How come Tarquin can get into Oxford but Jimmy can't?

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J.S.
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#101
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#101
(Original post by vienna95)
i think he means they come from a better social background. if Oxbridge believes that this will contribute to better performance then it should be considered.
I'm not sure what in the world it means, "better social background"...??!!
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Vienna
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#102
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#102
(Original post by J.S.)
I'm not sure what in the world it means, "better social background"...??!!
the background he is from instilled in him better social values and modes of conduct.
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J.S.
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#103
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#103
(Original post by vienna95)
the background he is from instilled in him better social values and modes of conduct.

I'm curious how one goes about attempting to measure this? What are better social values...? I'm guessing it will be difficult to ascertain these from within a few interviews given at the university.
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Vienna
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#104
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#104
(Original post by J.S.)
I'm curious how one goes about attempting to measure this? What are better social values...? I'm guessing it will be difficult to ascertain these from within a few interviews given at the university.
better speech.
awareness of ambiance.
correct manners.
ease in the situation.
etc.

exactly the sort of thing you get from an interview.
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J.S.
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#105
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#105
(Original post by vienna95)
better speech.
awareness of ambiance.
correct manners.
ease in the situation.
etc.

exactly the sort of thing you get from an interview.
I think they ought to be looking at academic suitability. I'm not sure why social values are even relevant, unless they feel this person will disrupt the educational progress of those around him/her. The greater the above list becomes, the more subjective the whole process is.
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Vienna
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#106
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#106
(Original post by J.S.)
I think they ought to be looking at academic suitability. I'm not sure why social values are even relevant, unless they feel this person will disrupt the educational progress of those around him/her. The greater the above list becomes, the more subjective the whole process is.
its the overall impression that selectors would take. they would be thinking, is this the sort of person that we want to represent Oxbridge? is this the sort of person who adheres to our values? is this the sort of character that will do well at Oxbridge both socially and academically?

very much in the same way a company looks at these attributes ahead of what grades you got.
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J.S.
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#107
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#107
(Original post by vienna95)
its the overall impression that selectors would take. they would be thinking, is this the sort of person that we want to represent Oxbridge? is this the sort of person who adheres to our values? is this the sort of character that will do well at Oxbridge both socially and academically?

very much in the same way a company looks at these attributes ahead of what grades you got.
Yes, this is what actually happens. However, I don't think it ought to be this way. An employer has a right to do this, however, a University is not a company that is going to employ you on a salary to work for them. You are not going to attend the university for its benefit. A university is about you, for your benefit, you are the consumer.

I understand that this is what becomes of an interview, and that they're looking for 'well rounded people' and all that. However, I do not see why they have the right to determine who is/is not 'well rounded', or has a 'better' system of social values. I see no reason why all consideration ought not to be geared towards determining academic suitability. Of course some of the attributes you mentioned may well tie in with academic suitability in particular cases, in which case it would be valid to take them into account, however, not indepedent of that.
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Vienna
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#108
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(Original post by J.S.)
Yes, this is what actually happens. However, I don't think it ought to be this way. An employer has a right to do this, however, a University is not a company that is going to employ you on a salary to work for them. You are not going to attend the university for its benefit. A university is about you, for your benefit, you are the consumer.

I understand that this is what becomes of an interview, and that they're looking for 'well rounded people' and all that. However, I do not see why they have the right to determine who is/is not 'well rounded', or has a 'better' system of social values. I see no reason why all consideration ought not to be geared towards determining academic suitability. Of course some of the attributes you mentioned may well tie in with academic suitability in particular cases, in which case it would be valid to take them into account, however, not indepedent of that.
a university is providing a service with which your conduct and results reflect its ability to do so. image is as important as profit.
they have every right to determine who is suitable based on social fitting. it is the universities right to self-determination.

it will never be independent of academic ability since unless you meet those initial requirements you will not receive an offer of an interview.
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J.S.
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#109
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#109
(Original post by vienna95)
a university is providing a service with which your conduct and results reflect its ability to do so. image is as important as profit.
they have every right to determine who is suitable based on social fitting. it is the universities right to self-determination.

it will never be independent of academic ability since unless you meet those initial requirements you will not receive an offer of an interview.
I didn't say that they would take into account these attributes independent of academia. I was suggesting that those attributes are only relevant if they are inseperable from academic suitability.

I find it odd that I am essentially criticising the Oxbridge interview method, after having spent most of my university life thinking the LSE (as with a few of the other very competitive universities that do not interview) was more like a lottery, as they went almost exclusively on grades. Actually, I would still hold positions.

