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    (Original post by jneill)
    They are competing directly against each other, any potential Oxbridge applicants have to choose between them.
    The question is whether Oxbridge (as a cartel) is competing fairly against Durham, LSE, Warwick, etc. On UCAS you cannot apply to Oxford and Cambridge in the same year. This is hardcoded into the UCAS system and that could only happen with the express agreement of UCAS, Oxford and Cambridge. No other universities benefit from this arrangement. Oxford and Cambridge MUST be benefiting or they would not do it. We have seen from this thread some of the ways in which they benefit. Whatever the reasoning behind it, this is an arrangement that limits the choice of the applicants. They can only choose one or the other.

    With this arrangement in place I do not agree that Oxford competes with Cambridge in the same way that it competes with Durham, Warwick, etc. In fact, what they are doing is probably illegal.

    It seems to me that this arrangement contravenes the Competition Act 1998. This is a guidance note from the Act on cartels: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284413/oft435.pdf

    It also cements the idea of “Oxbridge” as a single entity. You used it in your reply. International applicants are regularly misled by it. The Student Room has a complete section called “Oxbridge” that encompasses Oxford and Cambridge. They do compete, but not in the same way, and that is unfair competition.

    edit: the UCAS arrangement is the unfair part.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    xxx
    This isn't news - https://www.timeshighereducation.com...006511.article
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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/
    How are Oxford and Cambridge not competing against each other? You have to choose one or the other. They are competing for applicants. That is competition.

    I can't see this two tier selection system you are talking about. You select 5 universities on UCAS. All universities are competing against each other.

    The Laura Spence thing was an embarrassment because of the way the politicians handled it. She was rejected from Oxford for medicine along with many other just as capable, if not more, students. She didn't go on to study medicine as an undergraduate so she may have actually been rejected from all medicine courses she applied to or wasn't ready/dedicated enough to study medicine and went to Harvard instead. I really don't know why she was singled out as there would have been many state (and public) school students who had excellent grades and were also rejected.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    They can only choose one or the other.
    Eh? Do you know any candidates that go to two universities? Every candidate is forced to choose only one university in the end. Your argument is only about when in the application cycle that choice is made.

    Oxford and Cambridge are only in the UCAS system by virtue of an agreement that candidates can only apply to one or the other. If you forced them to open it up (and cause them huge extra time and expense) they would inevitably become private institutions and go back to the pre-UCCA days. You wouldn't like that.
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    Thank you for showing this. 2013 was (slightly) before I started watching.

    The main defence seems to be that the market is not being distorted. I'm not sure how a rational person could say that Oxbridge does not distort the market. Something tells me that you are about to.

    The fact remains that this is an arrangement that saves Oxford and Cambridge a lot of administrative expense (their view as well). Durham ,LSE , etc are not saved that administrative expense. Therefore the other universities are trading at a competitive disadvantage because of a closed arrangement between Oxford, Cambridge and UCAS.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    The fact remains that this is an arrangement that saves Oxford and Cambridge a lot of administrative expense (their view as well). Durham ,LSE , etc are not saved that administrative expense. Therefore the other universities are trading at a competitive disadvantage because of a closed arrangement between Oxford, Cambridge and UCAS.
    No. Those other universities do not operate an interview and test system on anything like the scale that Oxford and Cambridge do. They save their administrative expense by adopting a less rigorous (or at least, far cheaper) system.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Thank you for showing this. 2013 was (slightly) before I started watching.

    The main defence seems to be that the market is not being distorted. I'm not sure how a rational person could say that Oxbridge does not distort the market. Something tells me that you are about to.

    The fact remains that this is an arrangement that saves Oxford and Cambridge a lot of administrative expense (their view as well). Durham ,LSE , etc are not saved that administrative expense. Therefore the other universities are trading at a competitive disadvantage because of a closed arrangement between Oxford, Cambridge and UCAS.
    Durhams LSE etc don't invest anything like the time and resources on admissions (per student) that Camford do (see what I did there...). If they considered the current situation to be anti-competitive they would be complaining, and as others have said Camford could take their business elsewhere anyway.

    I just don't see it as a problem as far as the other unis are concerned.

    And regarding applicants, yes it does limit their choice (because they can't double their chances of getting that "illusive" Camford offer), but I don't see it as anti-competitive. Cambridge and Oxford are directly competing for that applicants choice.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Eh? Do you know any candidates that go to two universities? Every candidate is forced to choose only one university in the end. Your argument is only about when in the application cycle that choice is made.

    Oxford and Cambridge are only in the UCAS system by virtue of an agreement that candidates can only apply to one or the other. If you forced them to open it up (and cause them huge extra time and expense) they would inevitably become private institutions and go back to the pre-UCCA days. You wouldn't like that.
    My argument is that the choice between Oxford and Cambridge is fundamentally different form the choice between Oxbridge and non-Oxbridge and to the extent that this is forced on applicants by the UCAS form this difference should be expunged because it distorts the market.

