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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.
    Yes, I can see that it is very much in the interests of Oxford and Cambridge to maintain the two-tier system but is it the best thing for UK university education? It seems that there are a large number of top-level students who have the stigma either of not getting to Oxbridge or of getting there and 'only' getting a 2.1. I don't think this would be such a problem if there were a dozen or so Oxbridge universities. Also, students would focus more on what they wanted to study rather than 'must get an Oxbridge place'. The current system seems designed to prevent the Durhams and Imperials getting into the top flight.

    And if what they are doing is unfair (not sure this point has really been debated - so far I've seen a lot of comments basically saying that they can do what they like, not whether or not it is intrinsically unfair) should they be allowed to get away with it?
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    The fact that you can apply to only one of Oxbridge, I think, actually enhances the other top British universities as lots of highly academic students with 4/5 A*s/ 95-100% UMS especially in competitive courses get rejected, they end up going to LSE, UCL, Imperial etc making these unis stay in the top in the world rankings. Otherwise most of these students might end up at one or the other Oxbridge anyway even if they slipped up at one of the interviews. It seems very unfair for the said students though, they are still Oxbridge rejects, creating a two tier system.
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    They are treated differently because they are different. Even your Imperials and UCLs don't interview everyone. Nowhere near. Let alone offering multiple interviews to 3.5+ candidates per place on top of designing and running specific admissions tests.

    When another university starts to put in an amount of effort that is at least in the same order of magnitude as Oxbridge into its admissions system, then maybe they should also start talking about limiting their number of applicants for the purpose of increasing the acceptance rate. Not before.

    I think this system increases competition. Back in the real world, Oxbridge are viewed as different and removing the rule would simply mean that Oxbridge can stop competing with each other, confident in the knowledge that most of their applicants will apply to both without a second thought anyway.
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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?
    It's one of the many "rules" that make them "special".

    For example, did you know their grads can "upgrade" their undergrad degree title from BA to MA after a few years, upon payment of a small fee?

    You MIGHT argue their degrees are much harder than the rest that they ought to be awarded a "masters" but since every other uni only award a BA, that would mean every other unis of the same standard. Does that make sense?

    We know what makes Oxbridge great, so why has there never been any attempt to replicate it? Everything can be copied apart from them being the oldest.

    It's also not helped by the media like BBC and Telegraph, constantly running articles on Oxbridge. Come results day on A-Levels, all you read is the students with a zillion A grades going to Oxbridge. Don't they go anywhere else?

    Similarly with league tables, compiled by Oxbridge consultancies such as BCG, with obvious bias.

    However, if you look at non-subjective competitions math and physics competitions for uni students, Oxbridge have NEVER won them.

    Even at the IMO for school students, the winners tend to be the Chinese. Don't tell me all their students, many of which are not well off, study at Oxbridge. Instead they go to Peking and other Chinese unis bu why don't we ever hear about them?
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    (Original post by speakerfone)
    For example, did you know their grads can "upgrade" their undergrad degree title from BA to MA after a few years, upon payment of a small fee?

    You MIGHT argue their degrees are much harder than the rest that they ought to be awarded a "masters" but since every other uni only award a BA, that would mean every other unis of the same standard. Does that make sense?
    People misunderstand this.

    The MA is nothing to do with additional academic achievement and doesn't represent itself to be. The MA recognises voting and dining rights within the university.

    I don't think you can complain on the basis that other MAs are awarded on the basis of completion of an extra course, because the Oxbridge MA (I assume) predates them.
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    If everyone could apply to both, pretty much everyone would. Pretty much everyone with an offer from one would get one from both, but they would only be able to firm one. This would mean they would either not give enough offers, and not take in the maximum number of students, or give too many, and force some students to sleep on the streets or something.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    People misunderstand this.

    The MA is nothing to do with additional academic achievement and doesn't represent itself to be. The MA recognises voting and dining rights within the university.

    I don't think you can complain on the basis that other MAs are awarded on the basis of completion of an extra course, because the Oxbridge MA (I assume) predates them.
    I have not misunderstood. I'm merely pointing out some MIGHT.

    There definately would be no misunderstanding if this "upgrade / change of title / call it what you want" was not available.