The LSE approach no longer works, there are far too many people with A grades. The Oxbridge approach of trying to filter people out on the basis of 'character' is extremely subjective. Aside from being subjective, it gives people power to determine what are/not the desirable charactersitcs in society (which of course people in powerful positions always have).

The alternative is that pre university examinations be made more challenging, this would allow our more competitive universities to choose without it being a lottery (LSE), or an exercise in someone trying to determine how 'well balanced' your character is (Oxbridge).

This isn't totally unworkable as a system. This is pretty much how it works at postgrad. level at Oxbridge/LSE.
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Vienna
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#110
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(Original post by J.S.)
I didn't say that they would take into account these attributes independent of academia. I was suggesting that those attributes are only relevant if they are inseperable from academic suitability.
well of course.

I find it odd that I am essentially criticising the Oxbridge interview method, after having spent most of my university life thinking the LSE (as with a few of the other very competitive universities that do not interview) was more like a lottery, as they went almost exclusively on grades. Actually, I would still hold positions.

The LSE approach no longer works, there are far too many people with A grades. The Oxbridge approach of trying to filter people out on the basis of 'character' is extremely subjective. Aside from being subjective, it gives people power to determine what are/not the desirable charactersitcs in society (which of course people in powerful positions always have).
im not sure what you mean. are you implying that the character of society is determined by those who hold power?

The alternative is that pre university examinations be made more challenging, this would allow our more competitive universities to choose without it being a lottery (LSE), or an exercise in someone trying to determine how 'well balanced' your character is (Oxbridge).

This isn't totally unworkable as a system. This is pretty much how it works at postgrad. level at Oxbridge/LSE.
it has nothing to do with being 'well balanced', they want to know whether you will be successful for and at Oxford. they do this by looking at you subjectively..what is wrong with that, in my opinion it is what is missing from society.
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J.S.
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#111
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-im not sure what you mean. are you implying that the character of society is determined by those who hold power?

Yes.



-it has nothing to do with being 'well balanced', they want to know whether you will be successful for and at Oxford. they do this by looking at you subjectively..what is wrong with that, in my opinion it is what is missing from society.

That really depends. If what they are doing this by asking whether or not you are capable, then that's fine (if we find that too many people are capable, then raise the standard). If however, they are doing this by looking at whether or not they think you'd fit in, whether they believe you'd find it enjoyable, or even whether or not you match the 'image' they are trying to portray, then I am against it. I don't think they should cast judgement on attributes that do not specifically relate to you doing well academically. Therefore, in an interview questions ought to be of a strict academic nature, rather than means of 'finding out about you'.
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Vienna
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#112
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#112
(Original post by J.S.)
-im not sure what you mean. are you implying that the character of society is determined by those who hold power?

Yes.
that is entirely flawed.

-it has nothing to do with being 'well balanced', they want to know whether you will be successful for and at Oxford. they do this by looking at you subjectively..what is wrong with that, in my opinion it is what is missing from society.

That really depends. If what they are doing this by asking whether or not you are capable, then that's fine (if we find that too many people are capable, then raise the standard). If however, they are doing this by looking at whether or not they think you'd fit in, whether they believe you'd find it enjoyable, or even whether or not you match the 'image' they are trying to portray, then I am against it. I don't think they should cast judgement on attributes that do not specifically relate to you doing well academically. Therefore, in an interview questions ought to be of a strict academic nature, rather than means of 'finding out about you'.
why is it so hard for people to grasp the concept that attitude and personality are large factors in success.
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#113
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#113
-get a life

-stop being bitter because you aren't good enough for oxbridge
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J.S.
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#114
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#114
-that is entirely flawed.

Stupid comment, you have no idea as to what I specically meant by it, therefore you are in no position to comment.

-why is it so hard for people to grasp the concept that attitude and personality are large factors in success.

This is not even relevant, I am not denying it. All I am saying is that the admissions tutors ought not to be the ones to determine what is/is not a desirable 'personality', or attitude. UNLESS, the particular attitude, in their expert opinion, was going to lead to a poor academic performance. Independent of academic performance, it is not relevant.

Most of the interview of course is meant to ensure academic suitability, which is fine. However, I am against the part of the interview that attempts to look beyond that. As you've clearly misunderstood, I shall state, I AM NOT denying the importance of other factors, ALL I am saying is that university admissions ought not to take them into account.
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Vienna
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#115
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#115
(Original post by J.S.)
-that is entirely flawed.

