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Poorest pupils '55 times less likely to go to Oxbridge Watch

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    (Original post by EnR)
    Linguistics would help you more in the case of the above sentence.
    If x is 2 times bigger than y, then x = 3y. Then, conversely, if x is 2 times smaller than y (still in terms of y, as the sentence is put) then that would make x = -y as y - "2 times y" = -y. What you're looking for is "1/55 as likely" which isn't at all the same thing.
    Indeed, the best way to put it would be to focus on the well-off students and say "they're 55 times more likely" but because the article is trying to achieve a negative spin off the news, it would be counterproductive to focus on how much better off the well-off students are, rather than how much worse off the other guys are because the latter simply raises more sympathy for the group you're working for.
    Surely if x is 2 times bigger than y, then x=2y and not x=3y
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    (Original post by akash11)
    Yes buts its better at distigusing and demostrating ablity then a levels, being reltivly cheap and easy to impliment it would still be a move towards improving the system
    Not really. It just means people will be coached in a different way and would seriously discriminate against people who can't afford coaching.

    It's also more expensive because, funnily enough, you need to have knowledge in certain subjects to do certain courses at university - so you'd have to sit A Levels AND IQ tests and implement the IQ test. On top of other entrance exams some subjects have. I fail to see why it's cheaper.

    As many people have said, the system itself is quite fair and does make allowance (which is probably why i now study at Cambridge because my UMS marks were below the average...). It's schools and parents etc who discourage kids from applying. Not the university itself.
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    Does anyone else find it a complete joke that unis justify charging the full 9K because they are offering to improve access for poorer students who have been put off by the fact it's charging...hmmm...9K! What a farce. This thread is pretty pointless, ironically oxford and cambdge are the best unis for providing bursaries and support and interview nearly everyone, thus giving kids with a poorer background a chance to get their intelligence across rather than unis like durham where u send ur grades and list of glamourous placements and achievements, both of which private school aid with significantly. Seems strange they should be attacked rather than places like Exeter, Durham, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Warwick where my friends are struggling to get by with loans not covering costs and accomadation, no bursaries to speak of, and their subjects requiring u to jet off on expensive field trips abroad ,there is incidentally a majority white upper middle class demographic here.
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    (Original post by RK92)
    so you think that someone who takes an iq test for the first time in their life would get a score as accurate as someone who had been preparing by doing practise questions and working on pattern spotting?



    i dont think that gives a particularly strong argument for favouring state schoolers in the case of oxbridge (remember this thread is about oxbridge which may be considered a slightly special case). anyone who applied to oxbridge will be predicted AAA at the very minimum because A levels arent really testing them enough.

    anyone who wants to go to oxford or cambridge should definitely be capable of getting A*AA at a level regardless of who teaches them - oxbridge students are supposed to be the ones who find a levels annoyingly easy and so to expect a 90% average in 2 exams isnt asking an awful lot of any potential oxbridge student.

    saying that a state schooled person getting ABB is as good as a privately schooled student getting AAA may be a fair call but saying that a state schooler getting A*A*A is as good as and maybe better than a privately schooled student getting A*A*A* is a very grey area which is what interviews are for. i dont agree at all that oxbridge should be offering AAB to state school students because a B shows a distinct lack of knowledge/flair for a subject given the number of chances you get to retake and how easy a levels are to prepare for (regardless of school IMO)

    this is where interviews come into play... this is where they test your ability to reason and think for yourself... but again, like iq tests, these can be prepared for so dont give the full story.

    in the case of unis offering ABB for courses, its a much more interesting debate and im inclined to think that positive discrimination, as much as i hate the idea, might be a realistic improvement. tbh, i find the idea of being positively prejudiced quite offensive in a way but i can see the merits...
    I don't think it makes sense to think about it as positive discrimination. Reasoning as follows:

    In some senses, universities couldn't give a toss about A-level results. The only thing they want are people who will excel on their respective degree course. Unfortunately, they can't see into the future, and A-level results (and interviews/additional entrance tests/etc.) are all that they can predict that eventual degree result on. They have found that there tends to be at least some correlation between good grades at A-level, and good grades at degree-level. So we can say that they give preference to people with good A-levels. But really, what they're doing is giving preference to those students who they believe, on the information that is available to them, will do best on the degree. So far, so obvious. Now, if you knew that state-school students tended to achieve better results at degree level, (assuming the same prior level of attainment), then why on earth wouldn't you favor them? That wouldn't be positive discrimination, because the object of the discrimination hasn't changed here to a minority group, it's stayed the same. The universities in this case are still looking for the same group that they originally were - those who they can reasonably expect to do best in their degree. Positive discrimination doesn't come into it.