    I have seen many candidates merely put MA after their name, which when I questioned them about their undegraduat subject, stated actually it was the Oxbridge MA, so in reality they were lying on their CV, as it should have been MA (oxon / cantab).
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    (Original post by speakerfone)
    I have not misunderstood. I'm merely pointing out some MIGHT.

    There definately would be no misunderstanding if this "upgrade / change of title / call it what you want" was not available.

    I have seen many candidates merely put MA after their name, which when I questioned them about their undegraduat subject, stated actually it was the Oxbridge MA, so in reality they were lying on their CV, as it should have been MA (oxon / cantab).
    I wouldn't really care if Oxbridge scrapped the MA thing, but I don't really see how that's lying. It would look a bit ridiculous to have to put (Cantab.) if you just wanted to list your qualifications post-nominally.
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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?
    If it is 'anti-competitive' what exactly is the problem with that?
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    (Original post by speakerfone)
    I have not misunderstood. I'm merely pointing out some MIGHT.

    There definately would be no misunderstanding if this "upgrade / change of title / call it what you want" was not available.

    I have seen many candidates merely put MA after their name, which when I questioned them about their undegraduat subject, stated actually it was the Oxbridge MA, so in reality they were lying on their CV, as it should have been MA (oxon / cantab).
    Not really. You're perfectly entitled to use the post-nominals MA with an Oxbridge MA. Most people would want to use Oxon/Cantab anyway.

    If other people misunderstand that's their problem. Other people's misunderstanding doesn't oblige the universities to change their system.
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    If everyone could apply to both, pretty much everyone would. Pretty much everyone with an offer from one would get one from both, but they would only be able to firm one. This would mean they would either not give enough offers, and not take in the maximum number of students, or give too many, and force some students to sleep on the streets or something.
    I don't think that's true. For example STEP in absolute terms is harder than MAT but also relatively, so those who make the grade in MAT won't necessarily make the grade in STEP.

    In the US, you can apply to as many unis as you like, including HYSPM, so they seem to be able to cope somehow.

    Regardless, for engineering, you could argue Imperial and Cambridge ar similar in standards, likewise LSE and Cambridge for Econmics and COWI for math, so by that argument, you shouldn't be able to apply to both Imperial and Cambridg for engineering, LSE and Cambrudg for economics and you shouldn't be able to apply to more than one out of COWI for math.
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    (Original post by caveman123)
    I don't think that's true. For example STEP in absolute terms is harder than MAT but also relatively, so those who make the grade in MAT won't necessarily make the grade in STEP.

    In the US, you can apply to as many unis as you like, including HYSPM, so they seem to be able to cope somehow.

    Regardless, for engineering, you could argue Imperial and Cambridge ar similar in standards, likewise LSE and Cambridge for Econmics and COWI for math, so by that argument, you shouldn't be able to apply to both Imperial and Cambridg for engineering, LSE and Cambrudg for economics and you shouldn't be able to apply to more than one out of COWI for math.
    You could argue that but you wouldn't.
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    Because people may end up with offers from both and reject one for the other and obviously that is unacceptable
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    (Original post by caveman123)
    I don't think that's true. For example STEP in absolute terms is harder than MAT but also relatively, so those who make the grade in MAT won't necessarily make the grade in STEP.

    In the US, you can apply to as many unis as you like, including HYSPM, so they seem to be able to cope somehow.

    Regardless, for engineering, you could argue Imperial and Cambridge ar similar in standards, likewise LSE and Cambridge for Econmics and COWI for math, so by that argument, you shouldn't be able to apply to both Imperial and Cambridg for engineering, LSE and Cambrudg for economics and you shouldn't be able to apply to more than one out of COWI for math.
    You could argue that, but you'd be wrong. Virtually everyone with an offer from both Cambridge and Imperial (for instance) will choose Cambridge. People who would choose Imperial generally don't apply to Cambridge in the first place. You can see this in the statistics - Cambridge give out pretty much 1 offer per place, at Imperial it is much higher, reflecting the large numbers of people who do choose Imperial over Cambridge.

