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    Apologies if this one has been done before.

    You cannot apply to Oxford and Cambridge in the same year. Isn't this anti-competitive? Although Oxford and Cambridge are recognised by most to be the best universities in the UK why should they get special treatment?

    Oxford (and presumably Cambridge) both say that they have too many good candidates for the number of places they offer. So why institutionalise a two-tier system where everyone who does not get into Oxbridge is considered second-rate?

    If they are so good why can't they work under the same rules as everyone else?
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    Well I'm not sure it's quite justified myself, but to be fair imagine how many applicants they'd each get without this rule..especially just straight up lifting it would put a huge amount of strain on admissions
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Apologies if this one has been done before.

    You cannot apply to Oxford and Cambridge in the same year. Isn't this anti-competitive? Although Oxford and Cambridge are recognised by most to be the best universities in the UK why should they get special treatment?

    Oxford (and presumably Cambridge) both say that they have too many good candidates for the number of places they offer. So why institutionalise a two-tier system where everyone who does not get into Oxbridge is considered second-rate?

    If they are so good why can't they work under the same rules as everyone else?
    That's not true though
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    (Original post by samb1234)
    It would be very difficult without the rule, not only because of that but also they would have issues with the offers - whereas at the moment a sizeable majority of people who get offers firm oxbridge, presumably there would be a fair amount of overlap (since both oxford and cambridges admissions processes essentially try and do the same thing, it is likely that some people would get offers from both) which could potentially mean that some candidates who would previously have got offers now don't get that chance (as competing with double the number of people). And for the unis themselves, it would be very difficult to estimate how many offers to make as they don't know how many will firm them.
    It's difficult for Durham, LSE etc, but they seem to manage. I'm not sure that ease of administration is sufficient reason to give Oxford and Cambridge special treatment.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    It's difficult for Durham, LSE etc, but they seem to manage. I'm not sure that ease of administration is sufficient reason to give Oxford and Cambridge special treatment.
    (a) they don't put the same resources into selection of candidates as Oxbridge does. The Oxbridge admissions system relies on an almost 1:1 offer:acceptance ratio.

    (b) nobody 'gave' them 'special treatment'. They agreed it between themselves, and they could do so because they are entitled to do whatever they damn well please with regard to their admissions procedures.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    That's not true though
    You can't apply to both in the same year. This rule has been set by the powers that be. To me that makes it institutional. If Oxford and Cambridge get special treatment then you have an institutionalised two-tier system.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    You can't apply to both in the same year. This rule has been set by the powers that be. To me that makes it institutional. If Oxford and Cambridge get special treatment then you have an institutionalised two-tier system.
    There will always be exceptions though. Take Medicine. AFAIK you can't apply to 5 medicine courses. You can apply to a max of 4 per cycle.

    Does that make med the best course in the UK? A tier above all others? No way lol
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    (a) they don't put the same resources into selection of candidates as Oxbridge does. The Oxbridge admissions system relies on an almost 1:1 offer:acceptance ratio..
    The other universities have to compete on a level playing field.

    .
    (b) nobody 'gave' them 'special treatment'. They agreed it between themselves, and they could do so because they are entitled to do whatever they damn well please with regard to their admissions procedures.
    Cartel? Can they take government funding and still do as they damn well please?
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    (Original post by samb1234)
    My point is more that the current system means as many people who are good enough to have the opportunity to go to oxbridge - without the restriction this wouldn't be the case.

    Your point seems a bit circular to me. You seem to be arguing that you need the rule to keep Oxbridge as a special case. This to me is protectionism.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    The other universities have to compete on a level playing field.

    .

    Cartel? Can they take government funding and still do as they damn well please?
    The other universities are also quite entitled to adopt such procedures if they like. For instance, the University of London colleges would be well within their rights to band their admissions processes together in the same way. They don't because they don't have the same extensive (and far more meritocratic) admissions processes to protect.

    Government has never sought to involve itself (beyond the usual 'please take more of x special category' stuff) in admissions processes. No-one has much appetite for causing problems by meddling too directly in the procedures of the two greatest educational institutions we have (which, incidentally, most government types attended). It may interest you to know, also, that Cambridge was involved in talks recently about cutting its links with government. If government interfered too much, that is what would happen.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)

    Government has never sought to involve itself (beyond the usual 'please take more of x special category' stuff) in admissions processes. No-one has much appetite for causing problems by meddling too directly in the procedures of the two greatest educational institutions we have (which, incidentally, most government types attended). It may interest you to know, also, that Cambridge was involved in talks recently about cutting its links with government. If government interfered too much, that is what would happen.
    Yes, that is very interesting.

    The government has Oxford in reserve. It should let Cambridge go. Would make a lot of business sense.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Yes, that is very interesting.

    The government has Oxford in reserve. It should let Cambridge go. Would make a lot of business sense.
    Oxford would take the exact same steps. To interfere as you appear to suggesting would destroy the admissions systems of Oxford and Cambridge, which would be treated by each as a very serious matter.

