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    The Russell Group universities, although some highly ranked non-RG universities may do too!
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Can one park one's yacht there though? I heard Cirencester was inland.
    Why even bother with the yacht when you can take the helicopter.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Just to point out, I am working on admission/undergraduate statistics for Oxford over the summer and what you've said about it only applying to grammar schools is not entirely true (although I'm not allowed to divulge anything more specific).

    Sure, it is disappointing to get rejected, and plenty of excellent people get rejected (pretty much everyone at the interview stage will be excellent candidates on paper) but people have just got to realise that the definition of "exceptional candidate" at school is not the same definition Oxford and Cambridge go by, when the entire pool of applicants is comprised of people who are exceptional candidates within their school. So it's perfectly possible for someone to be one of the most standout students at GCSE/A-Level in their school, but for them to be unexceptional in the pool of applicants at either Oxford or Cambridge.
    You're right. It seems 4 A* exceptional student at a sink school isn't the same as 4 A* exceptional student at a grammar or private school!
    I would have thought that the fact that the sink school candidate has achieved the same as the others would make them stand out simply because they have achieved that in the face of such adversity, inc: poverty, disadvantage and low expectations?
    But that's just me.
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    (Original post by Cobbler)
    You're right. It seems 4 A* exceptional student at a sink school isn't the same as 4 A* exceptional student at a grammar or private school!
    I would have thought that the fact that the sink school candidate has achieved the same as the others would make them stand out simply because they have achieved that in the face of such adversity, inc: poverty, disadvantage and low expectations?
    But that's just me.
    You're right, of course, and Oxford takes this into account - I never tried saying otherwise.
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    (Original post by Cobbler)
    You're right. It seems 4 A* exceptional student at a sink school isn't the same as 4 A* exceptional student at a grammar or private school!
    I would have thought that the fact that the sink school candidate has achieved the same as the others would make them stand out simply because they have achieved that in the face of such adversity, inc: poverty, disadvantage and low expectations?
    But that's just me.
    Also, did your friend with four A*s at A-Level apply post A-Level? If not, he applied with A-Level predictions and even with 4 A* predictions it's not a differentiator (because colleges have different policies on predictions, so it's futile differentiating between A and A* predictions).
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    (Original post by Cobbler)
    You can spend as much money and resources on widening participation schemes as you like, but when students with 4 A*'s at my state academy still don't get offered a place at Oxbridge (It's happened every year for the past eight) then why do we state school students bother?
    My best friend is now studying physics at imperial with his A*'s in pHysics, chemistry, Maths and Further maths. He was rejected by cambridge, along with the 5 others that applied from my school. Not one student as ever got in in my schools 10 year history, despite getting students into ICL, UCL, Durham, Warwick, numerous russell group uni's and even a Yale.
    it seems to me that Oxbridge just pays lip service to widening participation. They really have no intention of making any changes when it just isn't in their interests to. The only reason they play along is so that they can carry on charging £9000.
    How does getting 4A*s entitle you to a place at Oxbridge? I got 4A*s from a mediocre state school and got accepted. There is no bias. I also know plenty of others who got in with similar grades and plenty who didn't. The fact is that 4A*s isn't that hard given that A levels are just about doing past papers and while doing extremely well at A levels is a good predictor of success at university, it isn't a guarantee. Anyone with these grades will have a good shot at getting into anywhere, that's why they bother. We don't want Oxbridge to be another LSE that just accepts anyone with 10A*s at GCSE and 4A*s predicted.

    There is all sort of rubbish about Oxbridge that people assume because they feel they are entitled to a place and don't get in such as institutional racism etc. Access schemes are garbage imo - if you're good enough you're good enough. I have not one but two black friends at Cambridge from two of the worst places in London from relatively poor families and they both study medicine. It's a meritocratic process for the most part whether you want to believe it or not. There's no racism and there is no bias towards private/grammar schools. Given that what type of school one went to is not a good predictor of how one will do at Cambridge (I'm assuming the same is true at Oxford) I think it is fair to say that the process is meritocratic.

