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    The graph on pg 17 of this report shows the relative chances of an oxbridge offer for state and independent schools with the same A level tariff

    http://www.suttontrust.com/research/...idual-schools/

    though this is a 2008 report and precedes the A star grade which will, I suspect, change the picture.
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    (Original post by mummyperson)
    The graph on pg 17 of this report shows the relative chances of an oxbridge offer for state and independent schools with the same A level tariff

    http://www.suttontrust.com/research/...idual-schools/

    though this is a 2008 report and precedes the A star grade which will, I suspect, change the picture.
    As far as I can tell, their analysis is based on a "hit rate": that is, proportion of pupils from that school getting a place at university\Oxbridge, and ignores the proportion who do or don't apply. Which is fine and gives useful data, but doesn't give any clue as to how much of a role pupils' decision about which universities to apply to plays.

    There's also no way to see whether Oxbridge are any better or worse than other competitive universities in this respect.
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    (Original post by Huw Davies)
    As far as I can tell, their analysis is based on a "hit rate": that is, proportion of pupils from that school getting a place at university\Oxbridge, and ignores the proportion who do or don't apply. Which is fine and gives useful data, but doesn't give any clue as to how much of a role pupils' decision about which universities to apply to plays.

    There's also no way to see whether Oxbridge are any better or worse than other competitive universities in this respect.
    The other universities are on the other pages of the report and the report I mentioned in a previous post. Oxford is worse.
    There is so much resistance to even accepting the situation that one begins to see why.
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    Huw the graph shows the likelihood of pupils getting an offer if they apply to oxbridge with those A level scores.
    The line is the average.
    All the little black squares above the line show that the private school pupils are more likely to get an offer whatever their score. For the lower scores it is a lot more likely.
    Elsewhere in the report it says that research showed that a state school pupil would have to get the equivalent of two more grade A at A level to have the same chance of getting in to Oxbridge as a private school pupil.
    I have found it worrying that, if TSR is anything to go by, there is so much difficulty accepting the findings that there is little chance of Oxbridge changing. Particularly as TSR is a younger population of Oxbridge students/graduates/future fellows.
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    (Original post by mummyperson)
    Huw the graph shows the likelihood of pupils getting an offer if they apply to oxbridge with those A level scores.
    Actually that's a bit imprecise. It isn't really as straightforward as that. Each of the dots represents the average A-level scores at a school and its 'hit rate' for Sutton Trust universities, not the chances of individual pupils who achieved those scores getting offers. And the report does state that using A-level averages 'could conceal different distributions of A-level results among pupils within a school' (p. 15). I.e. a school which had lots of pupils who achieved fairly average results and two or three who did extremely well and then went on to Sutton Trust universities would still show up somewhere towards the bottom left of the diagram.
    Also, Huw is right to point out that the report only uses 'hit rates', not success rates for applicants. Hit rates are calculated 'by comparing the number of pupils [...] that enrolled at the Sutton Trust 13 universities (and Oxford and Cambridge Universities individually) with the number of pupils that enrolled at universities overall' (p. 8). So there's no way of knowing whether lots of them applied or were unsuccessful or whether nearly everyone who applied also got offers - and that's what is actually of interest here, isn't it? And the fact that the report is using average A-level scores for schools rather than giving the number of pupils at those schools who were eligible to (and did) apply to Sutton Trust universities obscures matters even further.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to deny that the trends which the report identifies exist, I just don't think the findings are completely reliable in this context, because the measures the report is using could potentially cause them to be imprecise. After all, what we really want to know isn't how successful schools are, on average, in getting their pupils into 'good' universities, but whether individual bright pupils who achieved excellent A-level results at mediocre schools have the same chances of making a successful application to certain universities as pupils from schools where nearly everyone achieves three As. Unfortunately, the report can't really tell us that, though, because of the measures it's using. So I think we need to be wary of extrapolating too much about individual applicants' chances of success from a report on individual schools' chances of success, in more general terms.
    What we'd really need would be a report comparing the number of pupils at schools who achieved a certain A-level score, the number who applied to certain universities, and the percentage who then received offers from them. Although I imagine the necessary data would be a lot harder to obtain, and there might be data protection issues because you wouldn't be able to use anonymised data...:dontknow:
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    (Original post by mummyperson)
    The other universities are on the other pages of the report and the report I mentioned in a previous post. Oxford is worse.
    There is so much resistance to even accepting the situation that one begins to see why.
    I'm perfectly prepared to accept the situation - it's just not clear what the situation is. The discussion in the report says it isn't clear either.

