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    (Original post by Pars12)
    I'm interested how you know they were "properly upper class". Did you ask them whether they went to a public school?

    A lot hinges around your definitions of terms like "well spoken".

    I used to find that my accent changed between home and Oxford. I also found that my accent changed when I spent some time in Australia. Perhaps you were picking up on that. I think a lot of students 'sound' posh at Oxford. Doesn't make them upper class. Not even privileged in some cases.
    There is a tendency for some to overdo what they think of as 'the Oxford accent' and I suspect that was coming across. Being a tad pretentious sadly happens in many social contexts.
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    (Original post by Vicky628)
    My school went on a trip to Oxford university as part of an access programme for state schools. There were about a dozen of us with mostly A/A* (and A at AS for the year 13s) and they went to great lengths to show us how fair the system was and how the wanted 'us' (state school peeps).

    And yet, everyone I met was from a public school background and seemed overly chummy and posh. Not "well spoken"- properly upper class. That's really worried me about my chances, as it seems like private schools have the advantage despite what they say.

    Is this just a coincidence, or is it really as elitist as its portrayed to be??
    Hey, sorry to bump this thread (not sorry). I went to a (terrible) state school and now study at Cambridge, so maybe I can give a relevant perspective.

    Yeah, despite only around 7% being educated at private schools in the UK (18% of VIth formers), private school students continue to constitute 40-50% of all students at Oxbridge. But this figure is improving (read: decreasing) as more state school students get in. Have you heard of the Sutton Trust programme?

    Luckily, Oxbridge have access to a wide range of information about your background: the higher education participation rate of your area; your school's pass rate etc, and these are taken into account in a holistic manner when reviewing your application.

    As a state school student your application is not inherently disadvantaged in comparison to someone from a good grammar/private school, but the main disadvantage you have is that your school is likely to be less well-versed in sending students to Oxbridge and less likely to know how to prepare you adequately for an application. For example, I only received one 15 minute mock interview at my college and this was from a teacher that didn't even teach the subject I was applying for, whereas, I know someone at a good grammar school that organised mock interviews for every student with specialist teachers etc. Also, grammar/private schools tend to know how to tailor their students' UCAS references for Oxbridge, so it may be helpful for you tor research what Oxbridge look for in references then advise your college on this (as I did).

    However, as has been mentioned, that is the extent of your disadvantage, and this is not something that Oxbridge can do anything about. In fact, the universities have been doing admirable work in ensuring the applications are looked at holistically and with consideration to your educational background. If you want to apply and have good enough grades to do so, then I hope you do apply because I want to see social mobility improved and all state school students to know that if they are good enough for Cambridge, then they should submit an application! It will be tricky against candidates receiving a lot more help than you, but with hard work nothing is impossible.

    Best of luck, and if you have any further questions feel free to ask.
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    (Original post by Illiberal Liberal)

    Yeah, despite only around 7% being educated at private schools in the UK,
    This stat is misleading. Around 18% of VIth formers are educated privately.


    http://www.isc.co.uk/research/
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    This stat is misleading. Around 18% of VIth formers are educated privately.


    http://www.isc.co.uk/research/
    Good point, thanks. My apologies, I'll edit my post.
 
 
 
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