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Should Oxbridge further restrict places to overseas students in favour of our own? watch

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    Every year many Oxbridge calibre home grown students fail to gain a place to study there solely because of lack of spaces, and yet at the same time many students from overseas are offered places. Is it time to redistribute some of these places to our own students to enable them to fulfil their dreams and go on to make major contributions to our own economy, as against foreign students returning home with their skills.
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    (Original post by BrainDrain)
    Every year many Oxbridge calibre home grown students fail to gain a place to study there solely because of lack of spaces, and yet at the same time many students from overseas are offered places. Is it time to redistribute some of these places to our own students to enable them to fulfil their dreams and go on to make major contributions to our own economy, as against foreign students returning home with their skills.
    No

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    No. Oxbridge takes people based purely on their academic merit, and cannot discriminate based on nationality.

    I'm sorry but if a foreigner is smarter than you then they should have the place
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    (Original post by BrainDrain)
    Every year many Oxbridge calibre home grown students fail to gain a place to study there solely because of lack of spaces, and yet at the same time many students from overseas are offered places. Is it time to redistribute some of these places to our own students to enable them to fulfil their dreams and go on to make major contributions to our own economy, as against foreign students returning home with their skills.
    This is a very nuanced question.

    Taking international students, hiring international academics are part of what makes a university world class. It means that a university keeps up with the mainstream of the academic world. However, enormous sums of public money go to Oxbridge both in terms of teaching and research. If Oxbridge is not seen to belong to the UK education system but to be something that foreigners do in the UK, then that funding tap will be turned off.

    A large part of the reason why the expansion of Heathrow is not a foregone conclusion for government is because of the very high numbers of transit passengers who, when push comes to shove, add little to the UK economy. Heathrow is semi-detached from the interests of UK business and the UK travelling public. Oxbridge cannot afford to get into the same situation.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    This is a very nuanced question.

    Taking international students, hiring international academics are part of what makes a university world class. It means that a university keeps up with the mainstream of the academic world. However, enormous sums of public money go to Oxbridge both in terms of teaching and research. If Oxbridge is not seen to belong to the UK education system but to be something that foreigners do in the UK, then that funding tap will be turned off.

    A large part of the reason why the expansion of Heathrow is not a foregone conclusion for government is because of the very high numbers of transit passengers who, when push comes to shove, add little to the UK economy. Heathrow is semi-detached from the interests of UK business and the UK travelling public. Oxbridge cannot afford to get into the same situation.
    Yes I agree international students certainly add in a positive way to everything good regarding university life, it is just a matter of the numbers. A quick look here http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/gradu...for-applicants shows how may we have at Oxford, and I feel there must be scope to cut back a little when so many UK students with more than adequate qualifications fail through lack of places. Even if no internationals were allowed it could be argued that our own population is diverse enough to still give almost the same flavour to university life, but i'm not advocating that, just a modest adjustment by way of fairness with the added economic benefit these guys would go on to give.
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    (Original post by BrainDrain)
    Yes I agree international students certainly add in a positive way to everything good regarding university life, it is just a matter of the numbers. A quick look here http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/gradu...for-applicants shows how may we have at Oxford, and I feel there must be scope to cut back a little when so many UK students with more than adequate qualifications fail through lack of places. Even if no internationals were allowed it could be argued that our own population is diverse enough to still give almost the same flavour to university life, but i'm not advocating that, just a modest adjustment by way of fairness with the added economic benefit these guys would go on to give.
    Your link is for Grads. Undergrads here: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...ional-students and I'd say 17% seems absolutely fine.

    In comparison Camb is 10% international (outside EU). http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/international/

    So the answer to the OP is still no.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Your link is for Grads.

    Undergrads here: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...ional-students

    17% seems absolutely fine.

    And Camb is 10% international (outside EU)

    http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/international/


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    Thank you for the links, maybe my question was a little bit vague but I was referring to all students both undergrad and grads.
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    (Original post by BrainDrain)
    Yes I agree international students certainly add in a positive way to everything good regarding university life, it is just a matter of the numbers. A quick look here http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/gradu...for-applicants shows how may we have at Oxford, and I feel there must be scope to cut back a little when so many UK students with more than adequate qualifications fail through lack of places. Even if no internationals were allowed it could be argued that our own population is diverse enough to still give almost the same flavour to university life, but i'm not advocating that, just a modest adjustment by way of fairness with the added economic benefit these guys would go on to give.
    I agree with jneil that 17% is fine.

    The shoe is more likely to pinch with individual subjects than admissions generally. Mathematics may be particularly vulnerable and generally an eye needs to be kept on the sciences (other than medicine).

    This isn't about having a rainbow coloured student body but ensuring that what Oxbridge (and other UK universities) deliver is delivered to the same standard as elsewhere and that its concerns do not become too parochial. An international student body is much less likely to think that if it doesn't happen in the UK or USA, it doesn't exist. There have been times when the history of 17th century Europe has become boiled down to the views of two rival Oxford historians and the whole of economics has been a faction fight between Cambridge and LSE. What are the current trends in Romanian philosophy?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I agree with jneil that 17% is fine.

