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Why are Durham so picky?

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    (Original post by PumdogMillionaire)
    In my opinion Durham are doing a few things wrong at the minute -

    1- The time they take to get back to applicants - I had received 4 offers before the new year and it took durham until today to get back to me - over this time my enthusiasm for the university turned to frustration and therefore i wasn't too fussed that i was rejected

    2 - too high requirements - Most people i know have received A*AA as their offer - none of them have chosen Durham at those grades and have chosen similar standard universities such as ICL, UCL, Birmingham ect. instead. I personally got AAAB at AS and getting A*AA seemed really challenging and daunting whereas a a university i much preferred offered AAB - even if i had got an offer from durham, i probably wouldn't have accepted for these reasons.

    To tempt students they need to stop believing that they're the traditional amazing next best thing after oxford and place themselves more in line with UCL and ICL. At the minute nothing about the way they handle applications makes you want to attend - If you were sat on the fence in the first place it puts you off completely, i think people's whose hearts were set on durham however will not be deterred by the things i mentioned
    I think the grades are more about being honest with students - the A*AA departments get enough A*AA/A*A*A/A*A*A* applicants to more than fill their course, so if they put their standard offer is AAA/AAB that's just encouraging students with lower grades to apply. Those students will then get rejected because so many other people have higher grades than them, so it's not fair to pretend that they have a good chance of getting an offer when they just don't.

    If you have an AAB offer you could put that as your insurance and then wouldn't have to be stressed about not getting a place anywhere on results day.
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    (Original post by I'mBadAtMaths)
    Durham do seem to be very picky. They rejected me whilst I got offers from ICL, York, Sheffield and Nottingham.
    Why does that make Durham picky? Durham is better than all of those uni's.
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    (Original post by petal1991)
    Why does that make Durham picky? Durham is better than all of those uni's.
    hypothesis: durham does have its fair share of snobs
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    It's their choice who they want. Not yours.
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    (Original post by petal1991)
    Why does that make Durham picky? Durham is better than all of those uni's.
    lol, better than Imperial? OK mate
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    (Original post by PumdogMillionaire)
    In my opinion Durham are doing a few things wrong at the minute -

    1- The time they take to get back to applicants - I had received 4 offers before the new year and it took durham until today to get back to me - over this time my enthusiasm for the university turned to frustration and therefore i wasn't too fussed that i was rejected

    2 - too high requirements - Most people i know have received A*AA as their offer - none of them have chosen Durham at those grades and have chosen similar standard universities such as ICL, UCL, Birmingham ect. instead. I personally got AAAB at AS and getting A*AA seemed really challenging and daunting whereas a a university i much preferred offered AAB - even if i had got an offer from durham, i probably wouldn't have accepted for these reasons.

    To tempt students they need to stop believing that they're the traditional amazing next best thing after oxford and place themselves more in line with UCL and ICL. At the minute nothing about the way they handle applications makes you want to attend - If you were sat on the fence in the first place it puts you off completely, i think people's whose hearts were set on durham however will not be deterred by the things i mentioned
    I should point out the evidence is to the contry, applications have rocketed since last year in contrast with falling applications to most universities.
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    (Original post by Brutal Chav)
    I did take a big risk applying to Castle and fully expected pooling but when I read this http://www.durhamstudent.co.uk/resou...ity-in-durham/ (#5) conspiracy theories were inevitable...
    But the department gave you an offer? I really don't understand.

    That website (which is talking about Oxbridge resentment amongst students, not departmental and college staff) is a humorous look at like as a Durham student and playing on stereotypes, and therefore shouldn't be taken seriously (look at reason 10, it isn't constantly cold either - the difference in temperature between the north east and south east of England is often negligle to small). I have rarely even heard Oxford or Cambridge mentioned during eight years at Durham. People really don't give a damn.

    Durham certainly has its problems, some more much more serious than this, but Oxbridge envy or resentment isn't one of them in my experience. Well, not beyond the VC.

    (Original post by PumdogMillionaire)
    2 - too high requirements - Most people i know have received A*AA as their offer - none of them have chosen Durham at those grades and have chosen similar standard universities such as ICL, UCL, Birmingham ect. instead. I personally got AAAB at AS and getting A*AA seemed really challenging and daunting whereas a a university i much preferred offered AAB - even if i had got an offer from durham, i probably wouldn't have accepted for these reasons.
    What do you expect the university to do? With rampant grade inflation, and ever increasing number of applicants, some departments can fill their entire courses with A*A*A*-A*AA applicants.

    Admissions tutors know the quality of applicants they receive year on year, and how many people chose Durham as a firm and insurance choice. They must therefore feel justified in making high offers, and still get bums on seats.

    Giving challenging offers is the point. Why give you a lower offer, when someone with A*AA predicted is no weaker an applicant? In their eyes they went the best students - those who achieve the highest grades.

    Also unfortunately many sixth form applicants do perceive typical offers as a sign of quality (however wrong this is), so to have lower offers can work against them.

    To tempt students they need to stop believing that they're the traditional amazing next best thing after oxford and place themselves more in line with UCL and ICL. At the minute nothing about the way they handle applications makes you want to attend - If you were sat on the fence in the first place it puts you off completely, i think people's whose hearts were set on durham however will not be deterred by the things i mentioned
    As they are already heavily oversubscribed across many departments, and were one of the few Russell and 1994 Group universities to increase applicant numbers this cycle, many of whom will chose Durham as firm, I think they're already tempting people...
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    (Original post by QuantumOverlord)
    I should point out the evidence is to the contry, applications have rocketed since last year in contrast with falling applications to most universities.
    Exactly. as I alluded to earlier (and mentioned in the post following yours) many Russell and 1994 Group universities experienced a fall in application numbers following the introduction of higher fees, but Durham has experienced a 3% increase from the last cycle (or was it 5%?) With grade inflation there are still plenty of A*AA students who apply to Durham.

    Admissions tutors are the people who deal with applications, know trends from previous years, and the quality of students they are attracting (and in how great a number).

    By having a lower offer they risk increasing the applicant pool further, giving them more work to do and giving some applicants false hope. Edinburgh are frequently criticised for their misleading BBB typical offers, for example.
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    (Original post by Brutal Chav)
    hypothesis: durham does have its fair share of snobs
    Well, it's true.
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    As long as Durham fills each course's quota with applicants then they haven't been too picky. In fact several years ago many departments gave out too many offers and got in a lot of trouble with the Uni and had to overfill their courses.

    I'm sorry you didn't get an offer or if you feel wronged by Durham in some way but at the end of the day they will fill the course with applicants at those grades so they don't need to lower their offer at all.

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Updated: March 22, 2012
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