Oxford or Cambridge: What's the deciding factor? Watch

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DaKewLesT
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A) PPE ... only offered in oxford

C) I go to a public school, don't start please, in a very small town... so, there was no way I were gonna settle with cambridge.. too small... loved oxford, much more lively...
D) When i 1st came to england, cambridge was on top of my list...then i wanted to do either econ or maths... But when it came to PPE, it doesn't get anymore prestigous than Balliol...
E) They didn't dictate or try to guide me to either, however, i recieved advise on the college.... although it was like '' apply at your own risk''!

F) I know more people in cambridge.. thus it doesnt apply..

Fee's aren't an issue cuz i'm on a scholarship.. ...
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dreamer
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A) The subject wasn't being offered at the other one.

That was it, really...NatSci at Cam is unique countrywise.
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Helenia
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#23
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(Original post by ThornsnRoses)
I dont go to either, but if i had the choice between the 2 id go for oxford!!
Any particular reasons for that?

Seems to me that a lot of reasons some people pick Oxford are exactly the same reasons that other people pick Cambridge! The main one I'm referring to is size/atmosphere of the town; I really like Cambridge because it's small enough that I can find my way about, but much bigger than home, so it feels very lively to me
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emzie
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(Original post by DaKewLesT)
A) PPE ... only offered in oxford

C) I go to a public school, don't start please, in a very small town... so, there was no way I were gonna settle with cambridge.. too small... loved oxford, much more lively...
D) When i 1st came to england, cambridge was on top of my list...then i wanted to do either econ or maths... But when it came to PPE, it doesn't get anymore prestigous than Balliol...
E) They didn't dictate or try to guide me to either, however, i recieved advise on the college.... although it was like '' apply at your own risk''!

F) I know more people in cambridge.. thus it doesnt apply..

Fee's aren't an issue cuz i'm on a scholarship.. ...
how did you get a scholarship? i want one!
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DaKewLesT
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(Original post by emzie)
how did you get a scholarship? i want one!
Not this one you can't ... it's from my country so..!
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Mysticmin
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#26
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Chose cambridge to apply to despite me loving big cities, because I liked it more when I visited. I like the fact you could walk everywhere, and it had a river. Plus I was always more of an admirer of the sciences as opposed to the arts.
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oldthrashbarg
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(Original post by Mysticmin)
Chose cambridge to apply to despite me loving big cities, because I liked it more when I visited. I like the fact you could walk everywhere, and it had a river. Plus I was always more of an admirer of the sciences as opposed to the arts.
I think you will find plenty of rivers in both Oxford and Cambridge though.

Oxford and Cambridge...
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UndiscoverdSelf
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B) Preferred the content of the course offered: the English course is better at Cambridge, in my humble opinion... you don't have to do pre-1300 in the same way as you do at Oxford
C) Location: I actually much preferred Oxford as a city, because there seemed to be more going on, more people, more lively. But of course Cambridge is extremely beautiful, especially my college , and I love the fact that the nearby countryside is so flat, so the skies are huge...
D) In your opinion it is the better university (in terms of prestige/reputation): Cambridge consistently comes higher than Oxford for my subject in Grauniad/ Times / Telegraph etc. league tables
E) Advice from friends/family/school: emailed an academic at Clare (who I extremely vaguely knew) who gave me the extremely unbiased advice not to apply to Oxford whatever I do, it is crap, and even UCL / York are far superior in every respect. Also a friend who is a lecturer at Cardiff University told me 'everyone knows that Cambridge is far more liberal and forward looking than Oxford'...
F) You know people there or who have been there: I don't know anyone at either...
G) Other reason: I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that the college I was applying to (King's) was extremely prestigious and hard to get in to, so it would be a challenge / achievement to apply. At first I did want to go to Oxford rather than Cambridge because I thought Camb was more science-orientated wheareas Oxf was the artier of the two, but had real trouble chosing a college. Probs would have chosen Wadham- am glad I didn't!

Do you think your decision would have been largely affected if they charged different fees? Fees didn't affect my application at all. I haven't given them any thought! Nobody at school as mentioned them. Hmmm... will do sg abt this...

