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    (Original post by Hugh's Swan)
    I think the other thing now is that the admissions system has been made doubly difficult since the 80s. Then, there was an entrance test, for my subject which I mugged up on, and a general paper, in which I remember mentioning something in the news I had heard that morning. But the difference was the entrance conditions were only TWO Es at A Level! So if you were good at your own subject, it didn't matter about the others. Then they introduced the Hertford Scheme, where you didn't do an entrance test, but just needed good grades at A Level. But now, you have to be brilliant in an entrance test AND get the top grades at A Level. Much like Jeremy Corbyn I did really poorly in my other two subjects - now I would have missed my grades and been rejected at the last moment. No wonder people are discouraged from applying nowadays.
    AFAIK a matriculation offer only applied if you did well in the sixth term (or fourth term) papers. Even today STEP remains (for Maths) and is *much* harder than A-level maths so I'd suggest the entrance papers were more important (and harder) than the A-levels, hence the EE offer.

    You also had S-levels back then...
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    If you live in certain areas of the UK, recent history tells those kids they won't be successful.

    Go and speak to the teacher from Middlesborough quoted in the David Lammy study. She describes a student who was outstandingly gifted at maths. The school worked really hard with him to make an application. He didn't get in and there was little or no feedback telling him why he hadn't been successful. Anybody living in these areas know kids who are remarkable and who would be more than deserving of an Oxbridge place, and yet they don't get in.

    I don't know why you don't accept this?
    Assuming this was for Oxford, if they did well enough at MAT and in Interview they would get an Offer. It seems they didn't.

    I accept mistakes can be made, and more can be done (feedback is actually a tricky area and can certainly be improved), but on the whole they seem to get it right.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    If you live in certain areas of the UK, recent history tells those kids they won't be successful.

    Go and speak to the teacher from Middlesborough quoted in the David Lammy study. She describes a student who was outstandingly gifted at maths. The school worked really hard with him to make an application. He didn't get in and there was little or no feedback telling him why he hadn't been successful. Anybody living in these areas know kids who are remarkable and who would be more than deserving of an Oxbridge place, and yet they don't get in.

    I don't know why you don't accept this?
    Lammy is being disingenuous, to say the least. He talks about kids with three As at A-level not getting places, yet ignores the fact that someone with those grades from anywhere would be extremely lucky to get in.

    Your anecdotal example begs the question who is judging how gifted that pupil was at maths. That he was gifted by the standards of that particular school may tell us more about the school than it does the pupil.

    The feedback question is pretty obvious for 99.9% of failed applicants - the successful ones, in the university's judgement, were better than you, no matter how good you were. Such feedback is not useful, and cannot be improved significantly.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Assuming this was for Oxford, if they did well enough at MAT and in Interview they would get an Offer. It seems they didn't.

    I accept mistakes can be made, and more can be done (feedback is actually a tricky area and can certainly be improved), but on the whole they seem to get it right.
    Do you really think that 'on the whole they get it right'?

    What a kick in the teeth to bright kids who are black or who don't live in the Home Counties or North London that statement is.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    Do you really think that 'on the whole they get it right'?

    What a kick in the teeth to bright kids who are black or who don't live in the Home Counties or North London that statement is.
    Nope, "bright kids" from all sorts of backgrounds/ethnicities and locations get in every year.

    My understanding is the offer success rate for Black British is not out of kilter with other applicants given the courses they apply for. If you have evidence to the contrary please share.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Nope, "bright kids" from all sorts of backgrounds/ethnicities and locations get in every year.

    My understanding is the offer success rate for Black British is not out of kilter with other applicants given the courses they apply for. If you have evidence to the contrary please share.
    You have this bizarre insistence that all is fair and equal, even in the face of an in depth report by David Lammy which proves that it really isn't. Letting in a few people from particular backgrounds whilst letting in a lot more (x1000 in some cases) people from other backgrounds is not an equitable system. I really cannot grasp your inability to see that a real, tangible unfairness exists.
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    (Original post by Hugh's Swan)
    The report said many parents were professional or managerial, but it would be equally useful to see where grandparents came from. I came from the Midlands in the 80s, both parents worked in factories. (remember when there were still factories?) we still had an outside toilet when I was growing up. Doing well in my subject, a family friend suggested I tried for Oxford, but my teachers said - we know nothing about how to help you - so I did it on my own - I somehow acquired past entrance papers from the shop on High Street, and worked through them on my own. My teachers took me to the staffroom book shelf and said, take any book you want. I had no interview preparation, because I assumed it would just be a chat. I got in! It can be done. (That said, my own children would now be classed as privileged because I worked my way up - what then, I am wondering, is the point of trying to aspire? )
    Social mobility was much better in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Its been in decline since. I suspect if you were that equivalent person now you find more barriers than less.

    For everyone who does it on their own (and I applaud them for that) there’s many more that don’t even get the encouragement, like you did from your family friend, so don’t even consider it in the first place.
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    There are literally admissions tutors on this website that answer 100s of questions. If you are rejected then they'll tell you why they didn't take you. I don't see how it could be much more transparent.
    "I don't see how it could be much more transparent."