    You talk about Yale but the fact is that entrance criteria are different in America - much less emphasis on academics and more on extra curricular activities. As for Imperial, UCL, Durham etc, most people with outstanding A levels and GCSEs will get places at these universities but for Oxbridge you need to demonstrate more.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    You're right, of course, and Oxford takes this into account - I never tried saying otherwise.
    Perhaps he should have applied there instead of Cambridge then?
    Problem is Private and grammar school applicants know these things because their teachers are aware of them as they've sent many students their way.
    The teachers from my school have absolutely no idea.
    My parents had to pay £80 for me to sit the entrance exams at a private college in central london because my school wouldn't pay for us to sit them on site. Some people couldn't afford the fees and had to beg and plead for help with the fees. I think my school realised it was probably a big waste of money anyway. Maybe if and when they are eventually successful in getting a student there things might change? Who knows?
    State comprehensive school students are at a distinct disadvantage and it is only made more apparent when the annual Oxbridge application debacle comes around I'm afraid.
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    (Original post by Cobbler)
    Perhaps he should have applied there instead of Cambridge then?
    Problem is Private and grammar school applicants know these things because their teachers are aware of them as they've sent many students their way.
    The teachers from my school have absolutely no idea.
    My parents had to pay £80 for me to sit the entrance exams at a private college in central london because my school wouldn't pay for us to sit them on site. Some people couldn't afford the fees and had to beg and plead for help with the fees. I think my school realised it was probably a big waste of money anyway. Maybe if and when they are eventually successful in getting a student there things might change? Who knows?
    State comprehensive school students are at a distinct disadvantage and it is only made more apparent when the annual Oxbridge application debacle comes around I'm afraid.
    Cambridge takes background into account. However, this doesn't mean they will accept mickey mouse applicants just because they went to a bad school. Also, you keep talking about all the people who got 4A*s who didn't get in but for many subjects this is pretty typical. My school barely helped with Oxbridge applications, is a mediocre state comprehensive and gets about 3 into Oxbridge yearly and around 7 last year. Your school must be unlucky. State comprehensives are at a disadvantage in terms of how they prepare students obviously. There is no revelation there - what would be the point in private schools/grammar schools if they weren't better. However, candidates are admitted on a meritocratic basis and there is no bias based on school history.
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    (Original post by Cobbler)
    Perhaps he should have applied there instead of Cambridge then?
    Problem is Private and grammar school applicants know these things because their teachers are aware of them as they've sent many students their way.
    The teachers from my school have absolutely no idea.
    My parents had to pay £80 for me to sit the entrance exams at a private college in central london because my school wouldn't pay for us to sit them on site. Some people couldn't afford the fees and had to beg and plead for help with the fees. I think my school realised it was probably a big waste of money anyway. Maybe if and when they are eventually successful in getting a student there things might change? Who knows?
    State comprehensive school students are at a distinct disadvantage and it is only made more apparent when the annual Oxbridge application debacle comes around I'm afraid.
    I do agree with a lot of what you've said there, however I think people attribute too much of the blame to Oxford and Cambridge, when in reality most of the 'damage' is done before applications even go in. It should be the responsibility of the government to close the gap between state and private education, not the responsibility of Oxford and Cambridge, but when you've got parents paying £10,000+ a year sending their children to private schools it's hardly surprising that drastic differences are apparent towards the end of secondary education. Ultimately, both Oxford and Cambridge want to accept the best cohort of students, the problem is most privately educated students will be more academically prepared for an undergraduate degree at both universities, because they generally do better academically, in admissions tests and at interview. The keyword here being generally, of course there are plenty of state-school students with similar grades and performance during the admission process (and as I've already mentioned, these applicants are more likely to get in than those from a private school with the same grades) and these people tend to do very well at the undergraduate level as they tend to be resourceful, self-motivating etc.
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    Loughborough. Jack Wills/A&F/Ralph Lauren. American Football/Rowing. (Every sport basically) Haha #cockfest
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    (Original post by stefl14)
    How does getting 4A*s entitle you to a place at Oxbridge? I got 4A*s from a mediocre state school and got accepted. There is no bias. I also know plenty of others who got in with similar grades and plenty who didn't. The fact is that 4A*s isn't that hard given that A levels are just about doing past papers and while doing extremely well at A levels is a good predictor of success at university, it isn't a guarantee. Anyone with these grades will have a good shot at getting into anywhere, that's why they bother. We don't want Oxbridge to be another LSE that just accepts anyone with 10A*s at GCSE and 4A*s predicted.

