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    (Original post by Faboba)
    Nonsense! If anything the reverse is true! The fact that I went to a crap school ( no offense Mr Cooklin, you're a great headmaster ) was the only reason they gave me an offer!

    Seriously though, as I understand it while a disproportionate number of public school applicants are let in that's only because a disproportionate number APPLY. There is a much higher rate of offers for state schoolers per applicants than those for public schoolers - not to mention that regardless of how well you think the special access scheme works the fact that it exists at all shows that they are making the effort.
    exactly. the fact that more public school people apply to oxbridge is just another manifestation of the fact that in such schools you are encouraged to stretch yourself, which has hardly been my experience of the state sector.

    and yes, the special access scheme is obviously a good thing. i am trying to resist calling it a token effort.
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    (Original post by H&E)
    Finally found the stats here: http://www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/colleges/adstats.pdf

    Maintained: 47.1% of applications, 46.9% of offers
    Independent: 36.1% of applications, 43.9% of offers.
    That's quite a substantial difference.
    hehe. i was right all along

    [QUOTE] Wow. That's very impressive. So much for all Oxbridge students being middle England, middle class, all the advantages in life etc. [QUOTE]
    nice try... but it doesn't convince me.

    f. poste's story is interesting. i hope you do well. i like your use of semi-colons. even oxford has moments of living in the real world.

    oh and by the way, cambridge is more enlightened than oxford because it has one college which pursues a policy of disgusting 'Discrimination' eh? guess which college i'm going to? you can put away your scalpels, helenia, i didn't choose to go to the same college as you.

    i chose king's because it is the only college which has a realistic and fair admissions procedure. also when i go there i will not be surrounded by posh people who went to public schools and have therefore spent most of their lives being sheltered by daddy from the real world.
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    (Original post by leda swanson)
    seems people have as vested interest in insisting that we're all equal in the interview room [...] sounds like oppression to me
    People disagree swith your assertion that Oxbridge discriminates against state educated applicants because they understand this is contradictory to the very purpose of the admissions process, namely ensuring Oxbridge gets the best students possible. Oxbridge's continued position of eminence among British universities absolutely depends upon this. Therefore it would be against the university's interests to select low quality candidates. This works on an internal scale, too. Colleges want their candidates to obtain good degrees to maintain their prestige within the university and their position on the Norrington/Tompkins table. Tutors want good students, both because they are more interesting to teach and because their own reputation as tutors depends on their students achieving good degrees. Discrimination is in no-one's interests.

    As an aside: You claim King's College has a fairer admissions system which picks candidates entirely meritocratically, rather than on the basis of their background. Inevitably, this will lead to a higher quality of intake, as it is based on merit only. Why, therefore, is it in the bottom half of the Tompkins table? It has spent the last 3 year 21st, 16th and 14th from 24. When you consider King's was once among the most prestigious of Cambridge's colleges, and has fallen from its previous position despite considerable resources, would you not agree this is evidence that rather than benefiting from a rigurously fair admissions policy, it is suffering the consequences of its policy of discrimination?
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    (Original post by leda swanson)
    f. poste's story is interesting. i hope you do well. i like your use of semi-colons. even oxford has moments of living in the real world.
    Thanks. I'm an English student, which may explain the punctuation
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    (Original post by leda swanson)
    exactly. the fact that more public school people apply to oxbridge is just another manifestation of the fact that in such schools you are encouraged to stretch yourself, which has hardly been my experience of the state sector.

    and yes, the special access scheme is obviously a good thing. i am trying to resist calling it a token effort.
    What do you propose then? Restrict how many people can apply from each school? Limit the amount of places available to independent sector students? In the process sending out a clear message that State schoolers can't compete with public schoolers on an equal footing; so we're going to make it easy for them because they're not good enough. That would be a great way to build confidence in the State sector...
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    (Original post by leda swanson)
    what is it exactly you find so offensive about me? i imagine i am open to reform...
    The sweeping generalisations and completely unfounded accusations at people like Acaila. And the fact that your argument is way, way over the top - yes, privately educated people have a better chance, but that doesn't mean a state-educated student can't get in without mummy and daddy paying for tutoring and music lessons. :rolleyes: In fact, as many people have quoted at you - state-educated students make up nearly 55% of the students here. And I am not aware of any college where "also when i go there i will not be surrounded by posh people who went to public schools and have therefore spent most of their lives being sheltered by daddy from the real world."

