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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    So you're not surprised that the percentage of Black applicants (3%) matches their percentage representation in the UK population? Or perhaps you're not surprised that the percentage of applications from the BME as a whole at 22.3% greatly exceeds their representation in the UK population as a whole?
    No I’m not surprised by either of those points having worked in diversity in the early careers sector since 2005.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Sorry if I have posted this already - the app keeps crashing on me everytime I go to post.

    Thank you for taking the time to find this and post it.

    This is even more damning than the BAME table and is where we should really be focusing this debate.

    The geographical point is one that almost universities will have, but no one will have a go at Hull for not getting enough Surrey applicants and then making enough offers.
    The POLAR offer rates don't seem to vary hugely by POLAR group. Again the challenge is getting POLAR 1 & 2 (and indeed 3) to apply.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    The POLAR offer rates don't seem to vary hugely by POLAR group. Again the challenge is getting POLAR 1 &2 to apply.
    I must be reading the data wrong (looking at it on a small screen). But I read it as some in Quintile 5 has nearly twice the success rate than someone in Quintile 1 (30.6 vs 16.9). That doesn’t seem right to me if that is correct.

    Or am I reading it wrong?

    I can only see that the higher the Quintile group, the higher the chances of success, leading to the highest Quintile group being over offered and the lowest being under offered (assuming everything else is equal),
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    (Original post by Akamega)
    But more than just getting academic levels up to scratch, we need to teach working class students to cope in middle-upper class environments. When I went to university and started to socialise with people from middle class backgrounds, I **** you not, it was like moving to another country. The culture shock was immense, and I don't even go to an incredibly impressive university. The alienation that ethnic minority and working class students must feel at Oxbridge is probably far worse.
    FWIW, my sister went to a fairly mid-range university and seemed to have far more culture shock (people from Roedean etc.) that I experienced at Cambridge. (Although I specifically went to a college with a high state school percentage).

    But (as someone mixed-race from London, although people generally consider me white), the lack of black students was pretty shocking. And obviously if you know there are virtually no black students, it's got to be pretty off putting if you're black.

    [It should be noted that I'm sure that's not unheard of in other places - lots of times I travel out of London and it feels like the place I'm in is incredibly white].
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    Totally agree that its not just about Oxbridge. I realise that I am privileged to be a black student at a private school, 1 of 3 in my year. I also realise that my school literally drills us to get all A*s in all our exams and that if I went to a state school, this may not be achievable. The problem lies within the huge discrepancy between state and private school teaching. However there is also a problem in that there aren't enough minority groups in the top performing private schools which Oxbridge takes most of their students from. Why is this? It's a cycle. Oxbridge students are likely to receive high paying jobs. People in high paying jobs can afford to put their children in private schools. These children then end up doing well and go Oxbridge and the cycle continues. So Oxbridge do have a part to play in offering places to more ethnic minorities. However, the whole education system needs to change.
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    I really find your posts on this subject really worrying Doonesbury.

    You have argued at every opportunity that there is no unfairness even when David Lammy, Stephen Kinnock and the Universities themselves are saying there is worrying social injustice when it comes to Oxbridge applications.

    You say that Oxbridge shouldn't have to fix the problem when this is an education issue and they are the two most important and prestigious educational establishments in the UK, if not the world.

    Basically, you are trying to claim that if underrepresented people, black, Northern, Welsh to name a few aren't getting into Oxbridge it's because they aren't good enough. In fact, that's exactly what you said in your statement that the admissions process are mostly getting it right.

    I'll say it again, that the deck is rigged. You don't accept that Doonesbury, but your views are, I believe, at odds with most right thinking people on this issue.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    I must be reading the data wrong (looking at it on a small screen). But I read it as some in Quintile 5 has nearly twice the success rate than someone in Quintile 1 (30.6 vs 16.9). That doesn’t seem right to me if that is correct.

    Or am I reading it wrong?

    I can only see that the higher the Quintile group, the higher the chances of success, leading to the highest Quintile group being over offered and the lowest being under offered (assuming everything else is equal),
    Success rate on that table is for Acceptances not Offers.