    The shoe is more likely to pinch with individual subjects than admissions generally. Mathematics may be particularly vulnerable and generally an eye needs to be kept on the sciences (other than medicine).

    This isn't about having a rainbow coloured student body but ensuring that what Oxbridge (and other UK universities) deliver is delivered to the same standard as elsewhere and that its concerns do not become too parochial. An international student body is much less likely to think that if it doesn't happen in the UK or USA, it doesn't exist. There have been times when the history of 17th century Europe has become boiled down to the views of two rival Oxford historians and the whole of economics has been a faction fight between Cambridge and LSE. What are the current trends in Romanian philosophy?
    Yes certain subjects do get very heavily oversubscribed, "Goods" said on his course, "14/18 phys NatSci at robinson have 4A*'s... " meaning probably some with as many as 3A*'s were rejected.
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    The universities are private businesses so I don't see why they should be nationalistic simply because they're on the pieces of land recognised by a certain country. Why don't you say they should favour Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire people, then?

    Also, they've only got a very small portion of international students to begin with.

    Throwing in the fact that international students actually make them prestigious (can have higher admission scores - that's how the LSE gets comparable admission scores, more well-known and impactful world-wide, more evidence for recognition world-wide) and contribute a lot of money into the system (which in turn favours home students).

    What you don't want is 'international' students coming just from one or few countries. In which case, you aren't really having a diverse population and are just fooling yourself with international success.
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    Admission to a university should only be based on academic performance.
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    As international students are already paying much more than UK/EU students, the fear that the UK taxpayer is paying their places isn't that justified. I have more sympathy for somebody saying that there is a danger access will be limited in the long run to a global rich elite (in addition to some poor people with scholarships pretending you could only enter the university on "your own merit"), who is able to pay for all that schools and university fees. Thus it isn't really internationals against nationals, more rich against poor. [Nota bene: It could develop, but it isn't like that now.]

    At the end international students should be allways a two way street, e.g. some French deciding studying at Imperial and some English entering Polytechnique. Thus the aim should be to ensure every good student has the chance to apply to multiple countries and not just a tiny elite. This can be done, but ensuring every student has the possibility to learn foreign languages at a high level.

    It becomes only a problem, when e.g. every Chinese singer thinks he can only study at THAT uni in Austria and thus the place-applicant ratio becomes so incredibly high, you have a very diverse but weired student body.

    And at the end it is also in the interest of the foreign students (or should be, I am personally allways shocked how many people think it is sufficient to talk English and have no interest whatsoever to being able to understand the people in the country, they are studying) not to end up in a university flooded by foreigners. It is simply not possible to fully profit from a country you are living in without having a sense for the culture/language/etc. .
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    (Original post by Nathanielle)
    As international students are already paying much more than UK/EU students, the fear that the UK taxpayer is paying their places isn't that justified.
    That isn't the issue.

    The government spends enormous sums of money on universities. What that money is "for" isn't really relevant. Most of it is actually funding for research. Governments have a choice where to spend that money but the one thing that is absolutely guaranteed is that money is spent for the benefit of the country whose taxpayers provide the funding. Accordingly the British government spends its money on British universities, the French government on French universities, the German government on German universities etc. Occasionally in developing countries, that isn't true. Their governments will spend money in western countries. That is only because they believe that there is a better return for the country from money spent on its national overseas than money spent in its own universities. However, that aside, governments spend their money at home.

    If an institution located in the UK is not seen as sufficiently British, government will come under pressure not to spend public money on that university but to spend it elsewhere. Manchester, Nottingham, Loughborough and 50 more universities would all wish that the funding Oxford and Cambridge receive was spent on them. Each of them will say to government; don't spend this money on Oxbridge; those universities do not assist British students, they are full of foreigners. Spend it on us instead. Nicky Morgan, the Education secretary, has Loughborough University in her constituency. Cable has St Mary's Twickenham in his.

    No-one can say how many is too many. Too many is when is when politicians start listening to those siren voices.

    Universities badly misjudged the position on immigration. They thought that the benefits of them bringing in large numbers of students from outside the EU was self-evident, regardless of whether they tuned up to courses etc. Then one day the government decided that universities were running an immigration racket and clamped down with registers and monitoring and removals of permission to take foreign students. Universities were genuinely shocked that government expected them to police the immigration status of students. But what shocked them more, was that no-one outside the university sector moaned about it. The opposition didn't object. The press and public didn't object. Everyone outside the university sector agreed with the government.

    That is the risk with taking too many foreign students. If the government takes its funding elsewhere, there is a danger that everyone thinks that decision is right.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    That isn't the issue.

    The government spends enormous sums of money on universities. What that money is "for" isn't really relevant. Most of it is actually funding for research. Governments have a choice where to spend that money but the one thing that is absolutely guaranteed is that money is spent for the benefit of the country whose taxpayers provide the funding. Accordingly the British government spends its money on British universities, the French government on French universities, the German government on German universities etc. Occasionally in developing countries, that isn't true. Their governments will spend money in western countries. That is only because they believe that there is a better return for the country from money spent on its national overseas than money spent in its own universities. However, that aside, governments spend their money at home.

