Class division in universities Watch

DaanD10
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Do people still believe that universities regard the applicants wealth/ parents occupations when deciding wether to accept them?
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Incredimazing
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Nah


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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by DaanD10)
Do people still believe that universities regard the applicants wealth/ parents occupations when deciding wether to accept them?
Even though it isn't true, I think some people still do think this about certain universities, particularly Oxbridge of course, but also some others. The reasons are a mix of historical perception and media distortion, plus a confusion of cause and effect - "there are lots of posh kids at such-and-such a university, therefore they must be selecting by wealth".
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Padwas
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There are always divisions
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Verana
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(Original post by DaanD10)
Do people still believe that universities regard the applicants wealth/ parents occupations when deciding wether to accept them?
Nope, there is no evidence at all for that.
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Smack
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No, but I think that sources that really ought to know better try their hardest to paint such a picture for their own political agenda, just like with the rise in tuition fees.
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SilverstarDJ
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(Original post by DaanD10)
Do people still believe that universities regard the applicants wealth/ parents occupations when deciding wether to accept them?
No, I don't, but I do believe that some privately educated students get more support in terms of inteviews and PSes than comprehensives, and that people who come from familys where one or both parents have degrees are more likely to go to uni as this is what their parents expect of them .
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Origami Bullets
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Universities do not select upon wealth directly, but there are factors that occur before the student gets anywhere near a UCAS form that make it less likely that they will be accepted, such as
- parental income is THE most accurate indicator of academic achievement, much more so than innate intelligence or how good the school is. Poor kids get worse grades so are less likely to be able to go onto the best unis
- some schools are better than others at advising students, checking the PS and preparing for interview
- there is evidence to suggest that more economically deprived students are less likely to apply to the most competitive unis, even when they have the same grades. If they don't apply, unis can't accept them

Universities are working hard to try and address these inequalities. Most if not all unis have a widening participation strategy, though levels of enthusiasm vary. Examples of uni run widening participation schemes include Access to Leeds, Manchester Access Programme and Access to Birmingham.

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Incredimazing
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
Universities do not select upon wealth directly, but there are factors that occur before the student gets anywhere near a UCAS form that make it less likely that they will be accepted, such as
- parental income is THE most accurate indicator of academic achievement, much more so than innate intelligence or how good the school is. Poor kids get worse grades so are less likely to be able to go onto the best unis
- some schools are better than others at advising students, checking the PS and preparing for interview
- there is evidence to suggest that more economically deprived students are less likely to apply to the most competitive unis, even when they have the same grades. If they don't apply, unis can't accept them

Universities are working hard to try and address these inequalities. Most if not all unis have a widening participation strategy, though levels of enthusiasm vary. Examples of uni run widening participation schemes include Access to Leeds, Manchester Access Programme and Access to Birmingham.

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I'm from a poor, single parent family, and nobody in its history (including siblings, cousins, aunties, etc.) has attended university. If everything goes to plan I should have 7 A's and an A* at AS (already completed 3, and the A* is in the EPQ), would I be at an advantage or a disadvantage considering my background? My GCSEs are relatively meh in comparison to the rest of the applicants applying for law at the sort of uni's I'm aiming for (a couple of A*'s, with the majority being B's and a couple of C's), which includes UCL and King's.


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pmc:producer
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I think a lot of it is down to perception. I go to Glasgow - most people in Glasgow told me it'd be full of posh people who were up themselves - most people will talk of the dreaded 'Glasgow Uni accent' too... Although not from a poor background, my parents aren't rich (which wouldn't matter anyway as I started at 23 as a mature student with my own flat/job etc), and I have to say, I've yet to notice any sort of class division at uni.

Everyone I've met has been spot on. Really friendly, down to earth (even the ones who were privately educated, with the rich parents - I've only met two of these people!) and not remotely 'posh'!

I know this is only one university, but again, I really think it's the people outside such unis that create that chat based on their own perceptions.
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pmc:producer
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(Original post by Incredimazing)
I'm from a poor, single parent family, and nobody in its history (including siblings, cousins, aunties, etc.) has attended university. If everything goes to plan I should have 7 A's and an A* at AS (already completed 3, and the A* is in the EPQ), would I be at an advantage or a disadvantage considering my background? My GCSEs are relatively meh in comparison to the rest of the applicants applying for law at the sort of uni's I'm aiming for (a couple of A*'s, with the majority being B's and a couple of C's), which includes UCL and King's.


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I watched a documentary a while back about class divisions within the legal/medical professions... It was really good actually, I can't remember the name though!

Of course other students with family who are lawyers etc are at a distinct advantage in that they can pick up work experience/access a better network that you can initially. Not forgetting law courses are fiercely competitive, I'd say that the hurdles you may or may not face wont be down to your parent's financial situation, they'll be down to your grades/personal statement.