    Quintile 1
    502 Applicants
    126 Offers (25.1% Offer rate)
    85 Acceptances (16.9% Acceptance rate)

    Quintile 4
    2,270 Applicants
    690 Offers (30.3% Offer rate)
    562 Acceptances (24.8 Acceptance Rate)

    Working out the Offer rate for all quintiles:
    Q5 35.8%
    Q4 30.3%
    Q3 27.8%
    Q2 28.7%
    Q1 25.1%

    So yes the "better" the quintile the better the offer rate but it's not as dramatic as it might appear.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    I really find your posts on this subject really worrying Doonesbury.

    You have argued at every opportunity that there is no unfairness even when David Lammy, Stephen Kinnock and the Universities themselves are saying there is worrying social injustice when it comes to Oxbridge applications.

    You say that Oxbridge shouldn't have to fix the problem when this is an education issue and they are the two most important and prestigious educational establishments in the UK, if not the world.

    Basically, you are trying to claim that if underrepresented people, black, Northern, Welsh to name a few aren't getting into Oxbridge it's because they aren't good enough. In fact, that's exactly what you said in your statement that the admissions process are mostly getting it right.

    I'll say it again, that the deck is rigged. You don't accept that Doonesbury, but your views are, I believe, at odds with most right thinking people on this issue.
    Did you miss this?

    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Are they doing better? Yes I think they are. Could they do more? Yes for sure.

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Success rate on that table is for Acceptances not Offers.

    Quintile 1
    502 Applicants
    126 Offers (25.1% Offer rate)
    85 Acceptances (16.9% Acceptance rate)

    Quintile 4
    2,270 Applicants
    690 Offers (30.3% Offer rate)
    562 Acceptances (24.8 Acceptance Rate)

    Working out the Offer rate for all quintiles:
    Q5 35.8%
    Q4 30.3%
    Q3 27.8%
    Q2 28.7%
    Q1 25.1%

    So yes the "better" the quintile the better the offer rate but it's not as dramatic as it might appear.
    A 10% difference is still an issue and I disagree with you that it is figures are "similar". To me all I can see is a significant diffence and a downward trend.

    Given these stats we also have to ask why the acceptance rate compounds the situation. I questioned this earlier in the thread and someone responded by saying it was unlikely to have an impact on the diversity of those who are offered vs who accepts. This suggests otherwise.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    Of course they are. Would you express surprise that South Africa is "incredibly" black?
    No, but I know that's a different country and population. [Although in fact, having been to South Africa, the places I went were not "incredibly black" - I saw white people all over the place - a minority, but definitely present].

    Western European countries are predominantly white, indeed at the last Census in 2011, the UK was 86% white.
    That's not what I'm meaning by incredibly white, FWIW, I'm meaning "I've been walking around here all day, and I don't think I've seen a single black person". Lots of places like that in the UK once you get out of the cities.

    I don't see your point.
    I'm just saying that it would perhaps be unfair to single out Cambridge for this when I'm sure it holds for a lot of other places too. (A friend of a friend was once in a village in Wales and found everyone staring at her. It was sheepishly explained that no one in the village had ever seen a black person before. (This was also about 30 years ago)).

    Edit: although I feel this is probably all getting OT.
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    (Original post by Carbon Dioxide)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41664459
    ...OK, so I've hardly come up with Fermat's Last Theorem there, but according to FOI data acquired by David Lammy (a Labour MP), Oxford and Cambridge are understood to be mostly sending offers to the more well-off regions of England (mostly southern, some northern - about half of ALL offers go to those in London and the south-east). Around 80% of applicants are also understood to be in the top two social classes.

    Point of consideration: Is Oxbridge really turning more inaccessible, is this a case of same-old-same-old, or is this just a quirk in the system?
    Try getting a few A*s at A level whilst having a saturday job and being at a state school, it's hard. Thos that can afford not to work and solely focus on their A levels will do better, and get into Oxbridge.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    A 10% difference is still an issue and I disagree with you that it is figures are "similar". To me all I can see is a significant diffence and a downward trend.

    Given these stats we also have to ask why the acceptance rate compounds the situation. I questioned this earlier in the thread and someone responded by saying it was unlikely to have an impact. This suggests otherwise.
    Yes, fair comment, they are less "similar" than I first thought but probably more similar than you also first thought

    If I get a chance I'll dig out the table for 2011 and see if it has "improved".

    Perhaps, and I'm guessing, the POLAR 1 and 2 applicants have a higher proportion of aspiring Maths students. If so STEP results in a roughly 50% failure rate and therefore an adverse Applicant success rate.

