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Oxbridge = Inaccessible to most students? Watch

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    You had to have a foreign language O-level?!
    up to 1919 you needed Greek for Cambridge ( 1920 for Oxford )

    up to 1960 you needed Latin for both places :afraid:
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    /goes off to check POLAR
    Does POLAR data look at the area where an applicant’s school is located or where the applicant lives?
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    (Original post by karmacrunch)
    Does POLAR data look at the area where an applicant’s school is located or where the applicant lives?
    The applicant.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    The applicant.
    And it only takes into account where you currently live right? Used to live in a polar 2 area but now it's a 4. I mean it's not really a big deal anyway and I'm so glad I've always gone to the school in the town I currently live in rather than the town over that I used to live in. Kinda scary to think sometimes how different your life could be if different decisions were made in the past.
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    And it only takes into account where you currently live right? Used to live in a polar 2 area but now it's a 4. I mean it's not really a big deal anyway and I'm so glad I've always gone to the school in the town I currently live in rather than the town over that I used to live in. Kinda scary to think sometimes how different your life could be if different decisions were made in the past.
    Correct.

    BUT if you felt that (for example) 16 years of living in a Q2 before moving to a Q4 disadvantaged you (which tbf it probably did) then you can mention it in the SAQ (or Reference for general UCAS applications). It won't get picked up in the official reporting but it may be noted as part of the context of your application.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Correct.

    BUT if you felt that (for example) 16 years of living in a Q2 before moving to a Q4 disadvantaged you (which tbf it probably did) then you can mention it in the SAQ (or Reference for general UCAS applications). It won't get picked up in the official reporting but it may be noted as part of the context of your application.
    It didn't really disadvantage me really though, I just stayed inside most of the time XD. Okay maybe sharing a room with 2 brothers was inconvenient.
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    It didn't really disadvantage me really though, I just stayed inside most of the time XD. Okay maybe sharing a room with 2 brothers was inconvenient.
    vs Tiberious Pfeffle-Ffarflung sharing the East Wing with his owl and silk pyjamas.

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    vs Tiberious Pfeffle-Ffarflung sharing the East Wing with his owl and silk pyjamas.
    So, how many of Rees-Moggs offspring are applying to Oxbridge anyway?

    To segue slightly; one of the things I've been slightly uncomfortable about in the discussion has been the attitude that "Oxbridge is a ticket to a life of privilege; conversely if you don't go there you're relegated to the plebs". Which I think is largely nonsense. I just don't think Oxbridge is *that* important).

    And then l look at the number of MPs who did PPE, or all the bullingdon club stuff, and I think "maybe I'm wrong".
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    So, how many of Rees-Moggs offspring are applying to Oxbridge anyway?

    To segue slightly; one of the things I've been slightly uncomfortable about in the discussion has been the attitude that "Oxbridge is a ticket to a life of privilege; conversely if you don't go there you're relegated to the plebs". Which I think is largely nonsense. I just don't think Oxbridge is *that* important).

    And then l look at the number of MPs who did PPE, or all the bullingdon club stuff, and I think "maybe I'm wrong".
    I mean like I don't want to go there because of that though, wanna go because they are the best academically.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    To segue slightly; one of the things I've been slightly uncomfortable about in the discussion has been the attitude that "Oxbridge is a ticket to a life of privilege; conversely if you don't go there you're relegated to the plebs". Which I think is largely nonsense. I just don't think Oxbridge is *that* important).

    And then l look at the number of MPs who did PPE, or all the bullingdon club stuff, and I think "maybe I'm wrong".
    It's both right and wrong. In some walks of life it can be helpful, but you still need some talent too... And it certainly guarantees nothing.

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    It's both right and wrong. In some walks of life it can be helpful, but you still need some talent too... And it certainly guarantees nothing.