    I would also argue against your statement that 'oxbridge may be considered a special case'. Why?

    And that A-levels are a worthwhile indicator of success (which you imply when you say 'a B shows a distinct lack of knowledge/flair for a subject'). A-level study and degree-level study are enormously different in a number of disciplines, and although it's one of the few indicators we have for later success, it remains an enormously flawed one.
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    (Original post by Dann)
    I would also argue against your statement that 'oxbridge may be considered a special case'. Why?
    i think its a slightly different case because the grades the students are predicted when applying for oxford/cambridge arent the ABB-AAA that the study seemed to suggest could be equivalent depending on the school situation, but are all in excess of A*AA.

    it would be a pretty bizarre decision to favour someone predicted A*A*A from a state school over someone predicted A*A*A* from a private school just because a study suggested that A*A*A from a comp is a better achievement than A*A*A* from a private school. i dont think that someone who is predicted the best possible grades in their a levels (which is often the case with oxbridge applications) should be at a disadvantage because of the school they went to; receiving an education at a good school doesnt mean that the person expecting A*A*A* wouldnt have got those grades elsewhere so i dont agree with treating them as though their grades were actually earned by the school/college they attend because it takes a certain student to get A*A*A*.

    i really think that at the top end of the grades, another factor like interview performance is necessary because the grades are all so similar and impossible to quantitatively compare in the way the study suggests.

    if we are talking about AAA and ABB, then i would agree that there is a distinction which you can make because both students are dropping marks which could have been avoided by better teaching and preparation. when you get to such high grades, the marks dropped are largely down to careless mistakes which can happen to everyone.



    you made quite a few interesting points and i need to do some more reading before i can confidently reply to anything else, but i do think that unis where everyone will have the very top grades are different to unis where AAB might be a standard offer.
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    (Original post by RK92)
    not really, iq tests tell you how good you are at spotting patterns and you can certainly practise spotting patterns. theres also a lot of matching words to synonyms/antonyms which can definitely be improved just by expanding your vocabulary and understanding grammar.
    Is this the case though, are they pro poor people? Pro ethnics? ect..
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    It's not Oxbridge's fault that poor students, in general, don't do as well as people from richer familys. The universities already bend over backwards to try and help, but you cannot just put pressure on universities to change the deeper societal problem we have.
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    Bored of these threads tbh .

    There are other fantastically amazing Universities out there that are not Oxbridge.

    The problem isn't money, it's pushing kids to aspire to go to great Universities since many from low backgrounds do not get encouragement from friends, school, parents. That's what the government need to change, not finance support (3k loan + 1k bursary + 3k grant + any saved up from part-time work either before or during university or summer jobs + overdraft...is more than enough that it shouldn't stop you wanting to go to University).
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    (Original post by Dann)
    A-level study and degree-level study are enormously different in a number of disciplines, and although it's one of the few indicators we have for later success, it remains an enormously flawed one.
    Hmm they may not be enormously flawed...

    Geoff Parks, director of Cambridge University admissions: "As you may know, central to Cambridge’s admissions process is the close examination of AS and
    A2 marks (UMS) achieved at point of application. Extensive internal research has shown that the correlations between these marks, which mainly come from AS, and performance in Cambridge University examinations are very good."
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    the title really should be Poorest pupils 55 times less likely to APPLY to Oxbridge.

    This is what leads to such a low acceptance rate.

