Working class Oxford colleges

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    I've decided to apply for Physics for 2017 entry. I'm from a state school and my whole family's roots are working class. Is anybody aware if there are any colleges that traditionally have a higher working class/left wing proportion of students? I'm just cautious of ending up somewhere where I wouldn't fit in if I was lucky enough to be accepted.
    Thanks
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    (Original post by jacklfc99)
    I've decided to apply for Physics for 2017 entry. I'm from a state school and my whole family's roots are working class. Is anybody aware if there are any colleges that traditionally have a higher working class/left wing proportion of students? I'm just cautious of ending up somewhere where I wouldn't fit in if I was lucky enough to be accepted.
    Thanks
    You can see how many students the various colleges have taken in from state schools vs private schools over the past few years here, which partially answers your question. Skimming down the list, colleges that seem to have a fairly high state : private ratio include Mansfield, Wadham, St. John's and Balliol. Bear in mind the following, though. Firstly, these statistics can vary significantly year-on-year. Secondly, most people are perfectly happy in their colleges. Thirdly, college is not everything - there are plenty of opportunities to interact with people from outside of your college (or course).
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    I'm guessing also that social class, political identity, and secondary schooling aren't going to be perfectly correlated. You might find apathy among state schoolers, and some rabid Champagne socialism among the more moneyed set.
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    (Original post by Camilli)
    I'm guessing also that social class, political identity, and secondary schooling aren't going to be perfectly correlated. You might find apathy among state schoolers, and some rabid Champagne socialism among the more moneyed set.
    Some colleges are traditionally associated with political positions, for example, Wadham has had the rep of being Leftish, but in reality it seems to shift around from year to year and is very much down to the individuals and the numbers and views of activists at any given time.
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    When I was tiny, I had similar concerns and went to SPC as it was said to have been founded specifically to cater for students of "limited means". In the event, I didn't find that this meant anything. My daughter - also from a comprehensive school - is now at Christ Church (kind of the opposite end of the spectrum). From what I have seen, the differences in terms of student politics are marginal and, as the stats suggest, the intakes of different colleges are broadly similar too.

    Wadham's reputation as being more radical may be reinforced by its hosting the LGBT Queerfest every year, but at ChCh, the rainbow flag flew in Peckwater Quad after the Orlando bombings. So overall, I would take the state/private stats into consideration, but I suspect your experience is likely to be determined more by the vagaries of your year cohort rather than your college.
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    Most people are happy at whatever college they end up at, regardless of how many or how few similar-background students there are.

    Just to reassure you: I applied, interviewed at, and got into Worcester College. It was the college I wanted to attend but I had no idea that (at the time) it was one with the highest private school proportions. Would this have put me off pre-application had I known? Maybe - not sure. But it had no impact on my uni experience at all.

    It's very hard to guess what kind of school people have attended - being someone with a big comp-educated chip on my shoulder (and as someone receiving the full £10K Oxord bursary), I was always trying to size people up and guess, but literally couldn't tell. Or I'd make assumptions and get it wrong.

    It's worth remembering that some of the best and most worthwhile friendships are going to be with people of completely different backgrounds, schooling and viewpoints So if you like the look of Oxford and the course it offers for your chosen degree subject, then apply!
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    You can see how many students the various colleges have taken in from state schools vs private schools over the past few years here, which partially answers your question. Skimming down the list, colleges that seem to have a fairly high state : private ratio include Mansfield, Wadham, St. John's and Balliol. Bear in mind the following, though. Firstly, these statistics can vary significantly year-on-year. Secondly, most people are perfectly happy in their colleges. Thirdly, college is not everything - there are plenty of opportunities to interact with people from outside of your college (or course).
    Can I ask which of those tables you looked at to arrive those four colleges? School type vs colleges under acceptance rates? I couldn't see how those four stood out for you
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    (Original post by RichE)
    Can I ask which of those tables you looked at to arrive those four colleges? School type vs colleges under acceptance rates? I couldn't see how those four stood out for you
    College as rows and school type as columns using a three year average. Wadham and Mansfield had particularly high ratios, the others were just ones that seemed to be fairly high (not necessarily in order).
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    College as rows and school type as columns using a three year average. Wadham and Mansfield had particularly high ratios, the others were just ones that seemed to be fairly high (not necessarily in order).
    The figures I get when I do that are Mansfield 25%, Wadham 21%, Balliol 19%, St John's 13%. Did you get that?