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    There are some situations where it can be an active negative (assumptions are often strange about 'Oxbridge educated' - snobbery, class, etc) but I would say apart from the obvious merits of a really intense educational experience with some of the best and brightest tutors in their fields, it can often open doors - at least to the stage of an interview. I know in many careers it can be hard to get across that first hurdle of talking face to face with prospective employers or contacts. An Oxbridge degree isn't a magic ticket for that, but it definitely makes you more likely to appear on the 'invited for interview' side of the page.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    It's both right and wrong. In some walks of life it can be helpful, but you still need some talent too... And it certainly guarantees nothing.
    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    it can often open doors - at least to the stage of an interview. I know in many careers it can be hard to get across that first hurdle of talking face to face with prospective employers or contacts.
    Yes, but so will (for example) a 1st from Bristol, or Bath. (And lets face it, there's a significant number of people with 2:1/2:2s at Cambridge who might well have got a first elsewhere).

    An Oxbridge degree isn't a magic ticket for that, but it definitely makes you more likely to appear on the 'invited for interview' side of the page.
    Not everyone cares (as you know); funnily enough, what singled me out for attention when I applied for my first "career progression" job wasn't the 1st from Cambridge, but the 6 A's at A-level.

    But my point is that that's all on a "nice to have" continuum, where yeah, the Oxbridge degree is nice, but is a degree from Warwick really that much worse? And people do well with an Oxbridge degree, but that's because they're bright, and Oxbridge provides a good education, and if they went somewhere else, most of that is still going to apply.

    But then I look at the PPE->career in politics connection, or the Bullingdon club stuff, and it feels so much more like what in video games you'd consider a "game breaking exploit" (*). And I think it's that side of things that a lot of people have in their mind when they think about privilege, and old boys clubs, and people in power protecting the status quo.

    (I'm aware that it's still a small percentage of people studying politics at Oxbridge, but that it exists at all just feels wrong. I don't think you see anything like the same concentration of ex-Oxbridge in other areas).
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    (I'm aware that it's still a small percentage of people studying politics at Oxbridge, but that it exists at all just feels wrong. I don't think you see anything like the same concentration of ex-Oxbridge in other areas).
    I could be wrong but I think there's a stronger correlation with politics and Eton than with PPE at Oxford. (Or maybe that was in them thar olden days... )
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I could be wrong but I think there's a stronger correlation with politics and Eton than with PPE at Oxford. (Or maybe that was in them thar olden days... )
    Either way not exactly representative.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Interesting - they are comparable to a few tenths of a percent for applicants, except specifically for BME, Cambridge over indexes for Asians.

    2016 data:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    Maybe their contextual offer program is indeed helping.

    There's a mountain of data in that UCAS file and it's hard to digest it all... ho hum.
    So Cambridge is not more diverse then (generally)?
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    So Cambridge is not more diverse then (generally)?
    Not in that comparison no . Although you could say it's *as* diverse. So if Cambridge is coming in for stick then so should Bristol...
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Not in that comparison no . Although you could say it's *as* diverse. So if Cambridge is coming in for stick then so should Bristol...
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    This is about grammar schools, not Oxbridge, but the discussion is on exactly the same thing.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hpf7f
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    So, how many of Rees-Moggs offspring are applying to Oxbridge anyway?

    To segue slightly; one of the things I've been slightly uncomfortable about in the discussion has been the attitude that "Oxbridge is a ticket to a life of privilege; conversely if you don't go there you're relegated to the plebs". Which I think is largely nonsense. I just don't think Oxbridge is *that* important).

    And then l look at the number of MPs who did PPE, or all the bullingdon club stuff, and I think "maybe I'm wrong".
    There is a bit of a time-lag that needs to be considered though. Very few MPs are under the age of 35, and so studied and entered the profession when very few people even knew what social mobility was, let alone cared about it. I truly believe (maybe too optimistically) that there will be more diversity in the elite professions/positions of power in another 10-15 years, we just need to wait for them to come through the ranks.

    The next thing to tackle is unpaid internships though - that is currently holding diversity in professions back.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    The next thing to tackle is unpaid internships though - that is currently holding diversity in professions back.
    Yup. I work in the advertising and marketing sector and I'm pleased to say most (all?) of the major players no longer have unpaid internships.
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