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Did you miss this?
    No I didn't miss that.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Success rate on that table is for Acceptances not Offers.

    Quintile 1
    502 Applicants
    126 Offers (25.1% Offer rate)
    85 Acceptances (16.9% Acceptance rate)

    Quintile 4
    2,270 Applicants
    690 Offers (30.3% Offer rate)
    562 Acceptances (24.8 Acceptance Rate)

    Working out the Offer rate for all quintiles:
    Q5 35.8%
    Q4 30.3%
    Q3 27.8%
    Q2 28.7%
    Q1 25.1%

    So yes the "better" the quintile the better the offer rate but it's not as dramatic as it might appear.
    It's dramatic for the people who live in poor areas when they realise their rich Southern counterparts have a 10% better chance of being accepted into Oxbridge.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Yes, fair comment, they are less "similar" than I first thought but probably more similar than you also first thought

    If I get a chance I'll dig out the table for 2011 and see if it has "improved".

    Perhaps, and I'm guessing, the POLAR 1 and 2 applicants have a higher proportion of aspiring Maths students. If so STEP results in a roughly 50% failure rate and therefore an adverse Applicant success rate.

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    I was actually expecting it to be better than this To me this is dire.

    I'd love to see the equivalent for languages and arts courses. They would probably make this look practically positive.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    It's dramatic for the people who live in poor areas when they realise their rich Southern counterparts have a 10% better chance of being accepted into Oxbridge.
    I *think*, and I have no stats to back this up, that "people who live in poor areas" expect the difference to be even worse. Perhaps that's why not enough of them apply in the first place.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)

    You have argued at every opportunity that there is no unfairness even when David Lammy, Stephen Kinnock and the Universities themselves are saying there is worrying social injustice when it comes to Oxbridge applications.
    The main problem with Oxbridge admissions is that they are not transparent enough. Students with outstanding proven academic achievement are turned down in favour of students with mediocre achievement on the basis of, for example, interviews which are not recorded and for which notes are not kept.

    In order for the process to be seen to be fair, all records for each applicant should be kept (including recording of the interview) and these records should be made available to independent auditors to ensure fairness in the allocation of places.

    If it could be assured that there was fairness in the process, then it wouldn't matter what percentage of applicants were BME. Wouldn't you agree?
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    (Original post by Hirsty97)
    Nothing will ever truly be 100% equal as equality is just a social construct. To aim for 100% equality between everyone is lunacy. Strive to provide opportunities for everyone by all means. If the government tries to enforce equality is almost invariably makes things worse i.e affirmative action not only stokes resentment between economic classes and demographics but it also bad for an employer.
    There's a world of difference between taking measures to level the playing field and striving for '100% equality' though.

    I disagree that affirmative action 'almost invariably makes things worse'; I think it's a necessary evil. In an ideal situation - from my point of view - Pupil B would have the same financial and educational opportunities as Pupil A from the beginning. That way, when they get to university level, there's no need for affirmative action; they've had comparable opportunities, and it's up to them as individuals what they've done with those opportunities. To leave things as they currently are (where there's a massive disparity between educational opportunities way before pupils ever even think about university) and to deny affirmative action is basically to say, 'you had **** circumstances growing up, and we're going to hold you to exactly the same standards as someone who had the most propitious upbringing'. You may think that's fair and reasonable; I don't think it's fair or reasonable at all.

    It seems that people who resent the idea of a 'helping hand' for certain university/job applicants are willing to ignore the significant 'helping hand' with which some people start life, and to avoid trying to change things so that no such artificial 'helping hands' are necessary in future.

    How is an employer supposed to distinguish between someone who went to a top university on their own merit or someone who got it with lower grades than the entry requirement but was admitted because of quotas?
    Well, once you're through the doors, you still have to sit the same university exams as everyone else. There's no special paper for people who were admitted with slightly lower entry requirements (the operative word being 'slightly'; we're not talking about one relatively privileged person being asked for A*A*A* while a relatively under-privileged person is asked for BBB).

    I don't know how exactly quotas worked at Oxford (i.e. where any purported leniency comes into play - is it with A-level results, personal statements, entrance exams?), but I do know that we all sat the same university exams.