    Because Daddy paying for you to be tutored is real-world stuff too. :rolleyes:
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    I think the critical point here to be made is that alot of people (and, if you'll believe it, mostly private-schoolers!) don't understand the nature of the discrimination we're discussing here. I think almost all of us would agree that it's highly unlikely that tutors dismiss sound applications on the basis of school alone - although it is not entirely beyond the realm of possibility; Oxbridge is recognised as an old-fashioned place, and in turn as being home to rather old-fashioned values.

    However, the discrimination is, I believe, far more ingrained in the system than that. A great many people are, perhaps unconciously, biased against people with working-class accents. BBC-English is much more associated in our minds with sound argument and innate intelligence than cockney rhyming slang and the dulcet tones of the east end of Glasgow (naturally, there are reasons for this that I wont go into at the moment). That's simply the way it is, and just like institutionalized racism etc, any changes will be slow and gradual.
    Evidence for this point lies in the statistics. 40% of the country do not go to private schools, and if we are to discount any argument that money equals (innate) intelligence (which we must), then the system is quite blatantly biased in favour of those who go to independent schools: 5% of the country have a 40% chance of acceptance, and im not a statistician so i cant work out the math for the rest of us but I'll bet its a lot less. (Of course, any interpretation of these statistics is subjective, and I'll concede this is only my analysis (but then, I'm always right))

    Another point that should be made is that it is not just specifically Oxbridge that we are talking about here. In fact, this discrimination, intrinsic to society, is everywhere. Look at the high flyers in the country - in the city, the civil service, etc. - a disproportionate amount are white middle class men. I doubt any of you would argue that society favours this demographic over all others, and so clearly *society itself* is biased, and Oxford and Cambridge simply represent to the large majority of people two bastions, two breeding-grounds of this intrinsic discrimination by virtue of their alumni and history. That is a simple truth.

    On the issue of private schools fostering confidence: it is of course difficult to substantiate either this claim or its antithesis (a recurring theme in this debate). My opinion is that the privately-educated are more confident, and my basis for this is that a lot of stupid people I have met who think they're a lot brighter than they actually are are privately-eductated, while the majority of those i've met who downplay theire own intelligence are poorer. But thats just my opinion.

    Well that's my interpretation of this - and if anyone's going to pull me up for a typing error or a missing apostrophe or capital letter they can piss off
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    While I guess privately educated pupils do stand a slightly better chance than state educated pupils, it seems unfair to attack the admissions process. They do the best they can, and I think that the interview process is a good way to level the playing field a bit.
    (I'm at a state school by the way.)
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    The thing that gets me is that people don't seem to notice the differences between different types of state schools. Plenty of state schools regularly send 50+ people to Oxbridge a year, and encourage it massively. It seems to be because of this sort of school that the state %age actually goes down for offers - they make pretty much anyone who's getting 3 As or AAB to apply to Oxbridge.
    At the other end of the spectrum you've got the failing schools that have been described, but here the problem is that people aren't even applying to Oxbridge. So here the figures are meaningless.

    You can't look at these figures and say "Wow, the percentage of state school offers is down from the applications, so Oxbridge is biased." The problem is getting people to apply.
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    (Original post by RxB)
    The thing that gets me is that people don't seem to notice the differences between different types of state schools. Plenty of state schools regularly send 50+ people to Oxbridge a year, and encourage it massively. It seems to be because of this sort of school that the state %age actually goes down for offers - they make pretty much anyone who's getting 3 As or AAB to apply to Oxbridge.
    At the other end of the spectrum you've got the failing schools that have been described, but here the problem is that people aren't even applying to Oxbridge. So here the figures are meaningless.