How much would someone have to give you to make you switch your application to the other uni? an unconditional offer
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hildabeast
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(Original post by UndiscoverdSelf)
a friend who is a lecturer at Cardiff University told me 'everyone knows that Cambridge is far more liberal and forward looking than Oxford'...
That is clearly complete nonsense, and if you fell for that then I have no idea how you got in. What does a lecturer at Cardiff know about Oxford and Cambridge? What do you mean by 'liberal and forward-looking'? There is absolutely no evidence for that kind of a claim, and Ihave to say that just based on first impressions, Cambridge as a city seems to be much more traditional than Oxford.
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CHilL
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(Original post by emzie)
how did you get a scholarship? i want one!
I got Oxford Students Scholarship. All you need to do is apply.
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UndiscoverdSelf
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(Original post by hildabeast)
That is clearly complete nonsense, and if you fell for that then I have no idea how you got in. What does a lecturer at Cardiff know about Oxford and Cambridge? What do you mean by 'liberal and forward-looking'? There is absolutely no evidence for that kind of a claim, and Ihave to say that just based on first impressions, Cambridge as a city seems to be much more traditional than Oxford.
cardiff lecturer went to camb herself, hence disgusting bias, i suppose.
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EmJ
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(Original post by hildabeast)
That is clearly complete nonsense, and if you fell for that then I have no idea how you got in. What does a lecturer at Cardiff know about Oxford and Cambridge? What do you mean by 'liberal and forward-looking'? There is absolutely no evidence for that kind of a claim, and Ihave to say that just based on first impressions, Cambridge as a city seems to be much more traditional than Oxford.
I agree! Oxford also seem to take far more care and trouble over selecting students. It was wonderful to be able to stay in college for the interview period and the current students even organised trips out in the evening! You also got to meet people who you may end up studying with. My friend spent one day in Cambridge for an interview. There were no activities planned and the only conversation between the applicants was over how to work the coffee machine!!
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by EmJ)
I agree! Oxford also seem to take far more care and trouble over selecting students. It was wonderful to be able to stay in college for the interview period and the current students even organised trips out in the evening! You also got to meet people who you may end up studying with. My friend spent one day in Cambridge for an interview. There were no activities planned and the only conversation between the applicants was over how to work the coffee machine!!
Hmm, just to stick up for us lot... Your friend was probably unlucky. It's true that many people only stay in Cambridge for one day (although I preferred that - meant the interviews were over with quickly and I didn't have to hang around nervously for days, as my Oxford-applying friends did) but certainly at my college we do try to make people feel as comfortable as possible! There is almost always a student (or several) in the waiting room with the applicants, calming them down and keeping them entertained. And for the people who stay overnight there are always outings with students who are staying on! Cambridge do care as well, I promise, although I guess it varies from college to college (but it's likely to at Oxford as well).
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Elles
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#34
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Medicine, Oxford

A) The subject wasn't being offered at the other one.

Offered at both, although my A level subjects made me more suited to the Oxford criteria (not that i really looked at the Camb. ones till afterwards as a matter of curiosity!)

B) Preferred the content of the course offered.

I think the courses are fairly similar in terms of basic science for 3 years pre clinical.. never really researched the Camb. course, so i'm not qualified to comment!

C) Location - you like one city better than the other.

Oxford is much more accessible from home. plus i'd been told it was more of a 'city with a big university' than 'a university & not much else'.

D) In your opinion it is the better university (in terms of prestige/reputation)

Thought they were pretty much on a par, although I've heard more of Oxf. (probably due to my location)

E) Advice from friends/family/school

Family favoured Oxford due to location.
All my friends applying to Oxbridge were applying to Oxford, though this was more of a lucky conicidence than deciding factor!
School only advised (or tried to!) with college.. although in my year, there were more medics going to Oxf. than Camb.
I suppose my 6th form may have had a slight history of my particular college..there's one of us in each of the first 3 years for my subject! But i didn't know that at the time..

F) You know people there or who have been there

Hmm, no, don't think so. Other than the aforementioned 6th form link. & other friends who applied there.

G) Other reason (tell me what!)

To be honest, i didn't really compare the two that much. i didn't want an excrutiating decision making process required. i visited oxford & loved it, so just researched there. & then later found out perhaps i had objectively chosen the best uni & college for me!

Do you think your decision would have been largely affected if they charged different fees?

Probably not..part of me might have wanted to go to the cheaper uni.. (I do have to pay upfront! but then i have a SLC loan that covers it..) but the price different would probably have made me consider them more carefully. Even if Oxford were more expensive i think i would still chose it & with my degree could justify that to myself with the high chance of walking straight into a reasonably paid job upon graduation.

How much would someone have to give you to make you switch your application to the other uni?

pfff..lots. i love where i am right now. but that's probably because of the people there as well etc.

HTH

should now stop procrastinating & get back to prelim revision!
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davey_boy
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(Original post by doodlebeetle)
All,

I just wondered, out of interest, how people decided which to go for out of Oxford and Cambridge, since they are obviously close substitutes. I dont know if this has been done before.

I thought I'd ask, because I'm writing a dissertation on the pricing strategies of universities, and what this implies for UK uni's after variable top-up fees are introduced.

Tell me which Uni you chose and what aspects you think are the most/least important.

Reply and rank if you can, (poll if you don't have time!):

A) The subject wasn't being offered at the other one.
B) Preferred the content of the course offered.
C) Location - you like one city better than the other.
D) In your opinion it is the better university (in terms of prestige/reputation)
E) Advice from friends/family/school
F) You know people there or who have been there
G) Other reason (tell me what!)

