W1nst0n
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I’ve been wondering of late do lecturers at Oxford University devote themselves into teaching students well ‘cause I feel like sometimes not all that glitters is gold and this could be the same for such a well-known university like Oxford.
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dsmith23
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(Original post by W1nst0n)
not all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
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Oxford Mum
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How do you know this, if you've never studied there? Is this a troll post, by any chance?

Both my kids went to Oxford (one still there, for medicine). He is taught by people who are working towards Nobel prizes, and who have the passion to encourage him to make the most of his talents. At the moment my son is doing a project which, if proven, will be a world first. And my son is only 20. He has had the chance to go to Moscow and watch ground breaking surgery, and was invited to join a think tank in first year.

If you have had a better uni experience, pray do tell us about it.
(Original post by W1nst0n)
I’ve been wondering of late do lecturers at Oxford University devote themselves into teaching students well ‘cause I feel like sometimes not all that glitters is gold and this could be the same for such a well-known university like Oxford.
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Nununu
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
How do you know this, if you've never studied there? Is this a troll post, by any chance?

Both my kids went to Oxford (one still there, for medicine). He is taught by people who are working towards Nobel prizes, and who have the passion to encourage him to make the most of his talents. At the moment my son is doing a project which, if proven, will be a world first. And my son is only 20. He has had the chance to go to Moscow and watch ground breaking surgery, and was invited to join a think tank in first year.

If you have had a better uni experience, pray do tell us about it.
That's great. But doesn't mean the teaching is any good
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Oxford Mum
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The teaching is amazing, apparently. You get taught by some of the greatest world experts, whose enthusiasm rubs off on you. Some of the tutors are real polymaths, and they are greatly respected by the students.

So what is your definition of the teaching not being any good? Do you have any better examples at your uni?
(Original post by Nununu)
That's great. But doesn't mean the teaching is any good
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nexttime
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(Original post by W1nst0n)
I’ve been wondering of late do lecturers at Oxford University devote themselves into teaching students well ‘cause I feel like sometimes not all that glitters is gold and this could be the same for such a well-known university like Oxford.
I can see your perspective - world-leading academics aren't necessarily also charismatic, effective lecturers. This particularly applies to first year, where you generally aren't exactly pushing the boundaries of your field yet, so perhaps just a PhD student might lecture better (like happens at some unis)?

I think my responses are thus:
1) They get the highest teaching standard awards every year (but so do a lot of unis)
2) Oxbridge get the highest 'satisfied with teaching' scores all the time, often of any university.
3) From personal experience, whilst obviously some lecturers were better than others, I did observe them make a lot of effort to collect and act on student feedback regarding lecture quality.
4) Probably the most important point: Lectures are not the main form of teaching at Oxford. They are very much secondary to the tutorials - small group teaching of normally 1-3 to 1 professor - in every subject. Its tutorial preparation that is most of your work, which lectures help with but are not sufficient for.

Overall, Oxford has vastly more money to spend on its teaching than any other uni except Cambridge, so its not surprising there are differences.
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Nununu
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You can be an expert in a field and not be any good at conveying your expertise. Those are two different things. No doubt Oxford has the best minds in the country and beyond.

But teaching a subject to someone else is a skill few people have. You are confusing prestige with the skill of teaching.
(Original post by Oxford Mum)
The teaching is amazing, apparently. You get taught by some of the greatest world experts, whose enthusiasm rubs off on you. Some of the tutors are real polymaths, and they are greatly respected by the students.

So what is your definition of the teaching not being any good? Do you have any better examples at your uni?
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Oxford Mum
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When I get to work I will submit proof from both my sons (Oxford students to demonstrate that the teaching was indeed amazing and they really loved and benefitted from the course.

And now I have proved my point, the onus is on you to prove your point that Oxford tutors are really not all that. Did you ever attend Oxbridge? Are you even in a position to make these assumptions?

Certainly I am not confused in the slightest about the teaching at Oxford, having spoken to many student there, all really keen on what they are learning
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Oxford Mum
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https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6044384

This is my younger son speaking about his medical course. He said studying there is "10 times better than I imagined."

This is my elder son speaking about German at Oxford

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...ified%20German

Note the only bit he doesn't like about his course is the year abroad!!

In addition, the fellows (tutors and professors) are invited to speak all over the world during the vacations. Surely they would not be flown all that way, if they were known to put their audience to sleep!

Plus they are also paid a lot of money to write books on their specialist subjects. If they were boring at putting their subject across, nobody would buy their books and they would not receive monetary offers to write more.