    You can't look at these figures and say "Wow, the percentage of state school offers is down from the applications, so Oxbridge is biased." The problem is getting people to apply.

    I thinks thats a very good point.
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    (Original post by RxB)
    The thing that gets me is that people don't seem to notice the differences between different types of state schools. Plenty of state schools regularly send 50+ people to Oxbridge a year, and encourage it massively.
    Erm, "plenty"? On school based Sixth Forms, the highest I think was Latymer (grammar) with 27 (or some number in the high 20s, not over 30). I seem to remember you could get into a table compiled by the Times on the highest number of Oxbridge offers for state Sixth Forms if you had over 8 offers or so. That's not anywhere near 50.

    I'm not so sure about colleges; Hills Road in Cambridge definitely manages it (over 60 last year I think), probably Greenhead in Huddersfield, but I'd be very surprised if there are more than five state colleges or schools which receive over 50 Oxbridge offers.

    But apart from that, yes, I agree with what you're saying.
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    (Original post by AboveMyChamberD)
    BBC-English is much more associated in our minds with sound argument and innate intelligence than cockney rhyming slang and the dulcet tones of the east end of Glasgow.
    I don't know about that. The syntactical rules sorrounding the correct use of 'pure' in a sentence are more complicated than you might think. And as metaphors for cold go, 'baltic' is sheer genius.
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    (Original post by AboveMyChamberD)
    I 40% of the country do not go to private schools, and if we are to discount any argument that money equals (innate) intelligence (which we must), then the system is quite blatantly biased in favour of those who go to independent schools: 5% of the country have a 40% chance of acceptance, and im not a statistician so i cant work out the math for the rest of us but I'll bet its a lot less. (Of course, any interpretation of these statistics is subjective, and I'll concede this is only my analysis (but then, I'm always right))
    These statistics can be argued back and forth. No, 40% of the population does not go to private school, but 40% of students getting AAA at A-Level do.

    Yes, there are stupid people at private school, or not-quite-so-bright ones who get in because their school has fostered their confidence more than an exceptionally bright state-schooler who doesn't know how to act in an interview. But I don't think it's a general rule. I think that quite a lot of parents will consider sending their child to private school more seriously if they show signs of high intelligence (this could be at whatever age, even just for 6th form entry), and added to the fact that a lot of private schools (admittedly not mine, but some) are highly selective, the kids there are certainly not stupid.

    Yes, the system is still uneven, but to aim for a balance at 93:7 (which I believe is the ratio of staterivate students overall) is unrealistic, especially when so many more people at private school, relatively, are achieving the standard grades. Private school people are not cleverer than state schoolers, but neither are they all only at Oxbridge because they paid their way in.
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    (Original post by deianra)
    Erm, "plenty"? On school based Sixth Forms, the highest I think was Latymer (grammar) with 27 (or some number in the high 20s, not over 30). I seem to remember you could get into a table compiled by the Times on the highest number of Oxbridge offers for state Sixth Forms if you had over 8 offers or so. That's not anywhere near 50.

    I'm not so sure about colleges; Hills Road in Cambridge definitely manages it (over 60 last year I think), probably Greenhead in Huddersfield, but I'd be very surprised if there are more than five state colleges or schools which receive over 50 Oxbridge offers.