    Offers are proportional to applications
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    (Original post by lawology)
    Surely if x is 2 times bigger than y, then x=2y and not x=3y
    Bigger != as big as -> if I'm one times [your size] bigger than you, I'm twice as big as you.
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    27 black students went to oxford in 2009.
    1 was from the carribean, so 26 black african students went to oxford.
    For the ones that lived in England, most black people, when they immigrated to the UK went to the capital, London, or surrounding area's such as Essex. The schools aren't great in those areas, but if anyone does come from a poor background and wants to go to a top university, they're going to need a lot more funding from the government and university than, lets say, a private schooled child.
    I think this is an awful show of how selective Oxford are. There were easily many more black students applying to Oxford that could have made the cut,
    but then again, the rich kid from Eton in the 'middle' class does not require a bursary, does not require a grant or any sort of money from the University. It's already there!
    In the end i just feel its all down to money. Kids from poorer backgrounds just don't have the money to fund three years at Oxbridge.

    I feel the problem is the intimidation of the universities.. my dad never wanted me to apply to Oxbridge because its normally reserved for those who can afford it, or those who are superior in intelligence to most others. People are put off by the types of people they 'think' go to Oxbridge, but not knowing what type of people go. And a low representation of black and mixed race students does not encourage them to apply, although it hasn't put me off..
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    (Original post by Jampolo)
    27 black students went to oxford in 2009.
    1 was from the carribean, so 26 black african students went to oxford.
    For the ones that lived in England, most black people, when they immigrated to the UK went to the capital, London, or surrounding area's such as Essex. The schools aren't great in those areas, but if anyone does come from a poor background and wants to go to a top university, they're going to need a lot more funding from the government and university than, lets say, a private schooled child.
    I think this is an awful show of how selective Oxford are. There were easily many more black students applying to Oxford that could have made the cut,
    but then again, the rich kid from Eton in the 'middle' class does not require a bursary, does not require a grant or any sort of money from the University. It's already there!
    In the end i just feel its all down to money. Kids from poorer backgrounds just don't have the money to fund three years at Oxbridge.

    I feel the problem is the intimidation of the universities.. my dad never wanted me to apply to Oxbridge because its normally reserved for those who can afford it, or those who are superior in intelligence to most others. People are put off by the types of people they 'think' go to Oxbridge, but not knowing what type of people go. And a low representation of black and mixed race students does not encourage them to apply, although it hasn't put me off..
    What do you mean can't afford it? Low income families get a whole range of bursary/grant schemes and Oxbridge are generally generous with there bursaries.

    The remainder of the tuition fees and accomodation costs is covered by your student loan which the majority of people will take.

    There is no excuse on not attending university due to not having enough money, there are ample schemes to get you through and the pay back system for the student loan doesn't affect your credit rating so there is no excuse for being scared of the debt.
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    (Original post by Phil1541)
    What do you mean can't afford it? Low income families get a whole range of bursary/grant schemes and Oxbridge are generally generous with there bursaries.

    The remainder of the tuition fees and accomodation costs is covered by your student loan which the majority of people will take.

    There is no excuse on not attending university due to not having enough money, there are ample schemes to get you through and the pay back system for the student loan doesn't affect your credit rating so there is no excuse for being scared of the debt.
    I feel living off of loans is not a good thing.
    Bursaries less so, but they're not unlimited. The fact is it does scare people off, and although i haven't seen the conditions for the loan, debt is just a tool to control people..

    If i dont pay the mortgage, i lose my house.
    If i dont repay that loan, i lose my possessions.
    As i said i dont know the terms of the loan so i dont know what happens if you dont pay, but debt is never good, whether you pay it at 6 pound a week ( i think) on a job earning little over 21,000, or even less.

    I never even considered credit rating, but im not one for credit cards..
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    (Original post by Jampolo)
    I feel living off of loans is not a good thing.
    Bursaries less so, but they're not unlimited. The fact is it does scare people off, and although i haven't seen the conditions for the loan, debt is just a tool to control people..

    If i dont pay the mortgage, i lose my house.
    If i dont repay that loan, i lose my possessions.
    As i said i dont know the terms of the loan so i dont know what happens if you dont pay, but debt is never good, whether you pay it at 6 pound a week ( i think) on a job earning little over 21,000, or even less.

    I never even considered credit rating, but im not one for credit cards..
    You can't lose your posessions - it just comes out of your pay packet when you're wages go over the threshold. It's the softest loan any of us will ever have. The 2012 fees are capped at the exact same level as loads of other unis, 9000.

    actually being an oxbridge student isn't really any more expensive than other unis afaict. I think that's a misconception.