    The daft thing about this table seems to be that these are simple acceptance rates into the colleges-applied-to. St John's is popular so scores badly, but of course it successfully exports lots of its applicants to other colleges. A better metric would seem to relative acceptance rate of state vs independent at a college. (Though St John's doesn't seem to do that well there.)
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    (Original post by RichE)
    The figures I get when I do that are Mansfield 25%, Wadham 21%, Balliol 19%, St John's 13%. Did you get that?

    The daft thing about this table seems to be that these are simple acceptance rates into the colleges-applied-to. St John's is popular so scores badly, but of course it successfully exports lots of its applicants to other colleges. A better metric would seem to relative acceptance rate of state vs independent at a college. (Though St John's doesn't seem to do that well there.)
    It doesn't show you the ratios directly, you need to work them out by comparing state accepts vs private accepts. Regarding your second point, the OP wasn't asking about which colleges are most likely to accept those from state schools, he was asking those which are state-school dominated.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    It doesn't show you the ratios directly, you need to work them out by comparing state accepts vs private accepts.
    For fear of labouring the point, isn't that the metric I was suggesting, and on that metric don't quite a lot of colleges do better than Wadham?
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    (Original post by RichE)
    For fear of labouring the point, isn't that the metric I was suggesting, and on that metric don't quite a lot of colleges do better than Wadham?
    Wadham has a ratio of 2.24 which is double the university average and better than almost every other college...

    (Original post by RichE)
    As a PS, in fact this table gives no certainty whatsoever with regard to the question the OP is asking. The imports at a college can be a sizeable fraction of the college and just don't seem to be represented here.
    It's talking about all accepts, not just accepts of those who applied there.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Wadham has a ratio of 2.24 which is double the university average and better than almost every other college...
    It's talking about all accepts, not just accepts of those who applied there.
    Ah, ok, sorry I was talking at cross-purposes and confused how Wadham could rank well when its state acceptance rate was lower than its independent acceptance rate.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    It's talking about all accepts, not just accepts of those who applied there.
    Yes I'd misunderstood what the columns quite referred to. Certainly I still think it looks pernicious that popular colleges seem anti a particular sector with a low acceptance which completely ignores the exporting of good candidates to other colleges. That "acceptance rate" should be to-the-university, it's the only rate that counts in the end.
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    (Original post by jacklfc99)
    I've decided to apply for Physics for 2017 entry. I'm from a state school and my whole family's roots are working class. Is anybody aware if there are any colleges that traditionally have a higher working class/left wing proportion of students? I'm just cautious of ending up somewhere where I wouldn't fit in if I was lucky enough to be accepted.
    Thanks
    There isn't a 'working class' metric that can be used to make easy comaprisons. We've been looking at the new Fresher profile, as it happens, and the following may be of interest.

    The new first years are 87% UK and 13% overseas with an amazing 14 nationalities represented among the 105 students.

    Within the UK, all major regions are represented (including Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland) and around 40% of the total intake drawn from Greater London and the South East.

    Contextual flags and postcode evidence suggest that a third of the UK cohort are drawn from less affluent households, a third from middling households, and a third from more affluent households.

    Of the 91 "home" students (using the UCAS classification), 60% applied from state maintained schools and 40% from independent schools.

    The gender split is 50:50.

    1 in 10 Freshers declared either a special learning or access need (in line with the University average).
 
 
 
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