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Is it true you can BUY your way into Oxford?

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    (Original post by capital S)
    this. getting a perfect score on your A-levels is possible for anyone, as soon as they get personal, high-quality education. or did you think prince charles would sit in a classroom with 30-ish other students?
    prince harry had one of the best educations money can buy (thanks to the generous citizens of this country) and still came out with only 2 a-levels at B and D grades..
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    A cousin of mine got an Oxford offer a couple of years back (before the A*) with ABB.... Forgot which course it was though.

    Oxford is a top uni, but unlike others, they care more about grades. They're one thing, but also community service and interviews. The most silent of people do quite well in interviews (my friend is shy around people at school, but is a loud-mouth in front of strangers).
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    Sounds believable, they may think his family name sounds impressive added to their alumni?
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    No. Otherwise, everyone with a few quid would buy their way in wouldn't they?

    Even Prince William didn't go to Oxbridge, nor did Princess Eugenie etc.

    Lots of heads of state etc have been in the past but that was 30 years ago when few people went to uni, so I'm sure lower competition plus top-class education meant the best people could get in...
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    (Original post by Square)
    sultan of brunei's son went to oxford as well i think, hes one of the richest men in the world.
    He went to Oxford Brookes. XD
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    He's maybe just lying to you ok
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    (Original post by ellasmith)
    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?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...son?intcmp=239

    To quote from the article:

    In the spring of 2002 a senior civil servant at the Foreign Office asked Oxford university if Saif could take a master's degree course. "It was made clear … that the FCO would appreciate help in this case since Libya was opening up to the West again." The head of Oxford's department of international development told the FCO that the application would be "unlikely to prosper … because Saif had no social science training, and his prior degree did not meet the requisite quality standard".

    The FCO dropped its request, the inquiry was told.
    If Saif Al-Islam couldn't do it with the support of the Foreign Office, it seems like the practice would be quite rare.

    There are maybe a very, very few people at Oxford currently who somehow managed to buy their way in through connections and cash. But I suspect it's really extremely rare nowadays, because:

    • Each candidate generally has their application reviewed by multiple tutors. Four interviewed me. Other people may also have some oversight of the process - sort of quality control. To get someone in on cash, someone would have to bribe multiple tutors and admissions officers, which would take a lot of money to get them to risk their jobs.
    • Tutors at Oxford are generally eminently qualified in their field of study, and could almost certainly gone into a variety of well-paying, well respected jobs with their degrees, so presumably they aren't that motivated by money anyway.
    • Quite a lot of people understandably have strong moral convictions when it comes to the likes of bribery.


    So it would be pretty hard for one to buy their way in. I suspect slightly more common (though still very rare) are occasions where tutors have some kind of personal connection with an applicant's family and are positively predisposed towards them.

    The vast majority of curious cases where less-qualified applicants get in will occur when they are just good at bull****ting in interviews. Being wealthy and going to a good school often gives people a certain confidence in themselves which can help greatly at interviews. I would be very surprised if there was not a lot more to your story than meets the eye. I suspect that someone is telling fibs, or that this person put in an incredible interview performance. As I understand it, non-AAA offers are exceptionally rare.
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    YES, it is sometimes possible to buy your way in.

    This shouldn't be surprising.
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    (Original post by Rgman27)
    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.
    1) We are talking about Oxford, not other unis.
    2) That was 45 years ago.
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    :rolleyes:To be fair these people have probably had the best education money can buy if their parents are super wealthy so with all that money you would expect them to be going to the best universities?
    Also as many of these peoples parents went to the best universities they are likely to have made good contacts there. it might not even be about bribing but simply 'oh this is the sultan of so-and-so's son.'

    slightly off topic but about the person who talked about charles going to cambridge, likewise prince harry is an apache helicopter pilot.. on his grades/lack of degree if he was just a random guy they would have laughed him out of the building.. but then again we can't all have grandma's who are head of state :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    About 75% of Oxford students don't get a first, which is shocking considering the supposed standard of entry.
    'Shocking?' Getting a first from Oxford is pretty damn difficult and a world away from getting in in the first place.
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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 d the work for him...).
    But David Milliband got in with something like ABC - how did that happen? Perhaps being the son of a Marxist academic helps
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    (Original post by Integral)
    Son of the Queen =/= Son of an Investment Banker

    No, the point was that people have got in and will continue to get into Oxbridge on reasons other than academic grades. If you are born into a prestigious family, have connections or have a lot of money then you can get in.