Do you think your decision would have been largely affected if they charged different fees?

How much would someone have to give you to make you switch your application to the other uni?

Remember that either way.. you don't have to pay upfront tuition fees! It all debt to be paid off when your earning the big £££'s later on!

Thanks for your feedback! Hope i get some... :rolleyes:
Hmmmm

Chose Oxford to do a MPhys in Physics, decided Physics wasn't for me after a year, changed to do Earth Sciences, am now doing PhD at Oxford in Seismology.

Reasons why I chose Oxford over Cambridge:
1) Cambridge do Nat Sciences - I hated Biology and the thought of having to do that was enough for me. As I understand it now, I probably wouldn't have had to do that, but at 17/18 no one told me that.
2) Cambridge is tiny. I wanted to go away to university and enjoy myself, not sit around having intellectual discussions over tea or coffee, to be honest I thought Oxford was too small in comparison to my other choices (Sheffield, Birmingham, Leicester) and wasn't sure if I'd want to come here.
3) Reputation - I think when I was 17/18, where I lived Oxford had a slightly better reputation that Cambridge. It was only slight and I've since found out it was wrong but, to me, it was there....

That's it. I didn't know anything more when I was 18... Since I've been here, the only thing I've thought I might have made the wrong choice on was 2) - Oxford is small (and I'm sure Cambridge is smaller) - if I was to have my time again I'd never choose Cambridge over Oxford, but I might choose Leeds/Manchester/Sheffield/Newcastle over Oxford....
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Vivian
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#36
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#36
I want to go to Cambridge, its the only uni that does ASNC.
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naelse
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#37
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I chose Cambridge because:

1. I liked the atmosphere better in Cambridge (I visited them both)

2. My ex went to Oxford and I hate him (reasons don't have to be rational)

3. There is actually a classics building in Cambridge (it's just part of another faculty in Oxford)

4. The course is one year longer in Oxford, and I have better things to do

5. At the Oxbridge open day for classics (they share), the Oxford rep student looked soulless and was wearing a SUIT. Why would a student want to wear a suit, I ask you?? Whereas the Cambridge reps were dressed like normal people and spoke like normal people. They talked about the classics social life and the interesting things they had found in their research and cambridge night life and all that important stuff, while the oxford rep just talked about exams.

6. I wore the same pair of shoes when i visited both towns, but for some reason my feet hurt more ofter my visit to Oxford.

7. erm... just cos. Oxford sucks.
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Joey_Johns
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#38
(Original post by naelse)
I chose Cambridge because:

1. I liked the atmosphere better in Cambridge (I visited them both)

2. My ex went to Oxford and I hate him (reasons don't have to be rational)

3. There is actually a classics building in Cambridge (it's just part of another faculty in Oxford)

4. The course is one year longer on Oxford, and I have better things to do

5. At the Oxbridge open day for classics (they share), the Oxford rep student looked soulless and was wearing a SUIT. Why would a student want to wear a suit, I ask you?? Whereas the Cambridge reps were dressed like normal people and spoke like normal people. They talked about the classics social life and the interesting things they had found in their research and cambridge night life and all that important stuff, while the oxford rep just talked about exams.

6. I wore the same pair of shoes when i visited both towns, but for some reason my feet hurt more ofter my visit to Oxford.

7. erm... just cos. Oxford sucks.
6 and 7 are clearly the most logical points
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priya
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#39
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Hmm, just to stick up for us lot... Your friend was probably unlucky. It's true that many people only stay in Cambridge for one day (although I preferred that - meant the interviews were over with quickly and I didn't have to hang around nervously for days, as my Oxford-applying friends did) but certainly at my college we do try to make people feel as comfortable as possible! There is almost always a student (or several) in the waiting room with the applicants, calming them down and keeping them entertained. And for the people who stay overnight there are always outings with students who are staying on! Cambridge do care as well, I promise, although I guess it varies from college to college (but it's likely to at Oxford as well).
i agree. 2 of my friends who applied to oxford ended up hanging out with each other during interviews, even though they were at different colleges, i assume because very little had been organised by the current students. students in sidney on the other hand rounded us up like sheep and marched us down to a pub....
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whitewitch
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#40
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Cambridge Natsci

for me the order was:

A and B equally because oxford dont offer natsci and content looks much better than the science courses at oxford
C- I live fairly near oxford so would rather go somewhere further away from home, also cambridge seems small enough not to get lost in
F- know several people at cambridge and they all love it there which made me more determined to get in

D not really a factor because they both seem to have equally good reputations although cam is meant to be slightly better at sciences
E not a factor because the school and my family just said it was my decision if i applied to oxbridge and most of my friends were against the idea

Also in answer to the question about fees, if oxbridge were charging the top up fees they want to i would not have applied there mainly because i really dont think it would be fair on my parent to ask for even more money towards uni and dont want to get in more debt than i have to.
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