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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Although you'd really need to look at the figures for the population of 18 year olds in those regions to get a fairer stat.
    True, but I am gripped by doubt that Kinnock meant that. :rolleyes:

    There's so much nonsense flies around on this subject that the reality of how class and privilege interacts with the educational system gets obscured by idiocy.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    You've already been asked for a citation for this, but yeah, outside of the Royals (and believe me, I think the likes of Edward being admitted is a huge freakin' embarrassment to Oxbridge) I'm not aware of this happening.
    Hope you don't get me into trouble with Doonesbury for posting this FOI information again(sorry Doonesbury ) regarding History at Christ's Cambridge but it's essential to show you that it does happen (source: WhatDoTheyKnow). I am completely shocked.

    I am replying to your FOI request of 20 October 2016. The information you
    requested is shown in the table below. We do not hold interview scores
    and are therefore unable to provide this information
    .


    +------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | No of A* |Predicted | |Application | | |
    | GCSE |grades |Av UMS|Status | |Pool Outcome |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 11 |IB = 45 | |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 11 | |89.67 |Reject | | |

    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 10 |IB = 44 | |Reject |Pooled|No Offer |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 10 |IB = 45 | |Offer | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 10 | | |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 10 | | |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 10 | |93.25 |Offer |Pooled|Other College|
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 9 | | |Offer | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 9 | |87.42 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 9 | |86.00 |Reject |Pooled|No Offer |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 9 | |83.71 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 8 | |91.88 |Reject |Pooled|No Offer |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 8 | |87.13 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 5 | |92.00 |Offer | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 5 | |85.96 |Offer | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 4 | |78.88 |Offer | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 4 | |78.63 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 3 | | |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 3 | |87.31 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 3 | |86.69 |Offer | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 2 | |87.38 |Offer | | |

    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 2 | |87.00 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 2 | |79.38 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 1 | |86.25 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 1 | |82.50 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | 0 | |77.50 |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | |IB = 43 | |Reject | | |
    |----------+---------------+------+-----------------+------+-------------|
    | |Other = 100/100| |Reject | | |
    +------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    It's not just one applicant, if you look at the FOI request, there are several others with excellent grades (both achieved and predicted) which were turned down in favour of candidate with worse achieved AND predicted grades. Such grades would reasonably presuppose a comparatively better performance in written work and the HAA. So we are only left with interview for which there is no record according to this FOI request.
    The only achieved grades on that FOI were GCSEs which are not important, AS-levels are more important. Predicted grades are only relatively important if they are below the typical offer. And frankly you are not right to make those assumptions about HAA or all the other elements that are holistically considered in an application.

    Also, if, in the course of two interviews by 4 interviewers a candidate comes across as below par then for sure questions will be raised about their suitability for Cambridge. It's not that it's more important per se, but it's yet another source of useful information for the DoS/AT to consider.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    Given the demand for places at Oxbridge and to ensure absolute fairness, all records (including recordings of interviews) should be kept and decisions documented with reference to them. This information should then be independently audited to ensure fairness in the decision making process. If this were done already, then David Lammy's (and my) mind could be put at rest.
    There probably needs to be an Ombudsman for university places and video recording of all interviews. Applicants signing a waiver that the Ombudsman can review them in the event of a complaint. The Ombudsman would rule on contentious cases and also monitor the overall performance of universities and colleges at widening participation and fine the transgressors.
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    (Original post by AnaBaptist)
    I do agree with you.
    :five:
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    In a working environment, evidence suggests that interviews are the least likely predictor of future performance. There can actually be a negative correlation between interviews and performance on the job. I wonder if Oxbridge interviews have the same issue.
    Oxbridge interviews are used more to see how you would cope with supervision-style teaching: if you can't cope with how they teach you aren't going to do well
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    There probably needs to be an Ombudsman for university places and video recording of all interviews. Applicants signing a waiver that the Ombudsman can review them in the event of a complaint. The Ombudsman would rule on contentious cases and also monitor the overall performance of universities and colleges at widening participation and fine the transgressors.
    Maybe, but the decision would come too late for the applicant if they have been treated unfairly.

    I think there should be a permanent auditor monitoring admission decisions at random to ensure fairness.

