belagl
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I know this is always controversial and I am not looking to provoke an actual argument and obviously I would never apply based on stereotypes but...
What are the stereotypes that set Cambridge and Oxford apart?
FOR EXAMPLE: I have heard from some people that Cambridge students tend to have more niche interests while in Oxford they are wider-ranging- is this true or are there other things which are thought to set them apart?
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TVIO
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In general, Cambridge = best for science, Oxford = best for arts and Oxford is more posh/elitist (backed up by a narrow numbers, more private schoolers go to Oxford than Cambridge), but it's a difference of a couple of % if that.
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Paralove
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Whatever you hear about the students themselves, you will find to be untrue. I'm at Cambridge, and it is no where near as posh or elitist as some like to make it out to be - okay, so the standard student is a lot more dedicated to work and study than you might find elsewhere, but they're not the "let's just work and never do anything" types. If anything, the amount of stuff we do do is a lot. Some people here are out several times per week.

The interests thing you mentioned above is just ridiculous, I've never heard that and it certainly isn't true.
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Doones
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This thread might (or might not) help:
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=269668
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alcibiade
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I speak from the experiences we had taking my daughter on visits. From the age of 11, she had wanted to go to Oxford as her dream school. Once she was an official prospective student there, she didn't like it. Not only was the representative indifferent and kind of snotty ("well, apply if you think you have a chance" she said in a bored tone), but the info presentation was disorganized and made no effort to entice any interest. We also simply did not like the feel of the town.

The contrast with Cambridge could not have been more stark. The admissions reps were open, friendly, and seemed genuinely interested in her as an individual; presentations were useful and enthusiastic, saying "we want to filter people in, not out". And the town was much more beautiful in our eyes. For us, it was a no brainer: Cam all the way - and it is living up to her expectations.
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genson
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(Original post by alcibiade)
I speak from the experiences we had taking my daughter on visits. From the age of 11, she had wanted to go to Oxford as her dream school. Once she was an official prospective student there, she didn't like it. Not only was the representative indifferent and kind of snotty ("well, apply if you think you have a chance" she said in a bored tone), but the info presentation was disorganized and made no effort to entice any interest. We also simply did not like the feel of the town.

The contrast with Cambridge could not have been more stark. The admissions reps were open, friendly, and seemed genuinely interested in her as an individual; presentations were useful and enthusiastic, saying "we want to filter people in, not out". And the town was much more beautiful in our eyes. For us, it was a no brainer: Cam all the way - and it is living up to her expectations.
I agree with this on some level. I went out with someone who goes to Oxford and met a lot of his friends who do as well... Let's just say they were all the typical private school kids, although not outright snobby you could sense the entitlement. As opposed to when I went to Cambridge to visit a friend most of the students there were all really friendly and came from all different types of backgrounds.


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Jantaculum
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(Original post by alcibiade)
I speak from the experiences we had taking my daughter on visits. From the age of 11, she had wanted to go to Oxford as her dream school. Once she was an official prospective student there, she didn't like it. Not only was the representative indifferent and kind of snotty ("well, apply if you think you have a chance" she said in a bored tone), but the info presentation was disorganized and made no effort to entice any interest. We also simply did not like the feel of the town.

The contrast with Cambridge could not have been more stark. The admissions reps were open, friendly, and seemed genuinely interested in her as an individual; presentations were useful and enthusiastic, saying "we want to filter people in, not out". And the town was much more beautiful in our eyes. For us, it was a no brainer: Cam all the way - and it is living up to her expectations.
Thought I'd stumbled into a different thread for a minute - didn't agree with the stereotyping last time I read this and, sorry, don't agree with it now.

I'm genuinely interested to read about your daughter's positive experiences at Cambridge but don't believe that you can judge a whole university on one person's experience of application. You do make it clear that it's your opinion, not fact, but state that opinion rather a lot...
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newblood
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You go to Oxford if you're rich, and you go to Cambridge if you're clever
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Blutooth
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"Wherever you turn your eye—except in science—an Oxford man is at the top of the tree" Cecil Rhodes. I believe that accurately sums up the distinction.
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Doones
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(Original post by Blutooth)
"Wherever you turn your eye—except in science—an Oxford man is at the top of the tree" Cecil Rhodes. I believe that accurately sums up the distinction.
...from over a hundred years ago.
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Colmans
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(Original post by Jantaculum)
Thought I'd stumbled into a different thread for a minute - didn't agree with the stereotyping last time I read this and, sorry, don't agree with it now.

I'm genuinely interested to read about your daughter's positive experiences at Cambridge but don't believe that you can judge a whole university on one person's experience of application. You do make it clear that it's your opinion, not fact, but state that opinion rather a lot...
(I agree you can't stereotype based on anecdote.)


http://www.timeshighereducation.co.u...012321.article
Shows that Cambridge admit marginally more from state schools (63%) than do Oxford (57%) but ex-independent pupils are in the minority at both.

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings
Cambridge pupils on average have scored slightly more UCAS tarriff points 614 than Oxford 580 (which are not the same as higher grades as it may reflect more subjects taken) but the similarity-ie students at both average the highest scores in the UK hardly reliably tells them apart.


Students visit future universities precisely because they do tend to trust impressions rather than facts. However the OP question was flawed when he assumed there was a stereotype that allowed you to differentiate between the typical Oxford v Cambridge student. In truth there is more difference between Oxford students in one group walking down a street or between courses or colleges than there is between the two universities.

When I went there was an answer for those trying to decide between Durham & Bristol offers: "If you got rejected from Cambridge go to Durham if Oxford go to Bristol." This picked up the size and winter temperature of the first choice city and probably had much to recommend it for telling them apart.
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alcibiade
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(Original post by Jantaculum)
Thought I'd stumbled into a different thread for a minute - didn't agree with the stereotyping last time I read this and, sorry, don't agree with it now.

I'm genuinely interested to read about your daughter's positive experiences at Cambridge but don't believe that you can judge a whole university on one person's experience of application. You do make it clear that it's your opinion, not fact, but state that opinion rather a lot...
I was answering the OP's question, pls excuse the repetition.

For the academics, my d's experience has been a combination of inspiration and working to her absolute capacity - pushing to a new plateau. I visited her earlier this academic year and she had 4 essays to write in as many days. She is engaged in her discipline and focused in ways that I never was.

In addition, she is very involved in singing - in the sunday choir, formal concerts, and theatrical musicals, 5 or 6 events a month minimum. She loves it all and is constantly discovering music, particularly British tradition as she is American and has lived mostly in France and Italy.

Finally, her social life is busy and intimate with a group of friends at her college. So far as I know, she is not in a relationship. She also has a best friend at another college.

All in all, she is pretty happy, indeed flourishing. It was her first choice and is living up to her expectations. But she is often exhausted, stressed, even drained.
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Abstract_Prism
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(Original post by jneill)
...from over a hundred years ago.
Lol I was rereading this thread, see your post, go to rep it and I find that I already did the first time!
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