    But apart from that, yes, I agree with what you're saying.
    OK, plenty was probably an exaggeration. I'm mostly basing it on Hills Road as I know people there, and don't have much experience of sixth form colleges outside Cambridge.
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    (Original post by AboveMyChamberD)
    BBC-English is much more associated in our minds with sound argument and innate intelligence than cockney rhyming slang and the dulcet tones of the east end of Glasgow (naturally, there are reasons for this that I wont go into at the moment). That's simply the way it is.
    The statistics tell a different story: The highest ratio of offers per applications, by quite some margin, is for Northern Ireland. Scotland is actually in second place of the 12 regions of United Kingdom. The South East (heartland of "BBC English") is actually in a cluster of several regions very near the average ratio.

    (Original post by AboveMyChamberD)
    the system is quite blatantly biased in favour of those who go to independent schools: 5% of the country have a 40% chance of acceptance
    Your implicit assumption, that the entire country applies to Oxbridge, is clearly flawed. Comparison of ratios of applications per offer show a less dramatic advantage: 2.87 for independent sector applicants, 3.44 for maintained. That gives independent candidates a 19% higher chance of admissions. It is not negligble. However, nor is it evidence of discrimination. It is well known that state candidates tend to apply for highly competitive vocational courses, while independent candidates often apply for more unusual and less competitive courses. When you consider that at Oxford the ratio of successful Law candidates is (exactly) half that of Classics and Theology, a difference of less than 1/5 between state and maintained candidates is far less imposing.

    Thus consideration of the statistics demonstrates that there is no regional bias against unusual backgrounds, and, more importantly, there there is no reason to disbelieve Oxford's claims that they do absolutely everything in their power to minimise discrimination on basis of school. This is not speculation, it is based on statistical facts.

    Now go read http://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/2003-4/supps/entry.pdf
    Once you've done that, I think you owe an apology to everyone the Oxford admissions office who work so hard to eliminate discrimination and, more importantly, to convince people to do this. They offer the statistics freely on the web for you too see, and publish them in mainstream newspapers. Yet people such as yourself (I'm not blaming you for the problem, you are only a very minor part of it) produce a load of speculation, based on supposed "facts" and "simple truths" completely contradicted by the statistical evidence, and ruin all their work.

    nb - I don't know the situation at Cambridge. Sorry. However, I believe I've proved leveling accusations of bias at Oxford is highly unreasonable.
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    Its a great idea and a great FAQ, would have been really useful to read when I first began considering applying to Oxford. One thing that it doesn't include, and something you'll probably be unwilling to put in because it would make it significantly longer is a small college profile for each of the colleges. I'm not talking anything major, but maybe something personal, from someone who has first-hand experience, I certainly know that it was something that would have been priceless to me.

    I can offer up a little bit of info on Keble if you want, I stayed there for my interviews, so I probably don't know too much, but I do know how I found it.


    Anyway, great effort (and outcome) you guys.

    And byt the way, I went to a Grammar School, where do we technically fit in, into this whole state-public thing, I think we are state-maintained, but I'm not sure whether we'd be classed alongside public schools, because we do discriminate against those people that can attend, and therefore on general achieve much higher grades than comprehensive schools.
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    (Original post by Morgan)
    Its a great idea and a great FAQ, would have been really useful to read when I first began considering applying to Oxford. One thing that it doesn't include, and something you'll probably be unwilling to put in because it would make it significantly longer is a small college profile for each of the colleges. I'm not talking anything major, but maybe something personal, from someone who has first-hand experience, I certainly know that it was something that would have been priceless to me.
    It would be quite a monumental task to do something on each college! Especially when firstly we don't have people who go to every college here, and secondly the Oxford prospectus will give you a lot of information on each. All we'd be able to give it's "It has a big library", "offers 3 year accommodation", which can be found in either the prospectus or alternative prospectus.
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    (Original post by H&E)
    People disagree swith your assertion that Oxbridge discriminates against state educated applicants because they understand this is contradictory to the very purpose of the admissions process, namely ensuring Oxbridge gets the best students possible. Oxbridge's continued position of eminence among British universities absolutely depends upon this. Therefore it would be against the university's interests to select low quality candidates. This works on an internal scale, too. Colleges want their candidates to obtain good degrees to maintain their prestige within the university and their position on the Norrington/Tompkins table. Tutors want good students, both because they are more interesting to teach and because their own reputation as tutors depends on their students achieving good degrees. Discrimination is in no-one's interests.