Stupid comment, you have no idea as to what I specically meant by it, therefore you are in no position to comment.
me: im not sure what you mean. are you implying that the character of society is determined by those who hold power?

you: Yes.

you provided me with the idea! and based on the suggestion of the idea that you clearly subscribed to, i quite rightly was in a position to comment and did so by saying that this was flawed. if you'd like to point out how it was "stupid", that i "had no idea what you meant" or that i "have no position to comment", id be all too glad to listen..

couldnt you have just given me an argument about why you believe that opinion wasnt flawed? after all that is what disagreement is all about, we are both in a position to comment, n'est-ce pas?

-why is it so hard for people to grasp the concept that attitude and personality are large factors in success.

This is not even relevant, I am not denying it. All I am saying is that the admissions tutors ought not to be the ones to determine what is/is not a desirable 'personality', or attitude. UNLESS, the particular attitude, in their expert opinion, was going to lead to a poor academic performance. Independent of academic performance, it is not relevant.

Most of the interview of course is meant to ensure academic suitability, which is fine. However, I am against the part of the interview that attempts to look beyond that. As you've clearly misunderstood, I shall state, I AM NOT denying the importance of other factors, ALL I am saying is that university admissions ought not to take them into account.
success is what the university, student and society want. we are talking about attitudes and personality represented through behaviour in interviews or application processes..how is that not relevant??

you are applying to university, the university decides who gets in. who else has the right to determine what is desirable for them???! they are binding with academic performance as anyone who has been through university will testify. how can being ill-mannered and unmotivated not have an effect on your success?

if you think that when you go to an interview they are looking at your academic performances then you are mistaken. they are looking at someone who has the correct attitude and ethos for success, since by that stage, as you pointed out, all the candidates have a level academic playing field. it reflects real life and they are quite right to do it for the sake of everyone.
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J.S.
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#116
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#116
-provided me with the idea! and based on the suggestion of the idea that you clearly subscribed to, i quite rightly was in a position to comment and did so by saying that this was flawed. if you'd like to point out how it was "stupid", that i "had no idea what you meant" or that i "have no position to comment", id be all too glad to listen..

All I said was that the character of society was determined by those in power. The reason as to why you are not in a position to comment on whether what I am saying is flawed/not flawed is because you have no idea as to what I myself mean by 'power', nor do you know to what extent I feel societies 'character' is determined through those in power power. All you have is a vague statement that I made.

As for academia, the reason I feel the system here is flawed is simple, there are too many people with very high A level grades, therefore the university has to determine desirable traits via interview. I don't think this ought to be the case, as the process is too subjective. If the examinations only produced a low proportion of grade A's, then this would lead to more objective admissions, esp. in Maths/Sciences. Personality traits are not relevant in my opinion, that's it.

The analogy between employer and univ. is quite fitting. In the case of the former, you are being paid to work for them, it's as though (for the duration of your contract) you're their property, a factor in production. Due to this, they've reason to want to pick out specific character traits. At University, you are there only for your benefit, you're not there to please the univ. staff, the whole point is to advance your education.

What I am saying essentially is that they ought to use fairly narrow criteria to select (of course this only works if pre university exams only produce a limited number of top grades). This is the way to prevent the whole process becoming increasingly subjective.
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Vienna
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#117
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#117
(Original post by J.S.)
All I said was that the character of society was determined by those in power. The reason as to why you are not in a position to comment on whether what I am saying is flawed/not flawed is because you have no idea as to what I myself mean by 'power', nor do you know to what extent I feel societies 'character' is determined through those in power power. All you have is a vague statement that I made.
power means power. the ability to make decisions that will effect other people. based on the context of Oxbridge graduates or graduates in general, any meaning of this, i disagree, has any real control over the character of society. the other point is i gave a general statement to which you replied yes. if you had issues with specificity then they were not raised when the opportunity was given. character is by its very nature subjective and dynamic, it makes no sense to talk of differentiating one meaning from another since that is implied. whether you agree or not, disagreeing with you was hardly inappropriate.

As for academia, the reason I feel the system here is flawed is simple, there are too many people with very high A level grades, therefore the university has to determine desirable traits via interview.
well, i too have a problem with this governments policies in regard to A-level assessment but interviews are not and will never be the consequence of or directly linked to a failure in assessing academic performance.

I don't think this ought to be the case, as the process is too subjective. If the examinations only produced a low proportion of grade A's, then this would lead to more objective admissions, esp. in Maths/Sciences. Personality traits are not relevant in my opinion, that's it.
relevant to what, someones raw ability? no they are not.
to someones potential in acheiving success? very much so.
what does society base judgement on, what you have done or what you could have done?