You keep repeating the same assertion again and again, with absolutely no proof. And you are not telling me which uni you go to either, or whether you attend Oxbridge. This does not lend credibility to your argument.
(Original post by Nununu)
You can be an expert in a field and not be any good at conveying your expertise. Those are two different things. No doubt Oxford has the best minds in the country and beyond.

But teaching a subject to someone else is a skill few people have. You are confusing prestige with the skill of teaching.
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PeteM01
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
This is my younger son speaking about his medical course. He said studying there is "10 times better than I imagined."

In addition, the fellows (tutors and professors) are invited to speak all over the world during the vacations. Surely they would not be flown all that way, if they were known to put their audience to sleep!

Plus they are also paid a lot of money to write books on their specialist subjects. If they were boring at putting their subject across, nobody would buy their books and they would not receive monetary offers to write more.

You keep repeating the same assertion again and again, with absolutely no proof. And you are not telling me which uni you go to either, or whether you attend Oxbridge. This does not lend credibility to your argument.
You have a very rosy view of higher education, OM! I used to teach at an RG university (not Oxford) and I still get invited to speak all over the world about my research. I get good responses from my highly specialised audiences (hence the continued invites) but my lecturing scores from students were always middling despite my best efforts (hence no-one much minded my giving up teaching). Most academics have to pay to get their work published(!) and very few will make any money from publications.

I am sure that some Oxford lecturers are excellent teachers but most are employed and promoted solely on the basis of research quality. Having said that, I imagine that many enjoy tutorials with highly motivated students with whom they can have a discussion (I know that I do when the opportunity presents itself). This is probably why the very expensive interview admissions system is maintained.

In my child's experience, one lecturer on a key subject was so poor that the whole year made a complaint and other academics clearly did not relish delivering lectures. Some students stopped attending lectures, preferring to work on their own (I think that this is quite common across courses). The most enjoyable aspect so far seems to have been 1:1 contact with staff on summer academic attachments. Students should be able to experience this at any university if they are sufficiently motivated but Oxford does seem to offer a lot more of these than the establishment with which I am most familiar.

To my mind, the Oxford advantages are: a) the tutorial system, which constantly monitors progress and pushes for more; b) constant competition with the strongest students from all over the world; c) the many opportunities afforded by the university's relative affluence. Oh, and d) - living in the one of the most beautiful cities in England!
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OxFossil
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(Original post by PeteM01)
You have a very rosy view of higher education, OM! I used to teach at an RG university (not Oxford) and I still get invited to speak all over the world about my research. I get good responses from my highly specialised audiences (hence the continued invites) but my lecturing scores from students were always middling despite my best efforts (hence no-one much minded my giving up teaching). Most academics have to pay to get their work published(!) and very few will make any money from publications.

I am sure that some Oxford lecturers are excellent teachers but most are employed and promoted solely on the basis of research quality. Having said that, I imagine that many enjoy tutorials with highly motivated students with whom they can have a discussion (I know that I do when the opportunity presents itself). This is probably why the very expensive interview admissions system is maintained.

In my child's experience, one lecturer on a key subject was so poor that the whole year made a complaint and other academics clearly did not relish delivering lectures. Some students stopped attending lectures, preferring to work on their own (I think that this is quite common across courses). The most enjoyable aspect so far seems to have been 1:1 contact with staff on summer academic attachments. Students should be able to experience this at any university if they are sufficiently motivated but Oxford does seem to offer a lot more of these than the establishment with which I am most familiar.

To my mind, the Oxford advantages are: a) the tutorial system, which constantly monitors progress and pushes for more; b) constant competition with the strongest students from all over the world; c) the many opportunities afforded by the university's relative affluence. Oh, and d) - living in the one of the most beautiful cities in England!
That's my experience too. Teaching and research call for very different skills, and most academic staff are valued by their employers for the latter. The lecturer who had the highest satisfaction rates on my daughter's MSc was a visitor who makes his living as a cartoonist and illustrator. Conversely, I still shudder at the memory of my college tutor, a world authority in his field with no interest at all in teaching 19 year old neophytes.
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W1nst0n
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Thank u all!! For the immense contributions on this
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Oxford Mum
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PeteM01 When I say getting paid to publish a book, I am referring to Professor Helen Watanebe-O'Kelly (you can see this was HERA funded - see links). On the 700th anniversary of my son's college, she gave a talk on her book, which was fascinating.

https://www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk/peopl...atanabe-okelly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Watanabe-O%27Kelly

(Original post by PeteM01)
You have a very rosy view of higher education, OM! I used to teach at an RG university (not Oxford) and I still get invited to speak all over the world about my research. I get good responses from my highly specialised audiences (hence the continued invites) but my lecturing scores from students were always middling despite my best efforts (hence no-one much minded my giving up teaching). Most academics have to pay to get their work published(!) and very few will make any money from publications.