    Part of the difference between US colleges and Oxbridge is that Oxbridge put lots of effort into interviewing applicants to make sure they pick the right ones. A less diligent approach to admissions might let them deal with twice the number of applications, but it would clearly have major disadvantages.
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    (Original post by caveman123)
    I don't think that's true. For example STEP in absolute terms is harder than MAT but also relatively, so those who make the grade in MAT won't necessarily make the grade in STEP.

    In the US, you can apply to as many unis as you like, including HYSPM, so they seem to be able to cope somehow.

    Regardless, for engineering, you could argue Imperial and Cambridge ar similar in standards, likewise LSE and Cambridge for Econmics and COWI for math, so by that argument, you shouldn't be able to apply to both Imperial and Cambridg for engineering, LSE and Cambrudg for economics and you shouldn't be able to apply to more than one out of COWI for math.
    But STEP is taken after you've learnt a LOT more maths, the MAT is just on C1C2 and is really a test of mathematical maturity. I would predict that the interviews at Oxford play a much bigger part (for maths this is) compared to Cambridge.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Take up the organ. Then you can apply to both.

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    I think that's going a bit to the extreme. LoL . The Oxbridge tradition of interviewing the candidates would be nigh on impossible and that would create a lot of problems resulting in a mediocre university spectrum.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Not really. You're perfectly entitled to use the post-nominals MA with an Oxbridge MA. Most people would want to use Oxon/Cantab anyway.

    If other people misunderstand that's their problem. Other people's misunderstanding doesn't oblige the universities to change their system.
    I'll start lobbying for London Met to award PhDs for passing first year exams!
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    You could argue that, but you'd be wrong. Virtually everyone with an offer from both Cambridge and Imperial (for instance) will choose Cambridge. People who would choose Imperial generally don't apply to Cambridge in the first place. You can see this in the statistics - Cambridge give out pretty much 1 offer per place, at Imperial it is much higher, reflecting the large numbers of people who do choose Imperial over Cambridge.

    Part of the difference between US colleges and Oxbridge is that Oxbridge put lots of effort into interviewing applicants to make sure they pick the right ones. A less diligent approach to admissions might let them deal with twice the number of applications, but it would clearly have major disadvantages.
    The same is for maths, the consensus is students tend to choose Cambridge over Oxford, so why not allow to apply to both.
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    (Original post by SCalver)
    But STEP is taken after you've learnt a LOT more maths, the MAT is just on C1C2 and is really a test of mathematical maturity. I would predict that the interviews at Oxford play a much bigger part (for maths this is) compared to Cambridge.

    Well that it is apparently true. I achieved the best A Level results in the history of my college (16 100UMS), and knew of no one irl or in the media (except one girl) who achieved greater results, the admission test was a walk in the park for me (85+) but I just flopped the interview. And so I am an Oxford reject. The interviews play a much greater rule along with your extra-curricular stuff (along with your command of English) at Oxford, that I can safely say...
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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?
    1) I'm thinking that this may be because the very top students may get offers from both universities, and thus bring down their takeup ratio. For example, Oxford, I believe, has a 92% takeup ratio, meaning that 92% of students with offers in January actually end up firming the university and meeting the entry requirements. Oxbridge are observing that, in most cases, students who get offers are actually very likely to choose them as their first choice. If the possibility of someone firming them fell (because they also got offers from the other one), then that would obviously have a corresponding negative effect on that takeup ratio.

    This is particularly worrisome for them, as, due to the tutorial/supervision system, they can't take in a large surplus of students in excess of the number that they were expecting to get. This is not only because of limited accommodation facilities, but also because they have to organise it so that their tutors get 1-on-1 time with every undergrad in their college. Having 10 or 20 more unexpected people stuffed into a lecture theatre at LSE or Imperial may not be an issue (other than increasing the amount of material to mark), but just two or three more people doing the same course at a college, who all need to be taught individually, may bring up timetabling issues and take up more of the lecturers' valuable time.

    2) Oxbridge certainly know how to make themselves stand out and look as special as possible (doing interviews at their colleges, announcing results on the same day to create a sense of anticipation, informing people via physical letters rather than through UCAS updates), so this policy has the added benefit of being a marketing ploy to distinguish them from the LSE's, Imperial's and Durham's of the world.
 
 
 
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