    In your second paragraph you are saying that Oxford and Cambridge have in some way closed the market and if you forced them to "open it up" they would leave. They are already "private institutions" . I don't know what you mean by pre-UCCA days but I would think that both Oxford and Cambridge would be reluctant to turn their backs on Government undergraduate and postgraduate funding. It would be a very useful lesson to them about how indispensable anyone is. They don't have as much money as you think. You would need an awful lot of productive assets to go it alone.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    My argument is that the choice between Oxford and Cambridge is fundamentally different form the choice between Oxbridge and non-Oxbridge and to the extent that this is forced on applicants by the UCAS form this difference should be expunged because it distorts the market.

    In your second paragraph you are saying that Oxford and Cambridge have in some way closed the market and if you forced them to "open it up" they would leave. They are already "private institutions" . I don't know what you mean by pre-UCCA days but I would think that both Oxford and Cambridge would be reluctant to turn their backs on Government undergraduate and postgraduate funding. It would be a very useful lesson to them about how indispensable anyone is. They don't have as much money as you think. You would need an awful lot of productive assets to go it alone.
    They could leave UCAS and still get the Student Funding (and all the research funding) they currently get.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    No. Those other universities do not operate an interview and test system on anything like the scale that Oxford and Cambridge do. They save their administrative expense by adopting a less rigorous (or at least, far cheaper) system.
    That's not the point.

    Supposing there was a rule which said you could apply to (i) Oxford (ii) Cambridge or (iii) any combination of universities anywhere else.

    Same interview and test systems but a massive distortion to the market. People who had the slightest doubt about whether they could get into Oxbridge would not apply to Oxbridge. Oxford and Cambridge would be up there first complaining that the system was unfair.

    It seems that people don't think the market is distorted because that's the way it has always been.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    They could leave UCAS and still get the Student Funding (and all the research funding) they currently get.

    Where does the student funding come from?
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Durhams LSE etc don't invest anything like the time and resources on admissions (per student) that Camford do (see what I did there...). If they considered the current situation to be anti-competitive they would be complaining, and as others have said Camford could take their business elsewhere anyway.

    I just don't see it as a problem as far as the other unis are concerned.

    And regarding applicants, yes it does limit their choice (because they can't double their chances of getting that "illusive" Camford offer), but I don't see it as anti-competitive. Cambridge and Oxford are directly competing for that applicants choice.
    If it limits choice it is anti-competitive. The argument should be revolving around whether anti-competitive behaviour is justifiable in these circumstances. For me there is a presumption that anti-competitive behaviour distorts markets. There is a presumption of consequences - consumers lose out, new suppliers are prevented from accessing the market, cartel members become inefficient.

    I don't understand how you can say that choice is restricted but none of these things can be happening.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    No. Those other universities do not operate an interview and test system on anything like the scale that Oxford and Cambridge do. They save their administrative expense by adopting a less rigorous (or at least, far cheaper) system.
    If they couldn't afford to deal with the actual number of students who would apply to their uni (rather than an artificially reduced number) then I would argue their admissions system is too expensive to be viable.
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    (Original post by SmallTownGirl)
    If they couldn't afford to deal with the actual number of students who would apply to their uni (rather than an artificially reduced number) then I would argue their admissions system is too expensive to be viable.
    The institutution is entitled to preserve its elite status by selecting students it deems capable of studying there in whatever way it chooses. It has used the system for a very long time indeed so knows what works quite well.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    If it limits choice it is anti-competitive.
    The truth is that you really think entry to Oxford and Cambridge is too competitive and you want a second cherry to bite on.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    The truth is that you really think entry to Oxford and Cambridge is too competitive and you want a second cherry to bite on.
    ^yep, this is the essence of it. (PRSOM)
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    The institutution is entitled to preserve its elite status by selecting students it deems capable of studying there in whatever way it chooses. It has used the system for a very long time indeed so knows what works quite well.
    Except that clearly the admissions system is clearly not affordable for the large number of students who would apply.

    And both unis are only 'elite' because large amounts of people with power and influence have attended one of them and then want to hire other people who have attended one and create a system where the prestige is maintained. It's a self-perpetuating system based on privilege, history and power rather than academics.
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    (Original post by SmallTownGirl)
    And both unis are only 'elite' because large amounts of people with power and influence have attended one of them.
    No. They are elite because they are highly selective in who they take (which is what you are complaining about, remember) and because of the extremely high quality research and education they have achieved, consistently, over centuries.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    No. They are elite because they are highly selective in who they take (which is what you are complaining about, remember) and because of the extremely high quality research and education they have achieved, consistently, over centuries.
    I'm not complaining about how 'selective' the unis are. I'm saying it's clear that a admissions system that is only affordable when the number of applicants is significantly artificially decreased is not affordable and that both unis need to rethink their admissions systems to cope with the true number of people who would want to apply.

    Ever other uni has an admissions system that copes with the number of applicants. Oxford and Cambridge are not special. They're not different. It's just arrogance and the false belief that 'tradition' and 'history' need to be maintained.
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    (Original post by SmallTownGirl)
    both unis need to rethink their admissions systems to cope with the true number of people who would want to apply.
    Interesting use of the word 'need' here given that, of course, there is absolutely no prospect of anyone challenging their present arrangement.
 
 
 
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