    Are there Oxford\Cambridge specific factors which make it harder for a given person with AAA who is otherwise good enough to get in depending on their school? Hard to say from the Sutton Trust data, as it might be that some schools have all their high-achievers apply to Oxford\Cambridge, and some where this isn't the case. The invisible variable in getting to the hit rate is the rate of application.

    mummyperson, the graph shows the likelihood of someone getting an offer from Oxbridge with those A level scores, whether they apply or not.

    Do other universities have a similar problem? Figure 2 from the report suggests so. Not really possible to compare this figure with the Oxbridge-specific Figure 5 so I don't see a way to say how Oxford\Cambridge fall compared with other universities with high entrance requirements.

    The FSM stats you use previously where Oxford\Cambridge come bottom are cause for concern in terms of having an intake which represents the socio-economic background of the country at large. But without data on application rates it's not possible to say whether KCL get loads of AAA FSM applicants and Oxford get few, or whether the Oxford application process is more difficult for FSM applicants than others.

    The stat that 25% of FMS pupils who actually do get AAA go to Oxbridge would seem to go in the universitys' favour, by my reckoning. The "hit rate" for the totality of people getting AAA who go to Oxbridge can't possibly be that high. Crude numbers based on first few results on google for each stat: 10% nationally get AAA. 674,000 people apply for university so that's 67400. 3500 each at Oxford and Cambridge. 67400/7000 = a bit under 10%.

    mummyperson, I think your attitude is a bit patronising here. Another reason that people might be so "resistant to accepting the situation" is that the stats don't say what they are being used to say; this is almost always the case when admissions statistics are used to beat Oxford and Cambridge round the head. The most recent example from David Lammy was frankly dishonest.

    I don't claim that the admissions process is perfect - if the figures showed that certain groups were under-represented because of systematic unfairness in the process, I'd believe it. Oxford and Cambridge come in for disproportionate scrutiny, and put in a lot of effort to access schemes. If you go to a private school, you are more likely to get good A levels, and you are more likely to apply to university in general and to Oxford\Cambridge in particular. These factors are beyond the control of any university.

    Now, at this point you end up with the fact that Oxford gets 60% of its applications to people from state schools, but gives them 53.9% of the places. This is evidence that private school people have an advantage at the next stage too - extra coaching for pre-interview tests, more familiarity with the process, interview practise, better exam results? It's not easy to say, and still more difficult to say what the university should do about it. This makes private school pupils only 18% more likely to get a place - still a disparity, not as enormous as it's been portrayed. And much smaller than the fact that people at private school are 5.5 times more likely to apply in the first place (being 7% of the school population).

    (Original post by mummyperson)
    I have found it worrying that, if TSR is anything to go by, there is so much difficulty accepting the findings that there is little chance of Oxbridge changing. Particularly as TSR is a younger population of Oxbridge students/graduates/future fellows.
    What change would you like?

    It would be an option to systematically advantage people based on their school background. There are lots of difficulties with this though in terms of the fairness to individuals, how to assess which schools give their pupils the best or worst chance, and how to stop people from getting these advantages through private means instead of through their schools. It's not as simple as saying, "well, if there are two identical people but one has had a much worse education, they've clearly struggled much more to get there and have more potential" - the choice is never so clear-cut.
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    (Original post by intellectual1)
    Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-Oxbridge.html

    Children at independent schools are 55 times more likely to go to Oxford or Cambridge than the poorest state school students, a report has found.
    Nonsense. If a 'state school kid' achieved ten A* grades at GCSE and 4 A-Levels A*AAA, yet a private school pupil only achieved 5 A* grades at GCSE and 3 As at A-Level and they were applying for the same course, OXbridge would definitely see the former pupil as the one with the upper hand regardless of background. Or else they are clearly prejudicing.
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    The geographical variation of which universities take a large FMS proportion is quite noticeable:
    big cities and London particularly at the top; small town universities at the bottom. I think proportions of applicants on FSM is a pretty salient fact as it wouldn't be an awful hypothesis that big cities are more attractive to people on FSM, particularly those from ethnic minority backgrounds.
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    Better yet, get rid of free school meals and then private pupils are infinitely many times more likely to go to Oxbridge then FSM students.
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    All of those things below. Actually as hobnob has pointed out the research methodology of the sutton trust report quoted


    "The findings indicate that schools with similar average A-level performance vary considerably in the proportions of students admitted to the Sutton Trust 13, and Oxbridge, universities. Crucially, some schools ‘over-perform’ in terms of their hit rates given their average A-level results, while others ‘under-perform’ – sending fewer pupils to elite universities than would be expected given their average academic results."

    suffers from an epidemiological ecological fallacy as individual achievements and outcomes are not compared, only outcomes at school level with averaged out A level scores.