    There is always going to be suspicion and resentment when something of great value is being offered (eg Oxbridge place) and decisions on allocation are being taken behind closed doors by people who do not have to justify their decision (to an independent witness).
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    (Original post by ImprobableCacti)
    Oxbridge interviews are used more to see how you would cope with supervision-style teaching: if you can't cope with how they teach you aren't going to do well
    Doesn’t sound any different to a work environment interview. Any interview is prone to flaw and biases, and evidence time and time again shows they are one of the worst ways to select people. Certain measures can be put in place (multiple interviewers/interviews; assessor training; using other evidence or assessments to support decisions) to reduce those risks.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    something of great value is being offered (eg Oxbridge place)
    So this is the other part of this discussion that hasn't been addressed. You are saying effectively that it's Oxbridge or bust for applicants. This is rubbish.

    Oxbridge is one of your 5 choices. An Oxbridge calibre applicant, if unsuccessful, can go on to be hugely successful wherever they go.

    And if you reply saying the Oxbridge brand is needed to secure a good career then that is also rubbish.

    Don't make me post up Exhibit 54...

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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    There is always going to be suspicion and resentment when something of great value is being offered (eg Oxbridge place) and decisions on allocation are being taken behind closed doors by people who do not have to justify their decision (to an independent witness).
    The traditional position of the colleges is that essentially it's their business and theirs alone, that they alone can determine the ability of candidates to match the highest academic standards and that they alone can constitute the college body. I think all of these positions lack viability. They are not fully private institutions but the public (rightly) suspect they behave as if they were.

    In any event, the extent of public concern over recruitment practises generally across all fields means that there are no longer 'private' and 'public' domains when it comes to this kind of selection process.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Certain measures can be put in place (multiple interviewers/interviews; assessor training; using other evidence or assessments to support decisions) to reduce those risks.
    They have all of those.

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    (Original post by ImprobableCacti)
    Oxbridge interviews are used more to see how you would cope with supervision-style teaching: if you can't cope with how they teach you aren't going to do well
    The problem is that an interview is completely different from a supervision.

    In a supervision, a good student might say something like: "OK, out of the 8 questions you set, I know how to do 6 of them, I kind of got the answer to 7 but I think my reasoning is questionable, and I really didn't understand question 8". In an interview, you'd do your damnedest to make sure you only talked about questions 1-6 until you ran out of time!

    [In fact, I suspect someone taking the good student approach might actually go down quite well in an interview, but they'd need to be both good and extremely brave].
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    So this is the other part of this discussion that hasn't been addressed. You are saying effectively that it's Oxbridge or bust for applicants. This is rubbish.


    Don't make me post up Exhibit 54...

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    No I'm not. I haven't mentioned the value of other universities at all.

    The value of other universities does not impact on the value of an Oxbridge place. And an Oxbridge place is more valuable because of its reputation; the significantly better resources;the benefits of the supervision/tutorial system and not to forget some of the cheapest student accommodation in the UK.

    If Lammy, had any sense, he should be jumping up and down about the lack of scrutiny for admission decisions; and the lack of evidence on record to allow that scrutiny to properly take place.

    You say your raison d'etre is to encourage university applications especially Oxbridge applications: it would encourage people enormously if the admission system for Oxbridge could be made wide-open to scrutiny and be seen to be fairer to all.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    No I'm not. I haven't mentioned the value of other universities at all.

    The value of other universities does not impact on the value of an Oxbridge place. And an Oxbridge place is more valuable because of its reputation; the significantly better resources;the benefits of the supervision/tutorial system and not to forget some of the cheapest student accommodation in the UK.

    If Lammy, had any sense, he should be jumping up and down about the lack of scrutiny for admission decisions; and the lack of evidence on record to allow that scrutiny to properly take place.

    You say your raison d'etre is to encourage university applications especially Oxbridge applications: it would encourage people enormously if the admission system for Oxbridge could be made wide-open to scrutiny and be seen to be fairer to all.
    You said Oxbridge has "great value" clearly implying other universities don't.

