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

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    (Original post by whitewitch)
    Cambridge Natsci
    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.
    are you aware that under the new top-up fees system you would have to ask your parents for less money than at present?

    at the moment i rely on my parents to pay the £1,000+ tuition fees for me (seeing as i don't really have any income to pay for fees myself!). my rent is covered by my student loan (well not quite..), and all other spending comes from my own vacation earnings and my parents. i am fairly confident it would not take that long to earn the money to pay for my entire education after graduation, and tend to think of the money paying for my degree as a cost I am incurring and therefore should pay myself (rather than my parents). After all, if i wanted to go on holiday/gap year travelling (which i do intend to do) then I would certainly take into account having to earn the money to pay for it, when deciding to do it.

    If i had been educated under the new system, i wouldnt have needed any parental help paying tuition fees, since they don't have to be paid upfront. additionally, i would probably have qualified for some form of student grant (particularly in cambridge, where they are putting in place plans to help all students with parental income < £35,000....).

    i won't go on to rant or anything, since i realise there are a number of issues that arise which i cannot counter(!). I just find it irritating the way most students seem to have ruled out the Higher Education Bill as being "a bad thing"TM without having fully considered what the Bill is proposing. A number of people I spoke to who were objecting during the second reading, didn't even know about deferred fees, or the reintroduction of student grants...! The biggest threat to access is not variable tuition fees - its the amount of misconception presented by (self-interested) campaigning students themselves and the media in confusing potential applicants!

    It seems pretty obvious that most students are not well enough informed at 6th form level to make the decision to attend university. Personally i dont think enough attention is given to alternative options, and a gap year before making my decision to go to university would have been really helpful. Only now, having done my research, considered my future career path etc. etc., do i now know the value of coming to university or what I would have done given the chance to chose again 4 years ago. I seem to have sort of 'fallen' into choosing my subject more than anything else. It's a good job i happen to have enjoyed it.

    Anyway, dissertation is done and dusted and handed in two days ago. Thanks everyone for replying. It was interesting to hear from you. Keeping my fingers crossed for a good mark now! Feel free to continue replying..
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    I have no idea what career I want so sad as it may seem, for me the deciding factor is...
    da da dum
    Douglas Adams and Jan Ravens and some people from Monty Python went to Footlights which I have been told is in Cambridge.
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    I have to say, I'm quite surprised by all the people saying "I didn't want to go to a big city so I picked Cambridge"... there seems to be a general impressiont that Oxford is much bigger than it actually is. It's very small as cities go, but the part of it occupied by the university is smaller still. If you look at the link below, you'll see a roundabout just under the "FO" in "OXFORD"... pretty much everything is in the grey blob west of that roundabout. You can most certainly walk everywhere; there really isn't that much between the two size-wise.

    http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.c...ut.x=5&out.y=6

    I very strongly believe that neither is "better". Having seen both, they're unbelievably similar in so many ways. They frequently switch places on league tables. Perhaps Cambridge still retains a slight edge in the sciences and Oxford in the arts - much as I hate generalisations like that - but face it, you'll get an exemplary education at either.

    To answer the actual question, I'm at Oxford, and here pretty much entirely because my course (Economics & Management) isn't available at Cambridge, and neither straight Economics nor Social & Political Sciences were an acceptable substitute. Had E&M been available at Cambridge, it would have been a tough choice... and I'd have probably picked Oxford just because it's closer.
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    (Original post by ThePants999)
    I have to say, I'm quite surprised by all the people saying "I didn't want to go to a big city so I picked Cambridge"... there seems to be a general impressiont that Oxford is much bigger than it actually is. It's very small as cities go, but the part of it occupied by the university is smaller still. If you look at the link below, you'll see a roundabout just under the "FO" in "OXFORD"... pretty much everything is in the grey blob west of that roundabout. You can most certainly walk everywhere; there really isn't that much between the two size-wise.

    http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.c...ut.x=5&out.y=6

    I very strongly believe that neither is "better". Having seen both, they're unbelievably similar in so many ways. They frequently switch places on league tables. Perhaps Cambridge still retains a slight edge in the sciences and Oxford in the arts - much as I hate generalisations like that - but face it, you'll get an exemplary education at either.

    To answer the actual question, I'm at Oxford, and here pretty much entirely because my course (Economics & Management) isn't available at Cambridge, and neither straight Economics nor Social & Political Sciences were an acceptable substitute. Had E&M been available at Cambridge, it would have been a tough choice... and I'd have probably picked Oxford just because it's closer.
    I definitely agree the biggest difference is the course. While Oxford and Cambridge do have slightly different atmosphere, these differences are dwarfed by the difference between colleges. The same is true of factors like size, architecture wealth etc.
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    (Original post by piggysqueak)
    I have no idea what career I want so sad as it may seem, for me the deciding factor is...
    da da dum
    Douglas Adams and Jan Ravens and some people from Monty Python went to Footlights which I have been told is in Cambridge.
    At least it will have looked good in your personal statement
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    (Original post by ThePants999)
    I have to say, I'm quite surprised by all the people saying "I didn't want to go to a big city so I picked Cambridge"... there seems to be a general impressiont that Oxford is much bigger than it actually is. It's very small as cities go, but the part of it occupied by the university is smaller still. If you look at the link below, you'll see a roundabout just under the "FO" in "OXFORD"... pretty much everything is in the grey blob west of that roundabout. You can most certainly walk everywhere; there really isn't that much between the two size-wise.
    What?!?!?