    If an institution located in the UK is not seen as sufficiently British, government will come under pressure not to spend public money on that university but to spend it elsewhere. Manchester, Nottingham, Loughborough and 50 more universities would all wish that the funding Oxford and Cambridge receive was spent on them. Each of them will say to government; don't spend this money on Oxbridge; those universities do not assist British students, they are full of foreigners. Spend it on us instead. Nicky Morgan, the Education secretary, has Loughborough University in her constituency. Cable has St Mary's Twickenham in his.

    No-one can say how many is too many. Too many is when is when politicians start listening to those siren voices.

    Universities badly misjudged the position on immigration. They thought that the benefits of them bringing in large numbers of students from outside the EU was self-evident, regardless of whether they tuned up to courses etc. Then one day the government decided that universities were running an immigration racket and clamped down with registers and monitoring and removals of permission to take foreign students. Universities were genuinely shocked that government expected them to police the immigration status of students. But what shocked them more, was that no-one outside the university sector moaned about it. The opposition didn't object. The press and public didn't object. Everyone outside the university sector agreed with the government.

    That is the risk with taking too many foreign students. If the government takes its funding elsewhere, there is a danger that everyone thinks that decision is right.

    Tldr: how ignorant and xenophobic are the British public?
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    (Original post by obsidious)
    Tldr: how ignorant and xenophobic are the British public?
    Less than one might think.

    However, the public expect the advocates of any position to make a case and not to regard what they are doing as being self-evidently good.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Less than one might think.

    However, the public expect the advocates of any position to make a case and not to regard what they are doing as being self-evidently good.
    No of course not. Unless you are afraid we may not be up to the competition.

    Personally I'm applying to Cambridge (for maths) next year (the next application cycle), and I am aware that there are people who are going to be in my year, who are currently in the top 20 mathematicians in the world under the age of 20. I mean for God's sake
    http://www.limjeck.com/index.jsp this guy will be in my year.
    He has gotten a perfect score in the IMO like a thousand times, but no I won't run away from the challenge. He will almost certainly wipe the floor with me but I will do my best over the next year to ensure I can at least put up a fight.

    My point is that internationals make Cambridge 10X better. Truthfully if I wasn't aware of the standard I would be facing, I wouldn't try as hard.
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    (Original post by Xin Xang)
    He has gotten a perfect score in the IMO like a thousand times, but no I won't run away from the challenge. He will almost certainly wipe the floor with me but I will do my best over the next year to ensure I can at least put up a fight. I would be facing, I wouldn't try as hard.
    Inspirational. Good luck x
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    (Original post by obsidious)
    Inspirational. Good luck x
    Thanks I think I'm going to need buckets of good luck.

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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    The universities are private businesses so I don't see why they should be nationalistic simply because they're on the pieces of land recognised by a certain country. Why don't you say they should favour Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire people, then?

    Also, they've only got a very small portion of international students to begin with.

    Throwing in the fact that international students actually make them prestigious (can have higher admission scores - that's how the LSE gets comparable admission scores, more well-known and impactful world-wide, more evidence for recognition world-wide) and contribute a lot of money into the system (which in turn favours home students).

    What you don't want is 'international' students coming just from one or few countries. In which case, you aren't really having a diverse population and are just fooling yourself with international success.
    Aren't all British universities public ones though (with the exception of the University of Buckingham)? They receive funding from the UK government, and are also partially regulated by it if I recall correctly. Since the funding isn't at an area level (unlike say California funding the University of California system), it would be nonsensical to favour students from the surrounding local areas. However, it isn't completely insensible to favour UK students given that the taxpayers are paying for the universities to some degree.

    Your arguments are a fair one, but I can't say I'm wholly unsympathetic to the argument that public universities should favour their own countrymen though; there was a massive debate in my home country about whether there were too many foreigners taking up spots in our national universities, to the exclusion of locals (although the problem is also slightly different because we're a tiny country with few universities, whereas UK students have far more options). I think it was 18% a few years back, and the goal was to move it down to 15%.
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    (Original post by mishieru07)
    Aren't all British universities public ones though (with the exception of the University of Buckingham)? They receive funding from the UK government, and are also partially regulated by it if I recall correctly. Since the funding isn't at an area level (unlike say California funding the University of California system), it would be nonsensical to favour students from the surrounding local areas. However, it isn't completely insensible to favour UK students given that the taxpayers are paying for the universities to some degree.

    Your arguments are a fair one, but I can't say I'm wholly unsympathetic to the argument that public universities should favour their own countrymen though; there was a massive debate in my home country about whether there were too many foreigners taking up spots in our national universities, to the exclusion of locals (although the problem is also slightly different because we're a tiny country with few universities, whereas UK students have far more options). I think it was 18% a few years back, and the goal was to move it down to 15%.
    They're public but the funding funds the places for home students, not international students.
 
 
 
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