    As an aside: You claim King's College has a fairer admissions system which picks candidates entirely meritocratically, rather than on the basis of their background. Inevitably, this will lead to a higher quality of intake, as it is based on merit only. Why, therefore, is it in the bottom half of the Tompkins table? It has spent the last 3 year 21st, 16th and 14th from 24. When you consider King's was once among the most prestigious of Cambridge's colleges, and has fallen from its previous position despite considerable resources, would you not agree this is evidence that rather than benefiting from a rigurously fair admissions policy, it is suffering the consequences of its policy of discrimination?
    SUFFERING FROM A POLICY OF FAIRNESS? you fascist.

    you are quite manifestly completely misunderstanding my point, which sadly shows the strait-jacketed state of your institutionalised mind. i assume you are yet another product of the great british public school system?

    firstly, i never suggested, as you have however erroneously concluded from reading my earlier posts, that oxbridge does anything at interview except accept the best candidates.

    to repeat my argument: more public school people get in to oxbridge because they are better educated than those who have gone to state schools. the only way to make education fair is to disestablish the public school system entirely and replace it with a true meritocracy that has nothing to do with your parents' ability to finance your education. oh, how terribly shocked you are.

    secondly, it is rather amusing that you resort to the tompkins table in your quest to repress the unwashed masses. as far as i am aware, few people who are interested in either academic value or other factors in real terms use the tompkins table to compare the colleges. perhaps students at king's are interested in other things than the gaining of firsts. as far as i am aware king's college has long been one of the most highly competetive colleges, pools a lot of candidates- ie the admissions tutors have a lot of people to choose from.

    king's college's policy of positive discrimination is the fairest admissions procedure out of all the cambridge colleges. this is because it gives ignorant state school people such as myself a fair chance in our corrupt society. had i had the infinite honour of going to a public school i would still have applied to king's in order to take advantage of this fairness, being a person of conscience unlike you.
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    What do you propose then? Restrict how many people can apply from each school? Limit the amount of places available to independent sector students? In the process sending out a clear message that State schoolers can't compete with public schoolers on an equal footing; so we're going to make it easy for them because they're not good enough. That would be a great way to build confidence in the State sector...
    dearie me, the last thing we should be doing is building confidence in the present state sector. that would be supporting years of under-funding by a government controlled by people who have gone to public schools and therefore have a tenuous grip on reality. no, rather we should admit that the current state of our state schools is abysmal, and that it is desperately in need of reform.

    well done for realising that i think 'state schoolers can't compete with public schoolers on an equal footing'. it is impossible to gain this equal footing on such an unequal playing-field. hence need for revolution
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    The sweeping generalisations and completely unfounded accusations at people like Acaila. And the fact that your argument is way, way over the top - yes, privately educated people have a better chance, but that doesn't mean a state-educated student can't get in without mummy and daddy paying for tutoring and music lessons. :rolleyes: In fact, as many people have quoted at you - state-educated students make up nearly 55% of the students here. And I am not aware of any college where "also when i go there i will not be surrounded by posh people who went to public schools and have therefore spent most of their lives being sheltered by daddy from the real world."

    Because Daddy paying for you to be tutored is real-world stuff too. :rolleyes:
    um, why are you rolling your eyes at me when you are supporting my argument?

    i think it's terrible that my state education was so bad that my parents had to pay for me to have extra tuition in order to get into cambridge. yes, this is the sorry state of our real world.

    perhaps you are rolling your eyes at me because you think that we should accept this unfair system, rather than changing it for the better and making the most of what oxbridge has to offer. if we reformed the state sector and begun to cleanse ourselves of fee-paying schools, then everyone would benefit from a better general education.
 
 
 
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