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    (Original post by ZoZo1770)
    Hi all,

    I hear that both Oxford and Cambridge are leaning towards state schools and international students this year and wanted to know if others had heard the same.

    The reason I'm posting it here is this: eighteen people from my (private) school applied to Oxbridge, most of us predicted at least 2 A*s at A Level with a string of A*s at GCSE and As at AS. Among us are the Head Girl, Deputy Head Girls, Prefects, etc. and we usually get about 3 or 4 students into Oxbridge each year. The current Year 13 is especially strong, and we had many members of staff predicting we'd get in (note: these staff members are never wrong).

    Yet literally all of us have been rejected this week after the December interviews, except for one who has been pooled at Cambridge. Other people I know from private schools have had this same issue, and yet we know of people from state schools who have received offers - one of whom achieved ABCD at AS and wasn't considered to be the Oxbridge type at all.

    I know I may sound like I'm *****ing about not getting an offer (which, quite frankly, I don't really care about because, you know, life goes on), it's the reason why all of us were rejected that is the problem: is it true that Oxford and Cambridge are favouring state pupils to get away from the stereotype that they are snobbish, and international pupils because they pay three times the amount?

    It doesn't seem quite right that bright people are being turned away purely because they are from an independent school when Oxbridge usually try so hard to convince people that 'your educational background makes no difference at all', and why ideal pupils with straight A*s and great interview skills are being rejected when people with lower GCSE and AS grades are getting offers - it all appears to be quite political to me.

    Are there any other people on here whose schools seem to fit the above? I know that both Oxford and Cambridge favour Eton, I'd be interested to know how many people got offers there.

    Apologies if this sounds like a rant - I don't mean it like this at all. Congratulations to those who did manage to get in, though.

    What do you all think?
    I'm afraid I've heard this time and time again especially after a good friends brother got in to cambridge but another friend who attended a private school did not.
    It is clear that certain private schools are favoured by oxbridge for example schools which carry brand names essential such as eton, westminster, harrow, st pauls, haberdasheraske, etc.
    But beyond that the number of privately educated people at oxbridge suggests there is not a bias towards the state school.
    When you think about it though someone who gets an oxbridge offer of say A*AA from a state school (and achieved this) has achieved more than someone getting the same grades from a private schools. The reason being private schools are better at aiding applicants in things like interviews and tend to have more experience of competitive unis and courses. They also have smaller class sizes and often better teaching which are clearly advantagous when aiming for top grades. On that principle one could argue that it yould actually only be fair to bias towards state school applicants if they are on a par and have equal merits with a private school one
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Well they had a 50% Offer rate in 2013 - 30 Offers from 62 Applicants.
    Westminster 57% 28 from 49
    Hills Road 42% 23 from 55 (State School)