    The data in that report are also outdated as they precede the A star grade and also the use of school weighting systems by Oxford and Cambridge. Updated research using logistic regression would be helpful

    If one reads through the other Sutton Trust reports , one is presented an overall picture of 'top' (usually independent schools) feeding into 'top' universities and then producing 'top' movers and shakers in all areas of society.

    Not a problem except that it would appear that many bright children not going to independent schools might not then go to top universities and not get the chance to be movers and shakers.

    Which means that, if the trend continued, those at the top would continue to be socially remote from the average person.

    So that is why the change I would like, if this trend is shown to be persistent, is to try and ensure equal opps at the university admission stage. A point with which I am sure you agree.

    I think you huw and hobnob are saying that equal opps is happening because a child with 3 As has the same chance of getting in regardless of school attended.

    I am not convinced this has been robustly demonstrated.
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    (Original post by mummyperson)
    All of those things below. Actually as hobnob has pointed out the research methodology of the sutton trust report quoted


    "The findings indicate that schools with similar average A-level performance vary considerably in the proportions of students admitted to the Sutton Trust 13, and Oxbridge, universities. Crucially, some schools ‘over-perform’ in terms of their hit rates given their average A-level results, while others ‘under-perform’ – sending fewer pupils to elite universities than would be expected given their average academic results."

    suffers from an epidemiological ecological fallacy as individual achievements and outcomes are not compared, only outcomes at school level with averaged out A level scores.

    The data in that report are also outdated as they precede the A star grade and also the use of school weighting systems by Oxford and Cambridge. Updated research using logistic regression would be helpful

    If one reads through the other Sutton Trust reports , one is presented an overall picture of 'top' (usually independent schools) feeding into 'top' universities and then producing 'top' movers and shakers in all areas of society.

    Not a problem except that it would appear that many bright children not going to independent schools might not then go to top universities and not get the chance to be movers and shakers.

    Which means that, if the trend continued, those at the top would continue to be socially remote from the average person.

    So that is why the change I would like, if this trend is shown to be persistent, is to try and ensure equal opps at the university admission stage. A point with which I am sure you agree.

    I think you huw and hobnob are saying that equal opps is happening because a child with 3 As has the same chance of getting in regardless of school attended.

    I am not convinced this has been robustly demonstrated.
    I can't speak for Huw, but that wasn't really my point.
    Actually I don't know whether children who achieve 3As have roughly the same chances of getting in irrespective of school type. I suspect that they don't, and the Sutton Trust report suggests that they probably don't, but although I think it's likely that the report has correctly identified a trend, I'm a little reluctant to treat it as definite evidence that applicants from some schools are disadvantaged, because the data which it is based on could potentially distort the results. It's looking at average A-level scores for schools and overall 'hit rates' rather than looking at the number of pupils at each school who were potential Oxbridge applicants, actual Oxbridge applicants, and successful Oxbridge applicants.
    So because of the data it's using, it's really concerned with measuring the schools' success rather than the pupils'. But we're not really interested in the schools' success, are we? What we all want to know is whether someone who ticks all the boxes and applies has roughly the same chances of getting an offer, regardless of which school he's attending. And as far as I can see, that question remains unanswered, even after the report.

    Does that make any more sense?
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    I go to a state grammar and the amount of reverse snobbery that goes on probably explains why private school kids are more likely to go to Oxbridge. One girl told another girl, who has now got an offer, that she wouldn't get in because they would know that she came from a working class background. What a bunch of bull****. That girl has the poshest voice in the year and you don't declare your family's income on your UCAS so I don't know where the first girl got all her info. Misconceptions about Oxbridge and the top universities need to be addressed more clearly.
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    (Original post by mummyperson)
    So that is why the change I would like, if this trend is shown to be persistent, is to try and ensure equal opps at the university admission stage. A point with which I am sure you agree.
    A laudable sentiment, and one which I am sure that no decent person could object to. Quite hard, though, to reconcile it with:

    And now I am beginning to get very cross with his school for not supporting him (and for taking the admissions tutor of another college to lunch and recommending one of the other boys at his school who has got an interview) and with Oxford for rejecting my highly intelligent handsome gentle hardworking and not at all posing son out of hand.
    (mummyperson, 27 Nov 09)

    or even:

    And before you all groan let me tell you that being the parent of a child at a private school who is not one of the chosen is no fun- being that child who is not one of the chosen is very miserable and being at the sort of school where getting an A at gcse is considered a fail and getting an A at A level is considered routine is very diminishing and dampening to the spirits and knowing that even if the admissions tutor was taken out to lunch one's name would not have been mentioned and therefore is probably a near guarantee that one will not get in is even less fun because of the eight or so that applied for one's subject from one's school only one or two are going to get in because they cant take more than one or two from any school because otherwise the Sutton trust will write the sort of report that makes the government unhappy. ... we have no illusions and know that there are lots of really bright happy confident people out there who went to state schools and were the chosen at private schools and whom tutors would love to teach
    (mummyperson, 30 Nov 09)

    Assuming that there's no humbug here, I presume that those who should benefit from such "equal opps" are not the "bright happy confident ... state schools" students or "the chosen at private schools" but those "diminished and dampened"ones who have the misfortune to be unchosen by their private North London day schools.
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    Hello MP2
    Totally compatible. Both posts indicate that private schooling in itself is not a good reason to give a candidate an Oxbridge offer, and, indeed, perhaps underline one of the issues which is that academics are not the sole discriminator. Confidence plays a part and private schools don't always give that.

    You have asked before and I will reiterate that my son is very very happy indeed where he is.

    Odd that you continue to use personal arguments though.

    Do I know you?
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    (Original post by yahyahyahs)
    I go to a state grammar and the amount of reverse snobbery that goes on probably explains why private school kids are more likely to go to Oxbridge.
    no it doesn't

    I have explained why, on average, they are more likely to get an offer. It's pretty obvious.
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    (Original post by Captainmal)
    Proportionately the number of students at both universities is the same as the number of applicants from both types of schools. This statistic doesn't prove Oxford and Cambridge are biased in favour of either private or state pupils but it does show Comprehensive students are staggeringly less likely to apply.
    It's not just a matter of application statistics, but of successful application statistics.
    (Not in response to you but general comment) - Whilst people may say private schools are just geared towards oxbridge in particular, you've got the right thinking, but you miss the main point. All schools, independent and public, increasingly put emphasis on qualifications for qualifications' sake. Thanks to the Conservative's nifty idea to marketise education through league tables, SATs, free budgets etc (though I can hardly say that this wasn't a gradual process - the Conservative policy just played a pivotal role) a decade or so go, it seems to be promoted that learning itself doesn't have that much inherent worth. Forgive the fatalism but it seems that some of the more simple members of the education system see it more of a means to an end than the end in itself.
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    state schools have terrible teachers
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    (Original post by refref)
    no it doesn't

    I have explained why, on average, they are more likely to get an offer. It's pretty obvious.
    Yeah, well, I didn't see your post. And it kinda does, because state school kids get this idea that they won't get in because they are too poor or whatever, because of the image of Oxbridge being the finishing school for the elite. But you also have to take into account the fact that most private schools will have teachers who have gone there and are experienced in the process, meaning they can, as they say, "play the system".
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    (Original post by yahyahyahs)
    Yeah, well, I didn't see your post. And it kinda does, because state school kids get this idea that they won't get in because they are too poor or whatever, because of the image of Oxbridge being the finishing school for the elite. But you also have to take into account the fact that most private schools will have teachers who have gone there and are experienced in the process, meaning they can, as they say, "play the system".
    There is no system. I am saying that the application/offer rate is higher because of those reasons. Yes it's true that some people don't apply because they think they are too poor ect, but I am talking about the application/offer rate.
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    (Original post by refref)
    There is no system. I am saying that the application/offer rate is higher because of those reasons. Yes it's true that some people don't apply because they think they are too poor ect, but I am talking about the application/offer rate.
    Where is this post you keep referring to? Just summarise your main points because I can't be arsed to find it.

    There is a system. Private schools and top state grammars will have a tradition of sending a few students off to Oxbridge. My school does. The applicants are coached for interviews to ensure a maximum chance of them getting an offer.

    Look, the private application/offer rate might be accused of being elitist, but at the end of the day, Cambridge is still an academic institution, and if you aren't intelligent and enthusiastic about your subject, no matter how much money you wave in front of their faces, there is very little chance of you getting in (also, another misconception the girl I talked about in my previous post had. I think the days of bribing have gone, although in the news a couple of years ago, a don at one of Oxf or Cam did accept a £30,000 bribe).
 
 
 
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