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    (Original post by ImprobableCacti)
    Oxbridge interviews are used more to see how you would cope with supervision-style teaching: if you can't cope with how they teach you aren't going to do well
    But you get successful applicants saying how they burst into tears and so forth. So I don't see it. For example this student gained a place at Cambridge two years ago:

    " I thought my admissions interviews had gone badly. In the first one I was asked about something in my personal statement and I went blank. I said “Oh, I’m so silly”, and there was a 20-second silence. The second interview started with tears streaming down my face. It went better as I was able to ‘moderately banter’ with the interviewers. But I accidentally implied they were old — which they weren’t. I took the train home convinced that I’d failed."
    'This Cambridge Life'

    And the interviewers did well to see through the nerves as this student ended up achieving an incredible 5 A levels with 2 at A*!
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    But you get successful applicants saying how they burst into tears and so forth. So I don't see it. For example this student gained a place at Cambridge two years ago:

    " I thought my admissions interviews had gone badly. In the first one I was asked about something in my personal statement and I went blank. I said “Oh, I’m so silly”, and there was a 20-second silence. The second interview started with tears streaming down my face. It went better as I was able to ‘moderately banter’ with the interviewers. But I accidentally implied they were old — which they weren’t. I took the train home convinced that I’d failed."

    Tara Khalid 'This Cambridge Life'
    Yup, interviewees are terrible at judging how well their interview went. The interviewers will have seen beyond the tears (and often extreme shyness) to find the potential.
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    (Original post by Hirsty97)
    I agree with most of what you're saying and admit to using hyperbole in my arguments. I find you're efforts particularly admirable. In fact you've successfully changed my outlooks towards affirmative action through your argument. University admissions should definitely consider each applicant on an individual basis.

    Affirmative action when imbalanced can have huge unintended consequences. It was from reading horror stories of White South Africans that suffered in abject poverty as they were unable to find a job that initially made me sceptical towards affirmative action.

    Being from a single-parent household in Northern England myself; I will likely be a benefactor of affirmative action. If I was to go to a prestigious university or get a job of a prodigious nature I would want to know I got it from my own merit and not because I was given leeway due to my socioeconomic background.
    Thanks - I appreciate you saying so.

    I had a feeling you might have been thinking of South Africa when you made reference to the stoking of class tensions, though it's not the only case where affirmative action hasn't gone to plan. There are lots of potential reasons for the unintended consequences in SA - one of the common complaints is that the methods used helped people into certain jobs without addressing the issues that were acting as a barrier to them getting those jobs in the first place. This is why I refer to affirmative action as a 'necessary evil'; I think it's useful in trying to open a few more doors, but the real reason those doors might have been closed to begin with starts far earlier. Trying to narrow the gap between best- and worst-performing secondary schools would be a more fruitful aim long-term; affirmative action is an interim measure to my mind.

    With regards to not wanting to feel as though you've been given leeway due to your background: I get you. I am (as alluded to above) from a relatively low-income background too, albeit one in South Wales; I am also proud and don't want to feel like I've been handed anything I've not earned. All I can say is: be a bit kinder to yourself. Do pupils with parents who can afford it tend to reject (e.g.) private tuition, because they've 'not earned it' personally? Even if an admissions tutor takes your relatively fewer opportunities into consideration and offers you that interview a little bit more freely, no-one's going to answer those interview questions for you. No-one's going to say 'that guy's interview performance was awful, but we'll take a chance on him anyway'. All they're intending is to give you a better chance of getting into that interview in the first place. The rest is up to you.

    DOI: I have sat on interview panels in my final year of med school. I know what they talk about when the interviewee has left the room.

    (Original post by J-SP)
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    They have all of those.

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    Good to hear. Doesn’t make them fool proof or more accurate than other measures/assessments though.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    You said Oxbridge has "great value" clearly implying other universities don't.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Yes. I said it has 'great' not 'greater' or 'greatest'. Although it does because
    Oxford and Cambridge offer their students world-class resources in terms of libraries; fellows etc. Of course an Oxbridge place is something which is prized. And that is why the allocation of a place should be independently scrutinised: it would probably satisfy David Lammy and Stephen Kinnock and it would no doubt make your role in defending the fairness of Oxbridge admissions that much easier.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    But they clearly aren’t doing enough with the actual admissions process - the stats which ever way you cut them are woefully disproportionate.

    It’s great they are doing all of these things, but it either isn’t working or isn’t enough.
    How so? Everyone goes through the same admissions process. Do you think they should skip some steps for underrepresented students or something?

    (Original post by J-SP)
    I think that spending more than 0.6% of their revenue on these initiatives and bursaries would be a good start.
    I believe they are currently both running at a deficit, but I agree it would be good to expand these schemes further.
 
 
 
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