    But yes, not 90%

    http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergrad...2013_cycle.pdf

    But this is an *ahem* academic discussion until this cycle's data is published...
    My numbers were for Oxford from 2008-2013, where significantly more Etonians apply. I suppose the average across the two universities is a little under 40% in recent years.
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    I think this is a bit of a crazy thread but here is my experience. I go to a '****ty' (but I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, I can't stick the private school system but thats just me...) welsh state school and I got an offer.... I know 8 people who applied for Oxford, all from state schools and all received offers. (2 others from my own school, 1 for Maths, 1 for Psychology). The girls from private schools I met at interview however didn't get in. I also came out of my second interview in tears because I had come across as a totally and utter idiot. BUT that doesn't mean Oxbridge have favoured state school candidates, I think to get straight A*s at GCSE and 4As at A level, which all of us did, is a greater achievement at a state school than getting them from a private school. Therefore, if grades are compared like for like but one candidate is state educated I think they show greater promise. As for my interview I think Oxford realise that I had absolutely zero interview prep and would take that into account. What I did do in my interview was demonstrate that I love my subject and have quite a good knowledge of it, despite the fact I got nervous and said daft things. I personally hated the interview experience as I didn't meet a single other person from a State school, that wasn't a grammar school or an academy. None of my friends thought we would stand a chance, whereas I met so many people who acted as if they were entitled to a place. I was seriously relived to realise there would be other people like me there next year. (If I meet my conditions, but my school has only ever had 1 A* achieved so that should be fun...)
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    (Original post by Abi790)
    I think this is a bit of a crazy thread but here is my experience. I go to a '****ty' (but I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, I can't stick the private school system but thats just me...) welsh state school and I got an offer.... I know 8 people who applied for Oxford, all from state schools and all received offers. (2 others from my own school, 1 for Maths, 1 for Psychology). The girls from private schools I met at interview however didn't get in. I also came out of my second interview in tears because I had come across as a totally and utter idiot. BUT that doesn't mean Oxbridge have favoured state school candidates, I think to get straight A*s at GCSE and 4As at A level, which all of us did, is a greater achievement at a state school than getting them from a private school. Therefore, if grades are compared like for like but one candidate is state educated I think they show greater promise. As for my interview I think Oxford realise that I had absolutely zero interview prep and would take that into account. What I did do in my interview was demonstrate that I love my subject and have quite a good knowledge of it, despite the fact I got nervous and said daft things. I personally hated the interview experience as I didn't meet a single other person from a State school, that wasn't a grammar school or an academy. None of my friends thought we would stand a chance, whereas I met so many people who acted as if they were entitled to a place. I was seriously relived to realise there would be other people like me there next year. (If I meet my conditions, but my school has only ever had 1 A* achieved so that should be fun...)
    Woo ****ty Welsh state schools ftw (although, Year 7-11, not sixth form)
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    (Original post by Abi790)
    I think this is a bit of a crazy thread but here is my experience. I go to a '****ty' (but I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, I can't stick the private school system but thats just me...) welsh state school and I got an offer.... I know 8 people who applied for Oxford, all from state schools and all received offers. (2 others from my own school, 1 for Maths, 1 for Psychology). The girls from private schools I met at interview however didn't get in. I also came out of my second interview in tears because I had come across as a totally and utter idiot. BUT that doesn't mean Oxbridge have favoured state school candidates, I think to get straight A*s at GCSE and 4As at A level, which all of us did, is a greater achievement at a state school than getting them from a private school. Therefore, if grades are compared like for like but one candidate is state educated I think they show greater promise. As for my interview I think Oxford realise that I had absolutely zero interview prep and would take that into account. What I did do in my interview was demonstrate that I love my subject and have quite a good knowledge of it, despite the fact I got nervous and said daft things. I personally hated the interview experience as I didn't meet a single other person from a State school, that wasn't a grammar school or an academy. None of my friends thought we would stand a chance, whereas I met so many people who acted as if they were entitled to a place. I was seriously relived to realise there would be other people like me there next year. (If I meet my conditions, but my school has only ever had 1 A* achieved so that should be fun...)
    State school pride! My school got nobody in last year, but this year we managed to get 4 in! And 2 for the same course!

    I honestly suspect that it's just random variations in candidate quality, as well as improved access through schemes like UNIQ which is making the difference.
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    My (private) school got 3/3 in this year, and 0/3 in last year. It's just the luck of the draw. Chill out.
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    Speaking for international students - based on my d's experience - they are accepted at a much lower rate than UK nationals, perhaps 50% lower or more. This is because 1) their courses do not match the requirements for their chosen course (i.e. they don't attain A-level qualifiactions); 2) they sometimes do not understand the requirements and so lower quality candidates apply; 3) they tend to apply to the most competitive courses, e.g. medicine; 4) overseas students must pay rates that are comparable with American costs, so opt out. In other words, international students do not get special consideration or treatment.
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    Actually research has shown that state schoolers perform better than private schoolers with the same admission scores, so it'd make perfect sense for Oxbridge to have lower requirements for state schoolers.
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    (Original post by alcibiade)
    Speaking for international students - based on my d's experience - they are accepted at a much lower rate than UK nationals, perhaps 50% lower or more. This is because 1) their courses do not match the requirements for their chosen course (i.e. they don't attain A-level qualifiactions); 2) they sometimes do not understand the requirements and so lower quality candidates apply; 3) they tend to apply to the most competitive courses, e.g. medicine; 4) overseas students must pay rates that are comparable with American costs, so opt out. In other words, international students do not get special consideration or treatment.
    They actually set higher comparable requirements for international students, too.

