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Ox/bridge Medicine watch

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    (Original post by Unregistered)
    The problem of a suitable cut-off point is, with all due respect, hardly a reasonable excuse not to implement it. How does Oxford and Cambridge select their students? How do ALL universities select their students? We will just have to do it. Less academically able students should be encouraged to take up vocational training or a trade. The whole idea of putting everyone in university is darn wrong! It's that simple. WHY DO WE WANT EVERYONE IN UNIVERSITY?! For equality? For fraternity? For political correctness? Society can only function if there are people doing different things. The car mechanics, plumbers and electricians are just as important as the doctors, lawyers and bankers. By advocating this idea that everyone should be given an "opportunity" to go to university, we are essentially saying that university is a great and mighty thing and that those who go to uni are thus better than those who don't. University is and should always be a place for the academically gifted. Is it not "unfair" that I am not allowed to represent England in the World Cup, although I can't kick a ball for the life of me?! Surely "equality" should dicate that all people irrespective of their football-playing skills should be given the "opportunity" to play for their country? Think carefully about what I say, and see whether it makes sense.

    Incidentally, I was offered a place on the fast-track civil service, which I turned down in favour of a much higher paying job in the City. But I have not dismissed the idea of politics in future. If I do take up politics, it will be for the better. Mind you, my credentials are about right for the Cabinet - white male, upper middle class, grammar school, first in law from Oxford ... :-)



    ROCK ON!!!
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    (Original post by Unregistered)
    Hahaha - it comes with the training, perhaps. Law is a good field - lots of money and very intellectual stimulating. But do it at a good university - Oxbridge, UCL, LSE, King's College London, Bristol, Warwick or Nottingham. Good luck.

    XX
    Well really for me, London is too expensive (unless I stay with my Irish cousin) but I have already done research into it and I am thinking Cambridge/Warwick/Durham to be my top unis.

    (Original post by Unregistered)
    The whole idea of putting everyone in university is darn wrong! It's that simple. WHY DO WE WANT EVERYONE IN UNIVERSITY?! For equality? For fraternity? For political correctness? Society can only function if there are people doing different things. The car mechanics, plumbers and electricians are just as important as the doctors, lawyers and bankers.
    Nobody wants 'EVERYONE' in university. That is just childish hyperbole. Society can only function if people are doing different things, and of course plumbers and electricians (note I do not include car mechanics here) are not just 'as important', but far,far more important to the functioning of society than lawyers and bankers (note I do not include doctors here)!!! One might even ask why are these essential skills not correspondingly rewarded, still that is by the by...
    The point is that society is getting increasingly sophisticated and we do need to have a better educated population. How is Britain going to be able to compete with the rapidly educating countries of the Pacific rim for example, if we do not have a highly educated technologically literate population? Of course we will continue to require highly skilled tradesmen, but as technology advances, they will need to be better educated and more skilled than in the past. But we also need more university educated people, health service professionals as the demands of an ageing population increase, and more engineers, computer scientists and biologists etc. The way forward has to be better education for all, and university for all those who are able to benefit from it!
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    (Original post by Unregistered)
    Nobody wants 'EVERYONE' in university. That is just childish hyperbole. Society can only function if people are doing different things, and of course plumbers and electricians (note I do not include car mechanics here) are not just 'as important', but far,far more important to the functioning of society than lawyers and bankers (note I do not include doctors here)!!! One might even ask why are these essential skills not correspondingly rewarded, still that is by the by...
    The point is that society is getting increasingly sophisticated and we do need to have a better educated population. How is Britain going to be able to compete with the rapidly educating countries of the Pacific rim for example, if we do not have a highly educated technologically literate population? Of course we will continue to require highly skilled tradesmen, but as technology advances, they will need to be better educated and more skilled than in the past. But we also need more university educated people, health service professionals as the demands of an ageing population increase, and more engineers, computer scientists and biologists etc. The way forward has to be better education for all, and university for all those who are able to benefit from it!

    Right on comrade! I agree.
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    (Original post by Unregistered)

    And now, at the risk of starting another war, I am going further say that I firmly believe that the concept of one school for students of all abilities to study together is fundamentally flawed. It does not work, never had and never will. Streaming students according to academic ability is the way to do it. Only then it will be fair to the brightest kids because it will allow them to stretch and maximise their intellectual potential. By putting students of mixed abilities together, you are slowing down the brightest kids, ultimately leading to a poorer standard of students who will become a lower quality workforce, and hence our nation's economy will crumble.
    Fair enough but;

    WHEN WILL YOU REALISE THAT STUDENTS IN COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS ARE STREAMED?

    The basis of your view is fundementally flawed!
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    (Original post by Haz)
    I have also experienced both sides of the coin, although the other way round. I was born completely deaf although I learned to lip read quickly. My parents decided that if I was going to have any chance I would need to be in very small classes. So I went to a private preparatory school. My parents divorced, after some operations and over time my hearing had improved, and economically I couldn't stick within the private sector so I went to the local state for secondary schooling. I think having a good start vastly improved my chances as it meant that I could still develop basic skills quite early on. However, going to a state after that was a real eye opener. I went from 10 people in a class to 30 and the diversity of the students was phenomenal.