    At medical school, the way affirmative action worked there was that if you went to one of a selection of poorly-performing state schools in South Yorkshire and participated in a one-year extra-curricular programme in Year 12, you were guaranteed an interview at Sheffield medical school, and were asked for ABB if you completed the programme and firmly accepted the offer. If those criteria weren't met (and assuming you passed the interview), you received the standard offer of AAA. We did have a fair few people drop out in the early years of med school but (at least in my cohort), none of them were the SOAMS students; all the ones I know have now graduated, having sat exactly the same exams as everyone else, and are working as doctors. I don't see the problem with that. The entrance doorway might have been slightly wider for them in terms of admission requirements. The exit was just as narrow for them as it was for every other student.

    Fortunately there are more opportunities for everyone now than there was in the past. But not everyone has the capacity to be a PHD. It could be because of a lack of discipline, cognitive ability etc.
    No-one is suggesting that 'everyone has the capacity to be a PhD'. As above, a small 'affirmative action' concession is not tantamount to carte blanche; if someone is incapable due to their abilities or their work ethic, no slight (again, slight) relaxation of entry requirements is going to mask that. People still have to go to interviews to prove themselves and then do the work for themselves; no-one is giving them a lower pass mark or writing their PhD for them.

    With technology now the cost of education is much lower i.e I went from being a B student at maths to now working at an A* from utilising resources on the internet and learning from self-study.
    Good for you. Believe it or not, there are a number of school-age pupils who don't have access to the internet, although they're in the minority (750,000 as of 2013; probably fewer now). There are a lot of other socioeconomic factors that make it harder for people to do what you've described doing, though, even with the internet.

    I worked a 30-hour week across two jobs while I was in sixth form doing my A-levels because we were poor. Admittedly we were one of those families that didn't have the internet while I was still of school age (it was a while ago, but the recent enough past that all of my friends did have home access to it), but even if I'd had the internet I was losing 30 hours of study time every week that lots of other people were able to take. On the other hand, I didn't have the sort of time-consuming caring role that some people have when they have dependent siblings/parents. We had one family computer (as above, sans internet), but at least I didn't have a bunch of school-aged siblings who all needed to use it for their schoolwork at the same time.

    As stated previously, it's not about saying any of these things constitute an automatic right to be waved through the doors of whatever prestigious institution you might set your mind on. It's about acknowledging that some people start out with rather more obstacles, and trying to do something small to remedy that.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Given these stats we also have to ask why the acceptance rate compounds the situation. I questioned this earlier in the thread and someone responded by saying it was unlikely to have an impact on the diversity of those who are offered vs who accepts. This suggests otherwise.
    I think you have to pay attention to the scale of the effects. If we take the 2 quintiles with figures (because I'm too lazy to find them myself right now):

    Quintile 1
    502 Applicants
    126 Offers (25.1% Offer rate)
    85 Acceptances (16.9% Acceptance rate)

    Quintile 4
    2,270 Applicants
    690 Offers (30.3% Offer rate)
    562 Acceptances (24.8 Acceptance Rate)
    We've got a Q4 to Q1 ratio of 6.6; ideally it would be 1. Here are two scenarios:

    (A) If the offer rates were equalized the ratio would be 5.4 (assuming an equal proportion of Q1 applicants would make their offers)
    (B) If the acceptance rates were equalized (which means also letting in some Q1 people who didn't get their grades), the ratio would be 4.5

    So yes, it would help, but by far the biggest contribution to the ratio is the lack of applications in the first place. [In fact, I'm sure Doonesbury isn't at all sanguine about the difference in ratios, but at the same time is aware that it's dwarfed by the problem with the lack of applications].

    I'll also note that (B) is a pretty extreme shift (letting people in who fail to make their offer). And that statistically, Q1 applicants are far more likely to miss their offer than Q4 applicants, so simply equalizing the offer rates (A) would be unlikely to make as much difference as I've calculated.

    From observation of helping people through STEP; it's not actually in a candidates interests to give them an offer they have very little chance of achieving.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I *think*, and I have no stats to back this up, that "people who live in poor areas" expect the difference to be even worse. Perhaps that's why not enough of them apply in the first place.
    Why would they when for colleges generally say you need 6/7 A* at GCSE to be put in the so-called Oxbridge group?

    I am now considering sending the stats from Christ's for History 2016 applicants to the local college to query this policy.
 
 
 
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