Mitigating circumstances (anorexia) in the school reference

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    Does anyone have any experience or insight into how Russell Group universities (including Oxford) are likely to react to an applicant's reference citing anorexia as a mitigating circumstance? Are they more likely to:
    • be more sympathetic to the candidate's application, perhaps ease the conditions of any offer, or maybe lower the threshold to get an interview?
    • find implicit ways to reject the candidate, to avoid risk to their course and department?
    • pay no attention to the illness during the application process, but then hopefully provide appropriate care and safeguards should the candidate be accepted?
    The applicant has asked for my advice, is already receiving out-patient treatment for the anorexia, and hopes to have made significant steps forward with the illness over the next year. However, it has had and will continue to have a significant impact on ability to study, both in terms of time and emotionally.

    I'm particularly interested to know if anyone's had any first-hand experience, or with friends/family who have.
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    (Original post by GaryUpland)
    Does anyone have any experience or insight into how Russell Group universities (including Oxford) are likely to react to an applicant's reference citing anorexia as a mitigating circumstance? Are they more likely to:
    • be more sympathetic to the candidate's application, perhaps ease the conditions of any offer, or maybe lower the threshold to get an interview?
    • find implicit ways to reject the candidate, to avoid risk to their course and department?
    • pay no attention to the illness during the application process, but then hopefully provide appropriate care and safeguards should the candidate be accepted?
    The applicant has asked for my advice, is already receiving out-patient treatment for the anorexia, and hopes to have made significant steps forward with the illness over the next year. However, it has had and will continue to have a significant impact on ability to study, both in terms of time and emotionally.

    I'm particularly interested to know if anyone's had any first-hand experience, or with friends/family who have.
    Arent you better contact the unis themselves to see what the official policy is?
    I cnat see why it would be 1 or 2, but I think 3 would apply.

    I have doubts they would accept her without medical evidence she was in recovery and had the condition uner control. They are better recovering properly so they can get the most out of uni and the pressure doesnt put her at risk of relapse.
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    From my experience of applying to Oxford, UCL, Durham, Bristol and RHUL a few years back with mitigating circumstances for mental health:

    1) Oxford used to (not sure if still do) interview anyone who had mitigating circumstances if they didn't meet the other requirements for interview - that's how I got my interview. Some uni's mostly likely oxbridge, will lower the offer if they believe that the candidate has the potential to succeed well at their uni but due to circumstances wouldn't be able to make the offer. This is pretty rare in other universities, however.
    2) Not at all. That would be discrimination on basis of disability, which is illegal
    3) This is probably the most likely option for other universities, and my experience at UCL*
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    Thanks, Tigger. Yes, I will talk to a few units to get official policy, but to be hounest I'm more concerned about unofficial policy and bias against someone with this type of mental illness.

    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Arent you better contact the unis themselves to see what the official policy is?
    I cnat see why it would be 1 or 2, but I think 3 would apply.

    I have doubts they would accept her without medical evidence she was in recovery and had the condition uner control. They are better recovering properly so they can get the most out of uni and the pressure doesnt put her at risk of relapse.
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    Thanks, Noodlzzz - that's very helpful and encouraging.

    Anyone else had any experiences?

    (Original post by Noodlzzz)
    From my experience of applying to Oxford, UCL, Durham, Bristol and RHUL a few years back with mitigating circumstances for mental health:

    1) Oxford used to (not sure if still do) interview anyone who had mitigating circumstances if they didn't meet the other requirements for interview - that's how I got my interview. Some uni's mostly likely oxbridge, will lower the offer if they believe that the candidate has the potential to succeed well at their uni but due to circumstances wouldn't be able to make the offer. This is pretty rare in other universities, however.
    2) Not at all. That would be discrimination on basis of disability, which is illegal
    3) This is probably the most likely option for other universities, and my experience at UCL*
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    Some courses have fitness to practice requirements (eg medicine) so it will depend on the course. Someone with recent mental health issues of any kind may not be recovered enough to be able to pass an occupational health assessment.
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    (Original post by GaryUpland)
    Thanks, Tigger. Yes, I will talk to a few units to get official policy, but to be hounest I'm more concerned about unofficial policy and bias against someone with this type of mental illness.
    Why would it be anything but 3 because the others would be illegal. If someones has a serious mental issue, then they should question whether they are ready and capable of coping with the pressures of Uni anyway. Having anorexia presents very serious practical issues.

    Presumable the person in question will be able to get medical ebidence to prove she has it under control and will be able to cope with the course? What would be wrong with a gap year and getting yourself full in control?
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    Does the school send this information privately? Will the applicant be aware of his/her circumstances being stated?
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    (Original post by marinacalder)
    Does the school send this information privately? Will the applicant be aware of his/her circumstances being stated?
    In this case, the applicant was aware and keen for the info to be shared. I would have thought that they'd have to be aware and in agreement.
 
 
 
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