    Whilst it didn't do a good job academically in most subjects, it widened my social persective hugely and I really appreciate it for that. I am one of 5 people that I know of from my school that have ever gone to Oxbridge. I wouldn't say it was the school's influence at all - they don't know much about applying for Oxbridge. It's just that in this area there is a huge mix of working and middle class people. Some students from middle class backgrounds got the support they needed to apply, at home.

    I agree it is rediculous to ask anyone to give up good opportunities out of respect for those that don't get them! However, I certainly feel more 'rooted' in the state school system and am very aware that there is a social demenour (or cultural capital if you like) aquired at grammar and independent schools that goes towards excluding state school students. I must stress these lines are not always clear - some state schools in wealthy areas provide this capital as well and some grammar schools are not as good. Broadly however, it is the case and even though I come from a pretty middle class background I often feel I lack the social knowledge to be able to fit in with independent school students for example. I am confident that the ability of being able to adapt to one's social environment necessarily picked up in a diverse state school, will make adapting to Oxbridge easier though.
    Thats really interesting, I didnt realise you'd been born deaf, and of course that would impact on the type of schooling you'd need. I was also interested to see that your schooling was opposite to mine- I dont have great basic skills because of the crap primary education I had but I did get a lot of support when I was applying to Oxford from my school because they have a strong tradition of sending people there. I was worried that I wouldnt fit in in Oxford because of the class thing and they reassured me that I'd be fine which helped a lot- I wouldnt have had the confidence to go for it otherwise. Which raises the issue of how intimidating Oxbridge must be to a working class applicant who wasnt lucky enough to have got a scholarship to a good school. When I think how much I worried, and I was used to having middle class friends, it doesnt surprise me that so few people apply from council estates.

    The thing about enhanced social demeanour is something I hadnt thought about in that way, I tend to see it as more related to class then anything else but my view of this is likely to be from a totally different perspective since I appear to defy pretty much any social stereotyping and because I do live in a pretty much completely working class area. I think part of the reason I dont really feel this is because people tend to assume I went to a state secondary school and I always have to explain that my school took lots of students from poorer backgrounds (they'd have to, in Manchester!). This has also meant I've had lots of friends who have been on assisted places too which was a help, it probably makes me see it in a different light. As you've also had a mixed education you dont fit into one category either but in a lot of ways its an advantage and I'm sure it will help you when you go to Cambridge. I've found most of the students I know to be middle class (which gets a bit lonely sometimes but never mind) and cant usually tell which type of school they attended, its not really an issue so I wouldnt think you'll have any problems at Newnham. As you say, the widened social perspective that you get from having attended both is useful. and you've no need to worry.

    As regards the independent schools issue, are you familiar with the work of the Sutton Trust? What do you think?
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    Lala -

    On the face of it I feel ‘state school’ because that is my most recent experience. I had thought that although a private primary education helped put me on a level playing field (because of my hearing) I hadn’t retained anything else from it. Your comment about your basic skills made me think again and realise that the fact I managed to get through a bad state school successfully is probably largely due to the strong basic skills I had when I went up. They also allowed me to get the most out of that unique state school diversity. I too am worried about the class issue at Cambridge but these days I expect there to be a fair few people that share a similar background, or the difference not to be that noticeable. Sadly I don’t think many working class students at a very bad school would have the teaching or other help they needed to apply to Oxbridge. Do you think that if you had continued at your state you would have applied? While I think the assisted places scheme illustrates the problem with some state schools rather than solves it, I’m really glad that at least some people get the opportunities they deserve.

    My point about social demeanour was more relevant to those state schools from areas such as mine with both middle and working class students. Here you get the diversity that can produce excellent social skills, but they allow one to adapt to different social groups rather than be familiar with an upper middle class social demeanour for example. I realise that if a state school is in an all working class area such as yours, you lose that diversity. I think our ‘mixed backgrounds’ will ultimately make us more socially aware – an invaluable skill for university. I was not familiar with the Sutton Trust but I have now looked it up in google. It seems like a good idea – I imagine bright students will be able to catch up quickly to a level that matches their public school counterparts, and also give them practice at academic conversational skills. However, as with all these schemes, they need to be wider reaching. The fact that schools accept and encourage the schemes shows that they are not always the most needy. My school had very little interest in becoming involved in any of these schemes provided by university. It’s a great start, but the negative ideology in some schools needs to be tackled before something like the Sutton trust can be embraced. This is a very preliminary point mind, I don’t know much about it yet! BTW, my hearing has gradually got better and is good now. I just have the odd problem it.
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    (Original post by Haz)
    You seem to be under the impression that grammar and independent schools have all the brightest students. Oxbridge take 40% from the state sector. Money and not intelligence speaks for places at independent schools. Many state school students are more than capable of passing a grammar entance but don't have the opportunity. Further more, pupils are set within the state system, allowing them to attend classes with people of their own ability, and be taught at a suitable level. Naturally it would not be productive to teach all students algebra when some can understand calculus and others can't add up. BTW, are you the lawyer from earlier in the thread?
    Grammars are state schools!! (if I have to post this sentence again I will scream)

