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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    There are two reasons why not everyone gets a first. The first is that there is always going to be a range of abilities within any group, even if it is a perfect selection of the very best students available. The second is that the process assesses potential; when it comes to it, people will divide their attentions between their academics and other things in different ways. Your benchmark makes no sense for these reasons.

    In terms of assessing potential, the system is far better than any other. Obviously no process based on human assessment of limited materials can be perfect, but it's far more effective than the personal statement + grades and nothing else system used elsewhere.
    The third is that maybe Oxford/Cambridge (certainly in the non sciences) wish to see original thought and rewards its display in a coherent, structured, approach. I hate to say it (and of course as I did not attend may be mistaken) but maybe there are Firsts and Firsts. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
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    I would say it encourages competitiveness? Oxford and Cambridge want prospective students to pick them over the other from day 1
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Another thing - they take the very best of the very best. So why do 70% of the best of the very best fail to get a first? Does Oxbridge fail to meet the needs of 70% of its successful applicants?
    Because, like many other university courses and A Levels, the grading is done on a relative basis.
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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 also have to remember HYSPM are private universities with endowments up to 7/8 times the endowments of Oxford or Cambridge, they can afford lots of admissions tutors to do this. Also, Oxford and Cambridge have a far more rigorous admission system than any other universities in the UK, so it obviously takes more time and money to do this, and restricting applicants to only one university actually lessens the strain on Oxford and Cambridge.
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    (Original post by smileatyourself)
    I agree with you that Oxbridge wants to remain different.

    If the tutorial system really is that good (and I'm not doubting it), then as someone else remarked earlier, why has it not been copied? Yes, money is one difficulty but surely it would be an asset to the UK if there were more unis of Oxbridge's standards and so funding COULD be provided by the govt, via taxes or some other way.

    (A point often remarked is that if two students attained the same grades, one from a comp, another from a public school, it is deemed the comp student has achievement is better. Given Oxbridge's vastly superior tutorial system, why has this point not been taken into account, when discussing their students' academic achievements)?

    The bottom line is Oxbridge is deliberately kept different.
    There's a university in the US that copied the Oxbridge tutorial system and is considered one of the best liberal "colleges" (universities) in the US. It's known as William's College. However, they are private with an endowment of over $2 billion dollars. The endowments in the UK are as followed:

    Cambridge: £5.89 billion
    Oxford: £4.25 billion
    Edinburgh: £0.32 billion
    Manchester: £0.19 billion

    See the big drop? The fact is, there's not enough funding for many universities in the UK, except Cambridge and Oxford who get it from their multi-billion pounds coffers, to copy the Oxbridge tutorial system throughout the country. The University of Surrey, one of the best in the UK, has dropped some staff in the past couple years due to funding issues and it has and endowment of £69 million, not billion, million, lower.
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    (Original post by DJMayes)
    Because, like many other university courses and A Levels, the grading is done on a relative basis.
    Not too long ago, the modal class for universities was 2:2, except Oxbridge was 2:1.

    Now the modal class for all unis is 2:1, yet there are cries of dumbing down.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Yes, but this did not start out as an average, run-of-the-mill cohort. What reduced it to that state?
    I don't understand what you mean. It doesn't finish as an average, run-of-the-mill cohort either.
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    (Original post by Sciatic)
    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...
    I too am a Oxford reject, what are you doing to do now? Did you do BMO1/2 this year?
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    I don't understand what you mean. It doesn't finish as an average, run-of-the-mill cohort either.
    But it does seem to finish in worse shape than it started.

    The national average for first class honours degree is around 15%. For Oxford it is around 30%. But if Oxford has creamed off the best candidates from the start it should really be a lot higher. Not sure about the maths but let us be contentious and say somewhere around 100%. That is not an improvement. Oxford has reduced value not added it.

    If you are going for a first at Oxford and you get a 2.1 you have failed. Ask the people that have experienced this.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Take up the organ. Then you can apply to both.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Indeed :musicus: :yeah:

    (Just quoting you to congratulate you on your purple-y-ness :awesome: :adore: :king1: )
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Indeed :musicus: :yeah:

    (Just quoting you to congratulate you on your purple-y-ness :awesome: :adore: :king1: )
    Lol

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    (Original post by Pars12)
    But it does seem to finish in worse shape than it started.

    The national average for first class honours degree is around 15%. For Oxford it is around 30%. But if Oxford has creamed off the best candidates from the start it should really be a lot higher. Not sure about the maths but let us be contentious and say somewhere around 100%. That is not an improvement. Oxford has reduced value not added it.

    If you are going for a first at Oxford and you get a 2.1 you have failed. Ask the people that have experienced this.
    You must be trolling.
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    IMO it seems anti competitive

    (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.
    Well if the government decided to was illegal for oxbridge to collaborate that'd also apply to any other admissions procedure oxbridge invented.
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    (Original post by JohnGreek)
    I imagine that other universities may have teaching staff that's more resistant to actually sitting down and teaching or going over stuff with people, and may instead want to focus on delivering lectures and then getting on with whatever research they have to do. Not to mention that universities with large intakes for certain subjects (such as KCL, which takes 320 people a year for Law, or Manchester, with an intake of 270), would probably have to go on a drastic hiring spree to get more people to actually be able to host these 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 teaching sessions. I have no idea how these positions would be funded.

    I genuinely don't know if the faculty staff a) care enough to do tutorials/supervisions with their students, or b) can be arsed to go through the long process of petitioning the government for extra funding that isn't directed towards research. Besides, I imagine that alumni donors who have been used to the lecture system would rather invest their money in very visible, "flagship" investments (like a new building) than trying to radically push for a change in the underlying teaching system.