    It could be more transparent, for example, by keeping digitized recordings of interviews; and keeping all applicants' data for a number of years so that decisions can be independently scrutinized. When seemingly outstanding candidates are rejected in favour of seemingly mediocre candidates (see my previous post) on the basis of, say, interview performance then it is essential that a transcript or recording of the interview is available to support this view. If this information were kept, then there could be an independent random audit to ensure fairness in all decisions. Lammy would then be satisfied and so would I.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    You have this bizarre insistence that all is fair and equal, even in the face of an in depth report by David Lammy which proves that it really isn't. Letting in a few people from particular backgrounds whilst letting in a lot more (x1000 in some cases) people from other backgrounds is not an equitable system. I really cannot grasp your inability to see that a real, tangible unfairness exists.
    Show me the data about offer rates for Black British (the bit more directly in Oxbridge's control), not application rates.

    Also:



    Are Cumbria, Gateshead, York, Darlington in the Home Counties?
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    There are literally admissions tutors on this website that answer 100s of questions. If you are rejected then they'll tell you why they didn't take you. I don't see how it could be much more transparent.
    But those admission tutors are not coaching people on how to get in. They are just there to give some basic advice.

    Plus you need the ambition, direction and encouragement to apply in the first place, or seek out this information.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Nope, "bright kids" from all sorts of backgrounds/ethnicities and locations get in every year.

    My understanding is the offer success rate for Black British is not out of kilter with other applicants given the courses they apply for. If you have evidence to the contrary please share.

    This is a quote from Oxford University's spokesperson in response to David Lammy's report.

    “a long journey that requires huge, joined-up effort across society – including from leading universities like Oxford – to address serious inequalities”.

    Yet you tell people on this board time and again that there is no problem. What's your agenda?
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Show me the data about offer rates for Black British (the bit more directly in Oxbridge's control), not application rates.

    Also:



    Are Cumbria, Gateshead, York, Darlington in the Home Counties?
    You don’t know how many applied from those areas though. It could easily be that 3 people applied and only one got in.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Social mobility was much better in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Its been in decline since. I suspect if you were that equivalent person now you find more barriers than less.

    For everyone who does it on their own (and I applaud them for that) there’s many more that don’t even get the encouragement, like you did from your family friend, so don’t even consider it in the first place.
    Yes I would probably agree with that. The higher volume of applications nowadays looks impossible and with the marketisation of universities, the massive influx of international students today, which didn't seem to be the case in the 80s, doesn't really help either.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    This is a quote from Oxford University's spokesperson in response to David Lammy's report.

    “a long journey that requires huge, joined-up effort across society – including from leading universities like Oxford – to address serious inequalities”.

    Yet you tell people on this board time and again that there is no problem. What's your agenda?
    I'm not saying there's no problem. I'm saying you can't put all (or even most) of the blame at Oxbridge's door.

    (Original post by J-SP)
    You don’t know how many applied from those areas though. It could easily be that 3 people applied and only one got in.
    Yep, like most stats on the article - the context is often missing.

    Like this map:
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Show me the data about offer rates for Black British (the bit more directly in Oxbridge's control), not application rates.

    Also:



    Are Cumbria, Gateshead, York, Darlington in the Home Counties?
    I know Cumbria quite well. There are several leading boarding schools there and it still has a grammar school system. I think the same is true for York. North Yorkshire is an incredibly affluent area. As such it doesn't surprise me whatsoever to see these areas included in those statistics.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I'm not saying there's no problem. I'm saying you can't put all (or even most) of the blame at Oxbridge's door.
    That doesn't represent what you have been saying at all. You claim there is no problem. You have said that Oxford get the admissions process right.
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    (Original post by Hugh's Swan)
    I think the other thing now is that the admissions system has been made doubly difficult since the 80s. Then, there was an entrance test, for my subject which I mugged up on, and a general paper, in which I remember mentioning something in the news I had heard that morning. But the difference was the entrance conditions were only TWO Es at A Level! So if you were good at your own subject, it didn't matter about the others. Then they introduced the Hertford Scheme, where you didn't do an entrance test, but just needed good grades at A Level. But now, you have to be brilliant in an entrance test AND get the top grades at A Level. Much like Jeremy Corbyn I did really poorly in my other two subjects - now I would have missed my grades and been rejected at the last moment. No wonder people are discouraged from applying nowadays.
    Also consider that when you studied it was free and you could probably claim some forms of benefit support. Now people see a £27k+ fee debt and consider the opportunity cost of that debt (even though it’s an odd sort of debt that most people will never pay back) and so choose not to go. To those who live in very poor areas, they see a £50k average as a massive amount. They probably don’t own anything that is valued at £5k let alone £50k.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    That doesn't represent what you have been saying at all. You claim there is no problem. You have said that Oxford get the admissions process right.
    What I said, in the context of offer decisions, was: "I accept mistakes can be made, and more can be done (feedback is actually a tricky area and can certainly be improved), but on the whole they seem to get it right."

    I certainly didn't claim there was no problem.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)

    I accept mistakes can be made, and more can be done (feedback is actually a tricky area and can certainly be improved), but on the whole they seem to get it right.
    I definitely agree with you Doones, and since I was last year given no feedback (I did pursue an FOI which gave some general, admittedly useful information), how do you think feedback could be improved? (Mostly curiosity)
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    Doonesbury.

    What you said was:
    'I accept mistakes can be made, and more can be done (feedback is actually a tricky area and can certainly be improved), but on the whole they seem to get it right.'

    I replied by saying that was a kick in the teeth to black kids and kids who don't live in the Home Counties. I even pointed out to you that the Universities themselves are acknowledging they are going to have to address what they describe as 'serious inequalities.'

    I would love to see you try to argue the case against David Lammy and Neil Kinnock who are both furious and are speaking out about this. They would wipe the floor with your insistence that nothing is wrong.
 
 
 
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