The analogy between employer and univ. is quite fitting. In the case of the former, you are being paid to work for them, it's as though (for the duration of your contract) you're their property, a factor in production. Due to this, they've reason to want to pick out specific character traits. At University, you are there only for your benefit, you're not there to please the univ. staff, the whole point is to advance your education.
to take that view, you see Universities as having no interest or right in determining themselves. as though reputation is static. any service has a common driving factor, that of image. the universities rely on and wish to better those around them, based on success. with success comes reputation and prestige and that reflects on the individual, who hopes to obtain success as a result. success comes with marrying ability with the right attitude and dynamics. this IS a dynamic process. Oxbridge conduct interviews because they are most sensitive to the idea of reputation and acheiving it. they also recognise that more than raw ability leads to success.

What I am saying essentially is that they ought to use fairly narrow criteria to select (of course this only works if pre university exams only produce a limited number of top grades). This is the way to prevent the whole process becoming increasingly subjective.
but what is wrong with subjectivity?
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J.S.
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#118
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#118
-to make decisions that will effect other people. based on the context of Oxbridge graduates or graduates in general, any meaning of this, i disagree, has any real control over the character of society

I didn't imply that it was Oxbridge that determined patterns in societal behaviour. People in power do, I believe...I didn't speculate as this would lead to an entirely different n lengthy (althou perhaps interesting) discussion. Oxbridge is a part of this though, i.e. due to its position of power.

-but interviews are not and will never be the consequence of or directly linked to a failure in assessing academic performance.

Probably not, however I think currently the best purpose interviews serve is that they do at, at least to an extent, compensate for the failure in assessing academic performance.

-to take that view, you see Universities as having no interest or right in determining themselves.

Still partially undecided on this, which is why I am interested in what people think. I guess my fundamental belief is that subjectivity be reduced, and people be admited into the best universities on academic criteria, rather than anything else, and that universities ought not to determine what are/not desirable traits for people.

-but what is wrong with subjectivity?

Leads to inconsistency. Of course there are cases where discretion is needed. Again, I'm open to suggestion. However, I personally feel that admission ought to be as objective as possible, this also prevent prejudice.

hmm, difficult holding a convo over this thing, so much you want to say...
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Vienna
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#119
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#119
(Original post by J.S.)
-to make decisions that will effect other people. based on the context of Oxbridge graduates or graduates in general, any meaning of this, i disagree, has any real control over the character of society

I didn't imply that it was Oxbridge that determined patterns in societal behaviour. People in power do, I believe...I didn't speculate as this would lead to an entirely different n lengthy (althou perhaps interesting) discussion. Oxbridge is a part of this though, i.e. due to its position of power.
bearing in mind the thread, thats how i took it.

-but interviews are not and will never be the consequence of or directly linked to a failure in assessing academic performance.

Probably not, however I think currently the best purpose interviews serve is that they do at, at least to an extent, compensate for the failure in assessing academic performance.
or what a grade sheet cant tell you?

-to take that view, you see Universities as having no interest or right in determining themselves.

Still partially undecided on this, which is why I am interested in what people think. I guess my fundamental belief is that subjectivity be reduced, and people be admited into the best universities on academic criteria, rather than anything else, and that universities ought not to determine what are/not desirable traits for people.
but you are linking what are desirable traits for one university to those reflective of society. subjectivity allows you to say to a group of people who have the same academic qualities, we believe that those of you who adapt to our ethos or have 'soft' qualities x, y and z are more likely to succeed here. another university will say, well actually we prefer students who show a, b and c.

-but what is wrong with subjectivity?

Leads to inconsistency. Of course there are cases where discretion is needed. Again, I'm open to suggestion. However, I personally feel that admission ought to be as objective as possible, this also prevent prejudice.
well there is the point of prejudice, but i think when it is in the universities interest, taking someone on grounds other the suitability would be shooting themselves in the foot. inconsistency in what? the quality of the student?

hmm, difficult holding a convo over this thing, so much you want to say...
i think youre in the minority there. welcome to the intelligent conversation club
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hildabeast
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#120
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(Original post by vienna95)
a university is providing a service with which your conduct and results reflect its ability to do so. image is as important as profit.
they have every right to determine who is suitable based on social fitting. it is the universities right to self-determination.

it will never be independent of academic ability since unless you meet those initial requirements you will not receive an offer of an interview.
Just like to point out that universities in this country are not at all like companies. As they are not private institutions and receive large amounts of public money, they chould have a transparent admissions policy and ultimately be accountable to the taxpayer.

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