    It's just one of those cases where you see how people's conservative inertia makes them ok with leaving things as they are, even if the status quo isn't perfect. If they think that the current lecture system is decent enough as it is, then they presumably can't be arsed to waste their time, money, or effort, into setting up a (I'd agreed superior) alternative from scratch.
    You seem to have a very negative view of lecturers at other unis. My experience is of the vast majority of the lecturers I had who wanted to spend more time with their students and would put on extra sessions before exams or have more office hours before a large assignment was due. However, it isn't possible for 1 lecturer to give support to 100 students.

    Whereas when I looked around Oxford the impression I got was that the lecturers didn't care about the students and felt no need to persuade students to go because there would be enough students to pay their salaries who would purely come because of the 'Oxford brand'. That may not be all departments, or I may have got the wrong impression. But at every uni I looked at besides Oxford and Manchester, the lecturers were keen to speak to applicants and show them what made their uni special (it's of note that I applied for physics near to the beginning of Brian Cox's TV career so students were so hung up on the idea of being lectured by him).
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    You must be trolling.
    No, I think trolling is where you utter falsehoods to wind people up.

    I'm just looking at the facts from a slightly different angle.

    For example:

    You cannot apply to Oxford and Cambridge in the same UCAS cycle. This amounts to an agreement by Oxford and Cambridge not to compete over applicants. What are the consequences of this?

    Well, this is a cartel arrangement whereby two or more parties collude to fix the market. There are obvious advantages. But there are also losers. Who would the losers be in this arrangement?

    Firstly the consumers i.e. applicants who will be offered a less attractive product by the parties who have agreed not to compete.

    Secondly, by saving on the administrative overheads of not having to compete they create a barrier to entry to the market. Therefore 'second division' universities who have to compete with anybody and everybody for applicants are at a competitive disadvantage.

    Thirdly the monopoly/cartel itself will become more inefficient because it does not need to compete.

    This is simple economics.

    Look back through the posts. How many people have argued that this agreement has made the situation more competitive? No, it's an agreement not to compete. How many people have argued that Oxbridge needs to do this to ensure a better service? No, the Russian bread queues were not a better service.

    I really don't think this is trolling. (But of course I will have to stop soon!)
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    (Original post by asmuse123)
    There's a university in the US that copied the Oxbridge tutorial system and is considered one of the best liberal "colleges" (universities) in the US. It's known as William's College. However, they are private with an endowment of over $2 billion dollars. The endowments in the UK are as followed:

    Cambridge: £5.89 billion
    Oxford: £4.25 billion
    Edinburgh: £0.32 billion
    Manchester: £0.19 billion

    See the big drop? The fact is, there's not enough funding for many universities in the UK, except Cambridge and Oxford who get it from their multi-billion pounds coffers, to copy the Oxbridge tutorial system throughout the country. The University of Surrey, one of the best in the UK, has dropped some staff in the past couple years due to funding issues and it has and endowment of £69 million, not billion, million, lower.
    Are these endowments or asset values? If they include assets like the property where the college/university resides you can't really look at it in this way. For example you might have a high value flat in London but you can't use the asset value because you have to live somewhere!

    The investment portfolio (approx £100 million?) of my (Oxford) college yields an amount of income (1-2%?) that must be supplemented by student fees and conference income to fund the living expenses of the college. The whole thing balances out. Nobody is getting rich. That is not their aim. The other universities are doing the same but with less investment income. However, investments yields are so incredibly low at the moment that the gap is probably less than you think. Quantitative easing has a dark side.
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    (Original post by Pars12)

    You cannot apply to Oxford and Cambridge in the same UCAS cycle. This amounts to an agreement by Oxford and Cambridge not to compete over applicants. What are the consequences of this?

    Well, this is a cartel arrangement whereby two or more parties collude to fix the market. There are obvious advantages. But there are also losers. Who would the losers be in this arrangement?

    Firstly the consumers i.e. applicants who will be offered a less attractive product by the parties who have agreed not to compete.

    Secondly, by saving on the administrative overheads of not having to compete they create a barrier to entry to the market. Therefore 'second division' universities who have to compete with anybody and everybody for applicants are at a competitive disadvantage.
    I don't see how having to choose either Oxford or Cambridge is not competitive. They are directly competing against each other for applicants as well as all other universities. I don't see where you are getting a 'second division' of universities.
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    (Original post by sarahpr)
    I don't see how having to choose either Oxford or Cambridge is not competitive. They are directly competing against each other for applicants as well as all other universities. I don't see where you are getting a 'second division' of universities.
    It must be less competitive if Oxford and Cambridge are not competing against each other. Clearly, the Laura Spence embarrassment and other major failures of the system would have been less likely.

    So, if it's Oxbridge versus the rest it is definitely a two-tier system. Google the term "Oxbridge reject". The effect it has on higher education is profound if not scandalous.

    You cannot even be rejected from Oxbridge and slink quietly away. You are marked for life.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ja...ws-and-durham/
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    It must be less competitive if Oxford and Cambridge are not competing against each other. Clearly, the Laura Spence embarrassment and other major failures of the system would have been less likely.

    So, if it's Oxbridge versus the rest it is definitely a two-tier system. Google the term "Oxbridge reject". The effect it has on higher education is profound if not scandalous.

    You cannot even be rejected from Oxbridge and slink quietly away. You are marked for life.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ja...ws-and-durham/
    Well if you don't behave like the, doubtless uncommon, examples in that article you're probably all good...
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    It must be less competitive if Oxford and Cambridge are not competing against each other.
    They are competing directly against each other, any potential Oxbridge applicants have to choose between them.
 
 
 
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