    I don't have a clue why this is so shocking. Oxbridge are always complaining about not having enough funding. Do you think they are going to care about one dumb student being let in for a 1 million pound donation?
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    (Original post by ellasmith)
    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?
    I don't think this really happened. Oxford rarely give even AAB offers and I find it difficult to credit the assertion that they gave an offer of BBB. Sorry.
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    (Original post by michael321)
    1) We are talking about Oxford, not other unis.
    2) That was 45 years ago.
    I don't care if it is Oxford. The point is that you don't necessarily need good academic grades to get into a good university. Oxford, Cambridge, whoever. They all need money and they don't care if they accept a few morons for a few million as long as they keep generally high standards.
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    (Original post by Bonfire)
    'Shocking?' Getting a first from Oxford is pretty damn difficult and a world away from getting in in the first place.
    That's partly what I was pointing out. I suppose 'shocking' came from the fact that Oxford/Cambridge students are deemed to be (I know it's not necessarily true, it's just a general perception) the most academic in the country, yet a significant proportion get 2:2s or 3rds.

    (Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
    Yes evidently many people at other unis do better than some students at Oxford, but comparing number of firsts isn't an exact indicator because the level of exams is different across different universities - it's not standardised like A level.

    It's not a case of Oxford students falling short of a countrywide standard for a first, but rather of Oxford stretching the bright people to a very high level that may or may not be matched at other universities.
    (Original post by Callum828)
    Grading standards are vastly different across universities, everybody knows that. Otherwise, as you've rightly pointed out, everyone at Oxbridge would get first (and everyone at London Met would fail)
    My point is based on Maths (I know it's more subjective in humanities), where everybody capable of getting in is capable of getting a first with work. The sad truth is that most people I know (including myself, I'm not being unnecessarily judgemental) who do badly simply don't put the effort in. Grading standards are different, but not that different.

    I'm rambling here, so I guess my general point is: you still have to do well, so buying your way in isn't everything, and a lot of people who get in fairly waste their chance, so if he does well I think he deserves it.
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    (Original post by olddad)
    But David Milliband got in with something like ABC - how did that happen? Perhaps being the son of a Marxist academic helps
    He did his A Levels before massive grade inflation started, presumably...
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    (Original post by zippyRN)
    ah the classic TSR misapprehension that entry grades reflect difficulty rather than popularity ...
    Because Law at Oxford is clearly an unpopular and undersubscribed course...

    And difficulty is reflected to some degree in entry grades insofar as you are in competition with other people - and presumably those with higher grades are stronger competition.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    I can't comment on other subjects, but Oxford maths covers more stuff more quickly than any other maths undergraduate courses that I have seen so far, save perhaps Imperial and Cambridge. The lecture notes are free on the internet if you don't believe me. The terms are short and the tutors have high expectations.

    If it is true about the Russian, then I'd just say it's unfair, but if he gets a first without cheating he doesn't not deserve it. About 75% of Oxford students don't get a first, which is shocking considering the supposed standard of entry.

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/about_the_univer...alphabetically

    Edit: To clarify, I'm not putting down people who get 2:1's etc, just saying there's clearly a lot of people at other universities who do better than people who get into Oxford - you still have to earn your degree.

    Yes evidently many people at other unis do better than some students at Oxford, but comparing number of firsts isn't an exact indicator because the level of exams is different across different universities - it's not standardised like A level.

    It's not a case of Oxford students falling short of a countrywide standard for a first, but rather of Oxford stretching the bright people to a very high level that may or may not be matched at other universities.
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    He got a B and a C. Firstly, this was in the 60s before A levels could be done in your sleep with your hands behind your back.

    Secondly, people were regularly admitted to Oxbridge with Bs, Cs and Ds. Admissions was based on the admissions exam, grades had little or no relevance.
    Lol. People regularly entered with Ds? Yeh sure.

    It wasn't that hard to get an A either. Anyone in the top 10% of marks got an A.

    Anyway, I I doubt he did the entrance exam. The man is a moron.

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Updated: April 22, 2012
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