all! I wouldn't put him down as an oxford candidate let alone getting such a low offer!
    what course is this?
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    (Original post by fuzzybear)
    what course is this?
    Law!
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    Wow.
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    (Original post by ellasmith)
    He's a distinctly average student who isn't really loquacious enough to blag his way in via interview or personal statement. He has links to admissions tutors in Oxford and a **** load of money and got an Oxford offer for law at BBB.


    OPINIONS?
    There's a guy in my school who seems quite shy and hardly ever talks but he always does very well when it comes to interviews/ oral tests etc.
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    I think he's being slightly economical with the truth.
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    Three theories.

    1) You're lying to perpetuate myths about Oxford.
    2) He's lying about his "offer."
    3) He seems quiet to you but may be excellent at his subject and felt more comfortable talking to people who share the same passion for his subject, excelling at interview.

    :rolleyes:
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    Personally think it's possible........... case in point Bilawal Bhutto, son of former PM of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. His Grandfather, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto(another former PM) and his mother both have gone to Oxford for studies and lo and behold, now he himself is at Oxford too...... is it just me or is that too much of a co-incidence. I know people will doubt me saying that it's possible he got in on merit but the fact is there is a rich history of son's and daughter's of Pakistani politicians getting into top universities of the world in exchange for some 'donations'.
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    (Original post by hannahhaworth)
    All that could come from asking this question are the following:

    a) 'no' (with more detail)
    and
    b) anecdotes of stupid examples from people not actually personally knowing the person who's applied personally.

    This made no sense...
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    students outside the home / EU places cap have all ways been able to buy their way into UK universities.

    the UK (for home students) has a fairly rare system in that admissions are based mainly on grades ...

    vs. other EU nations where access to year 1 is fairly open but there are quite swingeing cuts of places into year 2 or clinical school

    vs. the (athletic etc.) scholarships and patronage ('letters of recommendation' from alumni and politicians) that runs in parallel to merit based admissions in the US
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    sultan of brunei's son went to oxford as well i think, hes one of the richest men in the world.
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    (Original post by charlie9872)
    I doubt someone achieving BBB at A-level would be able to cut Oxford Law anyway, he'll crumble at the workload, just watch (or pay someone to do the work for him...).
    ah the classic TSR misapprehension that entry grades reflect difficulty rather than popularity ...
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    (Original post by ellasmith)
    This made no sense...
    sorry. as in those are the responses I'm predicting this thread is going to get.
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    Sure, you can. How do you think all these Princes and etc go to Good Unis? lol.

    If I remember correctly, Prince Charles went to Cambridge.

    I know someone at Imperial in the year above who used to use money to get through.
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    It seems unlikely that you could, as oxbridge simply want the best students, regardless of their background. However, saying that, it would not surprise me if it was true and does happen sometimes, corruption is rife in all tenets of society, education and politics - so why would Oxford (specifically) be exempt from this? I'd go further to say that this probably happens in other top universities around the world, but far less often than might be thought.

    We have to also look at this case specifically. This man is going to study law. The whole "we want the best students" thing is sort of meaningless in most art subjects. With the sciences, if you have the best students then you can carry out the best research, become more recognised and receive more money from private companies to further your research. This does not happen with say Law, English or History, to such an extent. Because of this the whole selective process and judgement of candidates or even the regard of graduates' work is far more murky.

    So yes, I doubt that this happens often but I'm not foolish enough to believe that it never happens at all. Probably a few people every year might gain entry to such institutions due to their background or wealth, but I expect that this would almost always be in the Arts and is something that could never be fully eradicated.

    Edit: What's up with the negs? I was merely stating in my post that some people can be bought. They exist everywhere, in every institution in the world and so to believe that Oxbridge is immune to any sort of corruption at any scale is completely delusive. It is possible that people in the past have got in due to money, power or other means. Rather than explicitly "buying" their way into Oxbridge, it is possible that interviewers or the people in the decision process (some of which may be bribed) have noted these things and it has altered their judgement of an applicant, gaining them entry. As I said, this stuff probably also happens in many other universities world wide, but it is probably only a very minute number of students that actually do this nowadays.
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    (Original post by zippyRN)
    ah the classic TSR misapprehension that entry grades reflect difficulty rather than popularity ...
    The sort of University that'll allow entry at BBB level will be at around the 40s-50s as Law is such a popular course. Take one University as an example, Plymouth. They ask for BBB for Law. I can tell you know the Oxford law course will be far more difficult and content heavy than the course at Plymouth. Yes, you're right in saying that entry requirements are a reflection of popularity, but courses at top universities are far more vigorous than at mid-table universities.

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Updated: April 22, 2012
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