    For the longest time, they have AAA for both GCE a-levels and Hong Kong a-levels, but both the British Council and UCAS have calculated that an A in GCE is merely a C in HK's.
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    (Original post by Abi790)
    I think this is a bit of a crazy thread but here is my experience. I go to a '****ty' (but I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, I can't stick the private school system but thats just me...) welsh state school and I got an offer.... I know 8 people who applied for Oxford, all from state schools and all received offers. (2 others from my own school, 1 for Maths, 1 for Psychology). The girls from private schools I met at interview however didn't get in. I also came out of my second interview in tears because I had come across as a totally and utter idiot. BUT that doesn't mean Oxbridge have favoured state school candidates, I think to get straight A*s at GCSE and 4As at A level, which all of us did, is a greater achievement at a state school than getting them from a private school. Therefore, if grades are compared like for like but one candidate is state educated I think they show greater promise. As for my interview I think Oxford realise that I had absolutely zero interview prep and would take that into account. What I did do in my interview was demonstrate that I love my subject and have quite a good knowledge of it, despite the fact I got nervous and said daft things. I personally hated the interview experience as I didn't meet a single other person from a State school, that wasn't a grammar school or an academy. None of my friends thought we would stand a chance, whereas I met so many people who acted as if they were entitled to a place. I was seriously relived to realise there would be other people like me there next year. (If I meet my conditions, but my school has only ever had 1 A* achieved so that should be fun...)
    Congratulations on your offer, good luck with your A2 exams.


    You have made a great point, highlighting the fact that the majority of the other interviewees you met at Cambridge were private, grammar or academy pupils. Therefore, maybe this thread should be "Is Oxbridge favouring selective maintained schools over independent schools? Grammar schools have the same quiet classes, focused teachers and interview training advise as independent schools. One other point, anyone who is encouraged by their school to apply has the back up of their school. If a comprehensive school only has 1 Oxbridge applicant, that pupil has the undivided backup of all their subject teachers and a Head of School that would sell their grandmother, to be able to say to OFSTED that one of their pupils has gone on to Oxbridge. Teachers from selective independent or schools that have a history of sending pupils to Oxbridge will be dealing with 40 or 50 applications and references. As long as they get some pupils accepted they will be happy, but it becomes a numbers game and less personal.
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    (Original post by thewaiting11)
    Congratulations on your offer, good luck with your A2 exams.


    You have made a great point, highlighting the fact that the majority of the other interviewees you met at Cambridge were private, grammar or academy pupils. Therefore, maybe this thread should be "Is Oxbridge favouring selective maintained schools over independent schools? Grammar schools have the same quiet classes, focused teachers and interview training advise as independent schools. One other point, anyone who is encouraged by their school to apply has the back up of their school. If a comprehensive school only has 1 Oxbridge applicant, that pupil has the undivided backup of all their subject teachers and a Head of School that would sell their grandmother, to be able to say to OFSTED that one of their pupils has gone on to Oxbridge. Teachers from selective independent or schools that have a history of sending pupils to Oxbridge will be dealing with 40 or 50 applications and references. As long as they get some pupils accepted they will be happy, but it becomes a numbers game and less personal.
    One thing I would say coming from a comprehensive with little to no Oxbridge success, is that although my teachers might have wanted to do everything in their power (and have genuinely been wonderful) to help myself and my two friends, they had neither the knowledge of the system or the resources to really do so. The horror other applicants expressed when I said I hadn't had a mock interview and my friends hadn't had any help with their admissions tests was incredible.