    There is all sort of rubbish about Oxbridge that people assume because they feel they are entitled to a place and don't get in such as institutional racism etc. Access schemes are garbage imo - if you're good enough you're good enough. I have not one but two black friends at Cambridge from two of the worst places in London from relatively poor families and they both study medicine. It's a meritocratic process for the most part whether you want to believe it or not. There's no racism and there is no bias towards private/grammar schools. Given that what type of school one went to is not a good predictor of how one will do at Cambridge (I'm assuming the same is true at Oxford) I think it is fair to say that the process is meritocratic.

    You talk about Yale but the fact is that entrance criteria are different in America - much less emphasis on academics and more on extra curricular activities. As for Imperial, UCL, Durham etc, most people with outstanding A levels and GCSEs will get places at these universities but for Oxbridge you need to demonstrate more.
    You say there is no bias? Are you saying that private school students are naturally better than state school students then? Because, lets face it, they are vastly disproportionately represented. Or is it because they have paid for a 'better' education? If that is the case then surely the candidate with the same qualifications that hasn't paid and yet still managed is superior?
    if there are other qualities that Oxbridge look for, then why do privately educated and grammar educated pupils have these? Is it because their teachers are aware of what they are and can successfully coach them? Another disadvantage to comp students.
    Oh! You know two whole black people studying medicine at Oxbridge? That despite they make up 14% of the country's population? My!
    you got in. That's great, but that makes you bias surely.
    To say it is a meritocratic system and not helped by where you are educated is like saying that good health is not helped by having money.
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    (Original post by Cobbler)
    You say there is no bias? Are you saying that private school students are naturally better than state school students then? Because, lets face it, they are vastly disproportionately represented. Or is it because they have paid for a 'better' education? If that is the case then surely the candidate with the same qualifications that hasn't paid and yet still managed is superior?
    if there are other qualities that Oxbridge look for, then why do privately educated and grammar educated pupils have these? Is it because their teachers are aware of what they are and can successfully coach them? Another disadvantage to comp students.
    Oh! You know two whole black people studying medicine at Oxbridge? That despite they make up 14% of the country's population? My!
    you got in. That's great, but that makes you bias surely.
    To say it is a meritocratic system and not helped by where you are educated is like saying that good health is not helped by having money.
    The fact black students are massively underrepresented at Oxford (and Cambridge) is for two pretty basic reasons:

    1) Far fewer of them get AAA+ and so meet the entry requirements
    2) They generally apply for the more competitive subjects.

    It's completely meaningless to say "Despite the fact they make up 14% of the country's population" because certainly a much smaller proportion than 14% actually apply - unless you're now going to suggest Oxford and Cambridge start handing out offers to people who don't even apply...
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    Oh how mundane of TSR... A disagreement over acceptance policies :yawn:
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    (Original post by Cobbler)
    You say there is no bias? Are you saying that private school students are naturally better than state school students then? Because, lets face it, they are vastly disproportionately represented. Or is it because they have paid for a 'better' education? If that is the case then surely the candidate with the same qualifications that hasn't paid and yet still managed is superior?
    if there are other qualities that Oxbridge look for, then why do privately educated and grammar educated pupils have these? Is it because their teachers are aware of what they are and can successfully coach them? Another disadvantage to comp students.
    Oh! You know two whole black people studying medicine at Oxbridge? That despite they make up 14% of the country's population? My!
    you got in. That's great, but that makes you bias surely.
    To say it is a meritocratic system and not helped by where you are educated is like saying that good health is not helped by having money.
    You literally have no idea what you are talking about. When I say there is no bias, I mean that admissions tutors don't say "he went to a private school, he will therefore be better and so we should give him the place". Just because private school students are disproportionately represented at Oxbridge it doesn't mean they are favoured. It is partly because they are much more likely to apply. The relative proportions of state and private school students at Oxbridge is roughly the same as the number that apply i.e. 60% of people at Cambridge are not privately educated and around 60% of applications are from those who aren't privately educated. This implies meritocracy to me. So you're argument about disproportionate representation is bull**** because it is due mostly to application numbers, not bias. This is the fault of schools, not Oxbridge. Schools should push more students towards applying. It's particularly funny that you point out my example of two students when you've committed the same fallacy by using only your school as an example, which is tiny in the grand scheme of things. Also, I know far more than two black students, I just know two that happened to be from a particularly unfortunate background.