I am sure that some Oxford lecturers are excellent teachers but most are employed and promoted solely on the basis of research quality. Having said that, I imagine that many enjoy tutorials with highly motivated students with whom they can have a discussion (I know that I do when the opportunity presents itself). This is probably why the very expensive interview admissions system is maintained.

In my child's experience, one lecturer on a key subject was so poor that the whole year made a complaint and other academics clearly did not relish delivering lectures. Some students stopped attending lectures, preferring to work on their own (I think that this is quite common across courses). The most enjoyable aspect so far seems to have been 1:1 contact with staff on summer academic attachments. Students should be able to experience this at any university if they are sufficiently motivated but Oxford does seem to offer a lot more of these than the establishment with which I am most familiar.

To my mind, the Oxford advantages are: a) the tutorial system, which constantly monitors progress and pushes for more; b) constant competition with the strongest students from all over the world; c) the many opportunities afforded by the university's relative affluence. Oh, and d) - living in the one of the most beautiful cities in England!
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PeteM01
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
PeteM01 When I say getting paid to publish a book, I am referring to Professor Helen Watanebe-O'Kelly (you can see this was HERA funded - see links). On the 700th anniversary of my son's college, she gave a talk on her book, which was fascinating.

https://www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk/peopl...atanabe-okelly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Watanabe-O%27Kelly
I see that her 2002 bodice-ripper, "Court Culture in Dresden", is currently at #6,708,860 in the Amazon Bestellers' Rank...admittedly, my most popular work would not even feature on an Amazon list at all and as for a Wikipedia entry - I would have to write that myself.

Back on-topic, all of my children have had some brilliant and some poor lecturers at 4 different institutions (and counting). It is probably sensible to be prepared for some dull or disorganised teaching wherever you end up. Most universities pick up on their students' course comments and will moderate marks in the worst instances, and offer training, movement into administration or eventual dismissal for the offending lecturers.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by PeteM01)
I see that her 2002 bodice-ripper, "Court Culture in Dresden", is currently at #6,708,860 in the Amazon Bestellers' Rank...admittedly, my most popular work would not even feature on an Amazon list at all and as for a Wikipedia entry - I would have to write that myself.

Back on-topic, all of my children have had some brilliant and some poor lecturers at 4 different institutions (and counting). It is probably sensible to be prepared for some dull or disorganised teaching wherever you end up. Most universities pick up on their students' course comments and will moderate marks in the worst instances, and offer training, movement into administration or eventual dismissal for the offending lecturers.
My son's girlfriend wants to be an Oxford tutor (reading English and classics at the moment). She would be absolutely awesome.
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PeteM01
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
My son's girlfriend wants to be an Oxford tutor (reading English and classics at the moment). She would be absolutely awesome.
Is she independently wealthy? If not, she will need to marry well. Oxford must be a nightmare on a lecturer's salary!
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RichE
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(Original post by PeteM01)
Is she independently wealthy? If not, she will need to marry well. Oxford must be a nightmare on a lecturer's salary!
The vast majority of Oxford faculty aren't "independently wealthy". (Though, yes, Oxford house prices are pretty insane, and colleges have to find ways to incentivize new faculty to move there.)
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by PeteM01)
Is she independently wealthy? If not, she will need to marry well. Oxford must be a nightmare on a lecturer's salary!
I have commented, then decided to delete my post, as it is not anybody else's business what her financial position is, or is likely to be in the future. So long as she and my son are happy together and can keep a roof above their heads, that is all that matters to me.
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
I have commented, then decided to delete my post, as it is not anybody else's business what her financial position is, or is likely to be in the future. So long as she and my son are happy together and can keep a roof above their heads, that is all that matters to me.
Quite right.

And what about all the people who live and work in London where property prices are even higher and yet plenty of people forge careers and live happily there. My daughter's going for job interviews there at the moment and as far as I know, no employer has yet asked her if she's independently wealthy or intends to marry well.
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Oxford Mum
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And of course, marrying well would mean her giving up my son , who is an Oxford medic, and is not independently wealthy.

Compare and contrast this with her parents’ first impressions of my son

“She could have brought home anybody, but she brought M”

And in a good way....
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