    You sound like you're talking yourself out of it without even bothering to fact check
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    (Original post by spurswilts)
    Does anyone else find it a complete joke that unis justify charging the full 9K because they are offering to improve access for poorer students who have been put off by the fact it's charging...hmmm...9K! What a farce. This thread is pretty pointless, ironically oxford and cambdge are the best unis for providing bursaries and support and interview nearly everyone, thus giving kids with a poorer background a chance to get their intelligence across rather than unis like durham where u send ur grades and list of glamourous placements and achievements, both of which private school aid with significantly. Seems strange they should be attacked rather than places like Exeter, Durham, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Warwick where my friends are struggling to get by with loans not covering costs and accomadation, no bursaries to speak of, and their subjects requiring u to jet off on expensive field trips abroad ,there is incidentally a majority white upper middle class demographic here.
    I like the cut of your jib!
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    You can't lose your posessions - it just comes out of your pay packet when you're wages go over the threshold. It's the softest loan any of us will ever have. The 2012 fees are capped at the exact same level as loads of other unis, 9000.

    actually being an oxbridge student isn't really any more expensive than other unis afaict. I think that's a misconception.

    You sound like you're talking yourself out of it without even bothering to fact check
    What if you don't pay it though? Must be a catch ..
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    (Original post by Jampolo)
    What if you don't pay it though? Must be a catch ..
    What do you mean? You don't have an option.

    If your PAYE shows >£15,000 (at the minute), or £21,000 under the new rules, a small % is deducted. Just like tax, NI, pension etc.

    If on the other hand you are self-employed, you can usually wiggle around it and not pay anything at all by declaring your wages as just under the limit. Or to pay yourself dividends only or whatever. But thats just getting complicated.

    If you're an employee of a company, you won't have a choice basically.

    There are other scenarios where people try to not pay. e.g. running off abroad, but they can come after you in other ways then - just like any other debt once you return the country.

    There is some condition that if you leave the country, you have to inform them etc. and it depends on whether you are going to work while abroad etc.
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    (Original post by Jampolo)
    What if you don't pay it though? Must be a catch ..
    There is no catch with the student loan, you only pay back when you earn above £21,000 a year (I think this is the new cut off for 2012 students)

    You have 30 or 40 years I can't remember which to pay back the loan, if you still havn't paid it back the debt is written off and you go scot free.

    When you earn above £21,000 a year, 6-9% can't remember which figure is taxed on all your earnings above £21,000 a year.

    The debt doesn't affect you at all, students should really think of it as a tax than actual debt as it doesn't affect you in the slightest of when you pay it off.

    So you only pay back small easily affordable payments at a time and this is only when your in a relatively ok paid job £21,000 +.

    Deal seems too good right? There is literally no reason why debt should scare anyone into not going to university when the student loan is that good

    If you don't pay it off, guess what nothing happens, it doesn't affect anything its really the nicest possible loan you can get apart from having free money thrown at you


    Btw the credit ratings bit, is too do with being able to apply for a mortgage and being able to take loans from a bank.
    If you don't pay back loans to a bank or fail to pay back credit cards your credit rating goes down.

    With a poor credit history banks will refuse to give you loans, you will not be able to get good credit cards and all the ones you do get will have super high interest rates, also they can refuse to give you a mortgage to buy a house.

    The student loan does not affect this at all which is one of the reasons why its so good and it doesn't matter that you're in debt.
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    (Original post by Jampolo)
    Kids from poorer backgrounds just don't have the money to fund three years at Oxbridge.
    Really? Despite the fact that the poorest students get £3500 loan from the government, £3000 grant from the government (non-repayable), £4000 in the first year from oxford (non-repayable, , at least £3000 for the years after, I'm sure cambridge has a very similar system) which adds up to more than £10,000. Considering the average cost of living is between £4000~£6000, I think £10,000 is enough. Also, there are college grants/bursaries if that isnt enough.

    Dont even think about mentioning tuition fees. When people graduate, 99% of them are in the same boat, working class, middle class it doesnt matter. They have the same degree, same job prospectus, so its fair that they pay the same amount.

    There are problems for people on the government grant borderline (its between £45,000~£55,000) as they will not be eligible for any grant/bursary (they get more loan) but also might not get any money from their parents. But thats when the colleges step in.
 
 
 
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