    Also, I am going to be a little controversial here and suggest that it is possible that private school students are naturally better (I'm not saying it's true - I could be wrong but people have to at least accept the possibility unless there have been detailed studies disproving it). Private school students have richer parents, and at least some of their acquired wealth can be attributed to higher intelligence one would have thought, which means that they will pass on this intelligence to their children.

    Finally, private/grammar school students are much more prepared for Oxbridge on account of their superior education. This is not the fault of Oxbridge.
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    Oh how mundane of TSR... A disagreement over acceptance policies :yawn:
    ... but shouldn't really come as a surprise given that this is a student forum and not a Harley Davidson appreciation society.
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    St Andrew's, Bristol, Durham, UCL, LSE
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    ... but shouldn't really come as a surprise given that this is a student forum and not a Harley Davidson appreciation society.
    Yes but it always happens, you two need to face facts, poor people suffer in life and getting into Oxbridge or similar is clearly harder due to the standard of education they most likely got, it being crap, can it be helped? Yes. Will anyone do anything meaningful? No.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    The fact black students are massively underrepresented at Oxford (and Cambridge) is for two pretty basic reasons:

    1) Far fewer of them get AAA+ and so meet the entry requirements
    2) They generally apply for the more competitive subjects.

    It's completely meaningless to say "Despite the fact they make up 14% of the country's population" because certainly a much smaller proportion than 14% actually apply - unless you're now going to suggest Oxford and Cambridge start handing out offers to people who don't even apply...
    No, that would just be silly.
    What would be nice though, if black students thought that if they did apply they might actually be successful. Then more might try.
    Cause and effect!
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    Yes but it always happens, you two need to face facts, poor people suffer in life and getting into Oxbridge or similar is clearly harder due to the standard of education they most likely got, it being crap, can it be helped? Yes. Will anyone do anything meaningful? No.
    Of course, I don't think either of us denies this (I certainly wasn't trying to - being from a crap school and low-income family myself).
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    (Original post by stefl14)
    You literally have no idea what you are talking about. When I say there is no bias, I mean that admissions tutors don't say "he went to a private school, he will therefore be better and so we should give him the place". Just because private school students are disproportionately represented at Oxbridge it doesn't mean they are favoured. It is partly because they are much more likely to apply. The relative proportions of state and private school students at Oxbridge is roughly the same as the number that apply i.e. 60% of people at Cambridge are not privately educated and around 60% of applications are from those who aren't privately educated. This implies meritocracy to me. So you're argument about disproportionate representation is bull**** because it is due mostly to application numbers, not bias. This is the fault of schools, not Oxbridge. Schools should push more students towards applying. It's particularly funny that you point out my example of two students when you've committed the same fallacy by using only your school as an example, which is tiny in the grand scheme of things. Also, I know far more than two black students, I just know two that happened to be from a particularly unfortunate background.

    Also, I am going to be a little controversial here and suggest that it is possible that private school students are naturally better (I'm not saying it's true - I could be wrong but people have to at least accept the possibility unless there have been detailed studies disproving it). Private school students have richer parents, and at least some of their acquired wealth can be attributed to higher intelligence one would have thought, which means that they will pass on this intelligence to their children.

    Finally, private/grammar school students are much more prepared for Oxbridge on account of their superior education. This is not the fault of Oxbridge.
    Oohh! Very contraversial. That must explain Prince William and Harry, not to mention all those Made in Chelsea types! Still i suppose there are exceptions to every rule.
    i'll be just as controversial shall I? Oxford and Cambridge are private institutions. They are dependant on contributions from rich Alumni. Maybe if they increase the proportion of poor, unfortunate state school students in their fine establishments it might affect this? If they have students without connections to help them into big business or politics etc, they might not keep the reputation of supplying the British cabinet that they have?
    Are you saying that if more comprehensive pupils applied, more would get in? That would completely negate your point about private school applicants getting in because they are better educated wouldn't it?
    As for your point about black students at Oxbridge. I saw the grand total of one when I spent four days at Oxford having my interviews.
    You are right about state schools not preparing their students for Oxbridge. What I'd like to see is a specialist in every state school. Someone who knows all the ins and outs, all the requirements. Someone who can interview coach the way that private school students are.
    BTW, it's a little rude to tell people they have no idea what they are talking about just because they don't agree with you. We all have our life experiences and they all help to form our outlooks. The fact that you have a positive experience of the whole process is great. I don't.
 
 
 
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