    **Help preparing for admissions tests.
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    (Original post by Abi790)
    One thing I would say coming from a comprehensive with little to know Oxbridge success, is that although my teachers might have been wanting to do everything in their power (and have genuinely been wonderful) to help myself and my two friends, they had niether the knowledge of the system or the resources to really do so. The horror other applicants expressed when I said I hadn't had a mock interview and my friends hadn't had any help with their admissions tests was incredible.
    You have done brilliantly and probably came across as refreshing, honest and not coached.

    Don't forget though having a mock interview that goes badly before hand does not necessary help mentally either and nobody can have their tutors help with admissions tests.
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    (Original post by BJack)
    It's not particularly surprising that a school that usually gets 3-4 people into Oxbridge per year might get none in once in a while. Your assertions that Oxbridge are biased against private schools but towards Eton are... well, 'flimsy' would be a generous description.



    This is not a helpful figure. The intake of private school students at Oxford is about six times higher than you'd expect looking at school students across the full age range (i.e. about 45% vs 7%). However, the relevant school figures to look at are A level students, and more specifically A level students achieving AAA or better. I don't know what that number is — I seem to remember seeing a figure of about 25% of AAA students being privately educated, although that number was 10 years old and it's surely gone down since then. And then, of course, you can make a good case that you should only be interested in the success rates for people who actually apply...

    Even after all that, private schools come off a bit better off but it's nowhere near the six times figure that is so often quoted. Another thing to point out is that many top private schools (Eton, Westminster, etc.) take on high-performing state schoolers for A levels on extremely generous scholarships — up to 100% — which somewhat inflates the private school admissions stats while masking where these pupils had their formative education. The reverse (top private schoolers moving to state sixth forms) is less common.
    Really annoying when people misquote that figure. At AS around 16% of the population is privately educated. I would appreciate it if you updated your post so as not to mislead others. In addition roughly 30-40% of applicants to Oxford are from private schools.
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    No. I'm an Oxford graduate, doing a postgraduate degree also at Oxford. I have spoken to tutors about this over the years, and half my friends are helping with admissions (I myself have done some entrance test marking, but some of my PhD friends have sat in on interviews).

    The college tutors choose who they like, to accept. Some tutors might favour state schools, some private, and there are certainly plenty of outreach programmes to encourage a wide range of application. However, ultimately, it comes down to 1-2 tutors choosing 6 people they like out of 30 (give or take). With that level of individualism, there's no room for any statistical favouring - it's just pot luck who your competitors are that year.

    I'd like to add that it's very obvious who has natural talent and who has been coached. Plenty of people from private schools come from academic families, so have had an advantage, but are still bright and fully deserve to get in. So too do those state school students with worse grades but obvious potential. AS grades don't actually mean a lot in terms of differentiating people at that level, so giving offers to state school students with lower grades but obvious talent is perfectly acceptable, and I don't think it disadvantages the private school students who are good enough to get in.

    That is not, of course, to say that those who don't get in don't deserve to - unfortunately, places are just limited. I'm sorry to hear you didn't get a place this year, but if you're of the calibre to get through to interview, I'm sure you'll have a great career. You can always reapply or apply as a graduate - Oxford won't go away.

    I know that's not necessarily a helpful thing to hear right now, but I mean it - not getting into Oxford shouldn't knock people's self esteem.
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    (Original post by Blutooth)
    Really annoying when people misquote that figure. At AS around 16% of the population is privately educated. I would appreciate it if you updated your post so as not to mislead others. In addition roughly 30-40% of applicants to Oxford are from private schools.
    Was your post directed at me or Chlorophile?
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    (Original post by BJack)
    Was your post directed at me or Chlorophile?
    Oh yeah, sorry
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    (Original post by BJack)
    However, the relevant school figures to look at are A level students, and more specifically A level students achieving AAA or better. I don't know what that number is — I seem to remember seeing a figure of about 25% of AAA students being privately educated, although that number was 10 years old and it's surely gone down since then.
    32.3% in 2011

    Can't find source now but its even higher if you look at A*AA+
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    32.3% in 2011

    Can't find source now but its even higher if you look at A*AA+
    That's higher than I thought it would be. Thanks — I'll send rep your way when you're not PRSOMed for me.
 
 
 
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