Good luck by the way.
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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by Incredimazing)
I'm from a poor, single parent family, and nobody in its history (including siblings, cousins, aunties, etc.) has attended university. If everything goes to plan I should have 7 A's and an A* at AS (already completed 3, and the A* is in the EPQ), would I be at an advantage or a disadvantage considering my background? My GCSEs are relatively meh in comparison to the rest of the applicants applying for law at the sort of uni's I'm aiming for (a couple of A*'s, with the majority being B's and a couple of C's), which includes UCL and King's.


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Your background does make your academic achievements all the more impressive.

Assuming you meet the minimum stated GCSE requirements, and your AS fears are in appropriate subjects, then I see no reason why you shouldn't get offers.

Roughly where are you in the country (ie which city)? I might know of a widening participation scheme that you're eligible for.

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Incredimazing
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
Your background does make your academic achievements all the more impressive.

Assuming you meet the minimum stated GCSE requirements, and your AS fears are in appropriate subjects, then I see no reason why you shouldn't get offers.

Roughly where are you in the country (ie which city)? I might know of a widening participation scheme that you're eligible for.

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Ah thanks for the information! I'm in North Yorkshire, near Leeds.


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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by Incredimazing)
Ah thanks for the information! I'm in North Yorkshire, near Leeds.


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Off the top of my head then -
Access to Leeds
Sutton Trust
Realising Opportunities
UNIQ
Social Mobility Foundation Aspiring Professionals Programme

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Incredimazing
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
Off the top of my head then -
Access to Leeds
Sutton Trust
Realising Opportunities
UNIQ
Social Mobility Foundation Aspiring Professionals Programme

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Cheers, I'll have a look into them.

Is it worth mentioning in my reference that there's no university history in my family and that we're relatively poor?


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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by Incredimazing)
Cheers, I'll have a look into them.

Is it worth mentioning in my reference that there's no university history in my family and that we're relatively poor?

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It could be included within the reference that your teacher writes, though it's not essential. However, certain things are automatically flagged (being from a low participation neighbourhood, poor school performance at GCSE, parents not having been to uni, having been in care and so on).
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hollo
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(Original post by Incredimazing)
I'm from a poor, single parent family, and nobody in its history (including siblings, cousins, aunties, etc.) has attended university. If everything goes to plan I should have 7 A's and an A* at AS (already completed 3, and the A* is in the EPQ), would I be at an advantage or a disadvantage considering my background? My GCSEs are relatively meh in comparison to the rest of the applicants applying for law at the sort of uni's I'm aiming for (a couple of A*'s, with the majority being B's and a couple of C's), which includes UCL and King's.


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Based on this, I'd say you probably have access to better support than a lot of students that come from more well off backgrounds. Take advantage of it!!

I don't think universities will give anyone preference because they come from a more upper class background, I think they will give preference to those with good grades, good extracurriculars, good interview performance and a good personal statement - all things which are a lot easier to have if you come from such backgrounds or have attended a 'good' school.
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(Original post by Incredimazing)
I'm from a poor, single parent family, and nobody in its history (including siblings, cousins, aunties, etc.) has attended university. If everything goes to plan I should have 7 A's and an A* at AS (already completed 3, and the A* is in the EPQ), would I be at an advantage or a disadvantage considering my background? My GCSEs are relatively meh in comparison to the rest of the applicants applying for law at the sort of uni's I'm aiming for (a couple of A*'s, with the majority being B's and a couple of C's), which includes UCL and King's.


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Many universities have a flagging system (eg Cambridge) so that if you come from a school eg where no one has previously applied or you've been in care or come from a very poor family etc. they will take that into consideration. It's up on their website I think.

In addition many universities will offer means tested bursaries (Oxford, Cambridge again - upto £3k pa I think from the Isaac Newton Trust) or bursaries if you live in a deprived area (Sheffield Hallam I think).

It's worth doing a bit of research before applying and it's not at all true that the 'best' universities will be the most expensive to attend.
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
I watched a documentary a while back about class divisions within the legal/medical professions... It was really good actually, I can't remember the name though!

Of course other students with family who are lawyers etc are at a distinct advantage in that they can pick up work experience/access a better network that you can initially. Not forgetting law courses are fiercely competitive, I'd say that the hurdles you may or may not face wont be down to your parent's financial situation, they'll be down to your grades/personal statement.

Good luck by the way.
Yes it is an advantage knowing how things work in a solicitors' office or chambers but basically in these competitive times top notch academics, outstanding extra curriculas, impeccable personal qualities etc. are what count: there's no room for nepotism. Just look at the CVs of recent recruits to see what you should be aiming at.

Look also at the Bar Stats which show that it isn't at all people with parents already in Law who get the most pupillages. ( I believe in 2011 it was the sons or daughters of doctors) and after Oxbridge and UCL Sheffield was the University that provided the most successful candidates.
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Incredimazing
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Thanks got the help!

I won an essay competition with one Essex court, a top barrister chamber for work experience, so I'm not really worried about that. Extracurriculars aren't really a problem in general as I have a lot to show.

However, I do go to a grammar school, where results are relatively high.


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