    You cannot classify 'Independnats and Grammars' and State schools' speratley. Oxbridge take more than 40% from the state sector and the majoirty of those are grammar school pupils. Grammars are generally set as well at least in Maths/English/Science so if you are in a top set in a grammar you are doing very well!
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    If I have to say that COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS ARE STREAMED again, I will scream.
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    (Original post by Bigcnee)
    If I have to say that COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS ARE STREAMED again, I will scream.
    If you look at the post that I quoted, you will realise that this point was made.
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    If you look at the post that I quoted, you will realise that this point was made.
    I know, but earlier on (or in another thread I can't quite remember) a person implied that Comprehensive schools chuck all abilities into the same classroom, which is utter b*******. You seemed in complete agreement with the person.
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    (Original post by Bigcnee)
    I know, but earlier on (or in another thread I can't quite remember) a person implied that Comprehensive schools chuck all abilities into the same classroom, which is utter b*******. You seemed in complete agreement with the person.
    No no no. I am very pro-state school. So much that I hate it when people suggest that grammars are somehow not state schools. I just get annoyed when people have a go at grammars. Comprehensives do a wonderful job since they have to support the very intellignet and make sure they do well, but also help the less able to make sure they can at least reach a good standard. And I know of very few comps that do not do this well.
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    (Original post by Bigcnee)
    I know, but earlier on (or in another thread I can't quite remember) a person implied that Comprehensive schools chuck all abilities into the same classroom, which is utter b*******. You seemed in complete agreement with the person.
    They tend to do just that, for non-core subjects at GCSE (mine did and others in Newcastle also do) at least.

    Ben
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    I was of mixed ability for less academic subjects i.e. Food Tech. I don't think mixing ability for these subjects makes a difference.
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    (Original post by Ben.S.)
    They tend to do just that, for non-core subjects at GCSE (mine did and others in Newcastle also do) at least.

    Ben

    So was mine for non-core subjects too! They just put everyone of all abilities in the same class. I was in the intermediate stream for all of my core subjects apart from science (higher). But I can't help thinking that if I was given the opportunity to study in the higher stream for all my core subjects, I would have coped quite easily and learnt more during my schooling. The reason being is you get less idiots pissing about in the higher streams so you can actually hear what the teacher is saying and learn something.
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    although thats not necesarily true you often get trouble stirrers in high stream classes aswell n the ppl causing trouble often get high grades just becasue there reaLLY clever and bored cos even a top level of work isnt stimulating them! as you can see from spelling im not an effortlessly intellegent person! but from years of higher tier lessons they are often more rowdy than a mixed set!
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    (Original post by ruthie)
    although thats not necesarily true you often get trouble stirrers in high stream classes aswell n the ppl causing trouble often get high grades just becasue there reaLLY clever and bored cos even a top level of work isnt stimulating them! as you can see from spelling im not an effortlessly intellegent person! but from years of higher tier lessons they are often more rowdy than a mixed set!
    I've also found this.
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    (Original post by ruthie)
    although thats not necesarily true you often get trouble stirrers in high stream classes aswell n the ppl causing trouble often get high grades just becasue there reaLLY clever and bored cos even a top level of work isnt stimulating them! as you can see from spelling im not an effortlessly intellegent person! but from years of higher tier lessons they are often more rowdy than a mixed set!
    But this isn't a problem at a grammar as the top people are so intelligent that they can use each other for competition and those slightly below them but way above national average can also see them as a standard to reach.
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    But this isn't a problem at a grammar as the top people are so intelligent that they can use each other for competition and those slightly below them but way above national average can also see them as a standard to reach.
    Why would the 'top' students at a grammar be any more intelligent than the 'best' at a non-selective state school? Granted, there may be more of them and fewer less intelligent types at a grammar. I went to a run-of-the -mill comprehensive school (not strictly true - it's actually a really good one) and we had plenty of extremely able people to provide competition. If you're really intellegent, you'll compete against yourself.

    Ben

    Your applying to Oxbridge on ABCC ?!

    I don't know whether to apply for Law at Oxbridge. I'm predicted 3 A's and I'm top in economics and politics, and nearly in history, but the whole thing scares me shitless. Plus I don't know if I can afford it. I'm by no means stupid, but have you looked at the written tests or interview questions? You need great verbal dexterity. Even if you understand and can answer the questions, it's the putting it into English bit that I think is hard.

    I'm thinking of applying to Warwick and Keele instead as my top choices.
 
 
 
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