    More realistically (because government would never really get involved directly, for the reasons I gave), if UCAS refused to allow the two universities to co-operate on applications as they do, they'd just set up their own systems instead, which, again, they're totally entitled to do.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Oxford would take the exact same steps. To interfere as you appear to suggesting would destroy the admissions systems of Oxford and Cambridge, which would be treated by each as a very serious matter.

    More realistically (because government would never really get involved directly, for the reasons I gave), if UCAS refused to allow the two universities to co-operate on applications as they do, they'd just set up their own systems instead, which, again, they're totally entitled to do.
    Yes, you have a point. It has always seemed strange to me that you have no private universities for the private sector schools to supply. Perhaps Oxford should go too.

    They are both very respectable brands and would sell well on the world market. Government could then focus on educating the masses - something that it really is interested in.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    There will always be exceptions though. Take Medicine. AFAIK you can't apply to 5 medicine courses. You can apply to a max of 4 per cycle.

    Does that make med the best course in the UK? A tier above all others? No way lol
    This is a good point to bring in here as well. I might be wrong but I think both restrictions might be also for the applicants' benefit to an extent? We were never given an actual concrete reason why you were only allowed to apply to 4 med schools at a time, but with a 10:1 applicant to place ratio (bigger than that for some med schools now I think) I can see why restricting it might be beneficial for both parties. The med applicants are then encouraged to pick another course which not only lessens the strain on med school admissions but also on the students/UCAS Extra/Clearing in the case of a clean sweep of rejections.
    The same principle probably applies (to a lesser extent admittedly) to Oxbridge. It's possible that whoever decided the system should be put in place is working under the assumption that if an applicant would get rejected by one of the unis in a cycle, they'd also get rejected by the other (I'm not very well versed in their admissions policies, but I'm guessing they're pretty rigorous). Hence by restricting people's choices applicants have another slot free to pick another uni which is more likely to accept them, rather than wasting 2 choices if they're rejected by both Oxford and Cambridge.

    This is just speculation on my part, anyway. :dontknow:
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    (Original post by lightwoXd)
    This is a good point to bring in here as well. I might be wrong but I think both restrictions might be also for the applicants' benefit to an extent? We were never given an actual concrete reason why you were only allowed to apply to 4 med schools at a time, but with a 10:1 applicant to place ratio (bigger than that for some med schools now I think) I can see why restricting it might be beneficial for both parties. The med applicants are then encouraged to pick another course which not only lessens the strain on med school admissions but also on the students/UCAS Extra/Clearing in the case of a clean sweep of rejections.
    The same principle probably applies (to a lesser extent admittedly) to Oxbridge. It's possible that whoever decided the system should be put in place is working under the assumption that if an applicant would get rejected by one of the unis in a cycle, they'd also get rejected by the other (I'm not very well versed in their admissions policies, but I'm guessing they're pretty rigorous). Hence by restricting people's choices applicants have another slot free to pick another uni which is more likely to accept them, rather than wasting 2 choices if they're rejected by both Oxford and Cambridge.

    This is just speculation on my part, anyway. :dontknow:
    Nah good ideas. My impression was that the 4 limit was due to the competitiveness, reducing the number of applicants who have to reapply after a gap year if they're rejected from all 5.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Nah good ideas. My impression was that the 4 limit was due to the competitiveness, reducing the number of applicants who have to reapply after a gap year if they're rejected from all 5.
    Probably tbh. Just from looking at the other prospective medics from my college it seems to work - a lot of them just went with their 5th choice and only about 3 of us are reapplying.
    The system probably helps fill up some of the slightly more obscure biomed (and variations of) degrees too - you see a lot of them on Extra.
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    I agree that it does seem unfair, but I guess that it is up to Oxford and Cambridge. If they want that system, then I do think it would be difficult to enforce change on them. I think I remember threads about this before, where someone made the valid point that if UCAS tried to ban this, then Oxbridge could just withdraw from UCAS and people would have to make a separate application.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Apologies if this one has been done before.

    You cannot apply to Oxford and Cambridge in the same year. Isn't this anti-competitive? Although Oxford and Cambridge are recognised by most to be the best universities in the UK why should they get special treatment?

    Oxford (and presumably Cambridge) both say that they have too many good candidates for the number of places they offer. So why institutionalise a two-tier system where everyone who does not get into Oxbridge is considered second-rate?

    If they are so good why can't they work under the same rules as everyone else?
    Take up the organ. Then you can apply to both.

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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    I agree that it does seem unfair, but I guess that it is up to Oxford and Cambridge. If they want that system, then I do think it would be difficult to enforce change on them. I think I remember threads about this before, where someone made the valid point that if UCAS tried to ban this, then Oxbridge could just withdraw from UCAS and people would have to make a separate application.
    Correct.

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    (Original post by jneill)
    Take up the organ. Then you can apply to both.

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    I don't think they'd have me a second time.
 
 
 
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