    There is loads east of the Magdalen Bridge roundabout. I know loads of people wh tend to spend most of their time in the Cowley Rd area. I agree that Oxford is a compact city compared to most, but it does at least have more of a 'city' feel to it.
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    (Original post by ThePants999)
    I have to say, I'm quite surprised by all the people saying "I didn't want to go to a big city so I picked Cambridge"... there seems to be a general impressiont that Oxford is much bigger than it actually is. It's very small as cities go, but the part of it occupied by the university is smaller still. If you look at the link below, you'll see a roundabout just under the "FO" in "OXFORD"... pretty much everything is in the grey blob west of that roundabout. You can most certainly walk everywhere; there really isn't that much between the two size-wise.

    http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.c...ut.x=5&out.y=6

    I very strongly believe that neither is "better". Having seen both, they're unbelievably similar in so many ways. They frequently switch places on league tables. Perhaps Cambridge still retains a slight edge in the sciences and Oxford in the arts - much as I hate generalisations like that - but face it, you'll get an exemplary education at either.

    To answer the actual question, I'm at Oxford, and here pretty much entirely because my course (Economics & Management) isn't available at Cambridge, and neither straight Economics nor Social & Political Sciences were an acceptable substitute. Had E&M been available at Cambridge, it would have been a tough choice... and I'd have probably picked Oxford just because it's closer.
    Someone doesn't leave the bubble then.
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    Cambridge
    Oxford don't do Architecture!
    If I'd had a choice, I might have chosen Oxford. Family come from there, the city's a bit bigger, and I prefer some of the architecture, but I'm glad to have chosen Cam now, cos having visited, I think its a beautiful place (and its near London!)
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    (Original post by scarlet ibis)
    Cambridge
    Oxford don't do Architecture!
    If I'd had a choice, I might have chosen Oxford. Family come from there, the city's a bit bigger, and I prefer some of the architecture, but I'm glad to have chosen Cam now, cos having visited, I think its a beautiful place (and its near London!)
    It's a lot easier to get to London from Oxford, 'though. There's the tube leaving every 15 mins or so.
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    (Original post by house badger)
    Someone doesn't leave the bubble then.
    But of course! It wouldn't be the bubble if there weren't a sizeable number of people who never really left it - hence my point. I expect people from Girton would disagree with the suggestion Cambridge is very small, so it comes as no surprise to me that people living in Cowley and Iffley disagree with me. But given the positioning of the colleges, unless you have to live out in Cowley or Iffley then there's no need to go out there except to the sports centre. And yes, I know I'm generalising, before anyone points that out as well.
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    (Original post by d750)
    It's a lot easier to get to London from Oxford, 'though. There's the tube leaving every 15 mins or so.
    There are fairly regular trains to London from Cambridge too! Not sure about every 15 minutes, but at least every hour.
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    Yes, Oxford has both the coaches every 15mins or so and trains about every 30mins London-bound, but as you say, Cambridge has regular links too. I wouldn't say there's that much between the two when it comes to getting to London. For those as desperate as me to get out of uni as often as possible, Oxford has it much easier for getting to Heathrow and especially Gatwick; Cambridge is obviously much closer to Stansted. Other than that, I'd say neither has a particular advantage location-wise except for individual people.
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    This is probably just playing to stereotypes but it seemed like Cambridge was the more serious and the less toff-y of the two. Also Oxford didn't consider philosophy a subject in its own right so....

    A) The subject wasn't being offered at the other one. - do do pychology you have to study (i think) either natsci or SPS at ca, not really my things
    B)see above
    C)I live in cambs so it would be a crap choice
    D) its the better uni if it offers your course!
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    (Original post by priya)
    plus there wasnt really an option to do italian 'ab initio' u had to reach a level standard before u started the course ideally. cambridge were far more realistic and down to earth about everything.
    Same for me. Cambridge seemed more willing to teach me Russian from scratch.
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    (Original post by boris)
    A) The subject wasn't being offered at the other one. - do do pychology you have to study (i think) either natsci or SPS at ca, not really my things
    B)see above
    C)I live in cambs so it would be a crap choice
    D) its the better uni if it offers your course!
    What you say is full of holes, sir.

    Warum?

    meaning, why?
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    (Original post by doodlebeetle)
    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!)
    A) PPE is only offered at Oxford, more places (Durham, ect.) offer it now, but when I applied Oxford was pretty much the only one. The only one with a decent reputation anyway.

    B) The fact it covers three different disciplines is a real strength, I love Economic, but I couldn't handle 3 year of just Economics.

    C) Oxford is bigger, but not to big. Cambridge is a bit quiet, nothing really seems to be going on. And they're all science people, work far to hard!

    D) Both are exceptionally good universities, in terms of reputations there is very little different, to me it wasn't a factor, but I would say Oxford has a slightly bigger international appeal.

    E) Considering I went to boarding school, we really didn't get that much help. Just general advice from the careers guy and a bit of help with the personal statement and UCAS form.

    F) Both my parents when to Oxford, my sister goes to Oxford, I wasn't going to be the odd one out. My school had quite an Oxford tradition as well.

    G) If I went to Cambridge, I wouldn't be able to sing such legendary tunes as: "I'd rather be a leper than a tab; oh I'd rather be a leper than a tab; oh I'd rather be a leper, rather be a leper, rather be a leper than a tab!"
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    G) If I went to Cambridge, I wouldn't be able to sing such legendary tunes as: "I'd rather be a leper than a tab; oh I'd rather be a leper than a tab; oh I'd rather be a leper, rather be a leper, rather be a leper than a tab!"
    Seeing as you admitted on the Cambridge forum you are now a prospective Tab (in fact, working hard for the right to be one), can we safely assume you are already a leper?
 
 
 
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