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Oxbridge = Inaccessible to most students? Watch

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    (Original post by J-SP)
    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.
    As someone considerably over the age of 35, I can assure you that social mobility was a concern when I was applying to university. I think these things wax and wane somewhat (current government perhaps highlights certain issues...)
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    As someone considerably over the age of 35, I can assure you that social mobility was a concern when I was applying to university. I think these things wax and wane somewhat (current government perhaps highlights certain issues...)
    Sorry, that was probably a bit unfair. But social mobility was roaring in the 60s, 70s and early 80s so it probably became less of a concern for my generation, and therefore got neglected for it a bit. Then everyone started to realise how dire the situation was and decided it needed resolving. From my perspective, it was a bit of a PR stunt when I first got into graduate recruitment in the mid 00s. Now everyone has it as a priority within their recruitment strategy.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    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.
    Really?! I’d heard from all the stuff in the press this week that the creative industries were still some of the worst offenders.

    Please to hear that isn’t the case though!
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Really?! I’d heard from all the stuff in the press this week that the creative industries were still some of the worst offenders.

    Please to hear that isn’t the case though!
    Let me double check that... certainly WPP (the biggest) doesn't.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Let me double check that... certainly WPP (the biggest) doesn't.
    It’s probably smaller players in the market that are still guilty of it. Bigger names tend to avoid it now in case of any negative PR risk.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    It’s probably smaller players in the market that are still guilty of it. Bigger names tend to avoid it now in case of any negative PR risk.
    Looks like I was wrong, for example Publicis Groupe (Saatchi & Saatchi are part of the group) still have unpaid interships
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Looks like I was wrong, for example Publicis Group (Saatchi & Saatchi are part of the group) still have unpaid interships
    I'm not surprised (unfortunately). All the time all the main political parties rely on them, I can't see anything being done to regulate them and try to reduce them.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    You had to have a foreign language O-level?!
    (Original post by the bear)
    up to 1919 you needed Greek for Cambridge ( 1920 for Oxford )
    up to 1960 you needed Latin for both places :afraid:
    I went to school in an area of 11-16 education with Vith form and FE colleges. That is very significant because it meant that secondary schools were simply not thinking of post 18 education when children were
    choosing options late in the 3rd form (year 8). Their interests were limited to getting pupils the best O level results.

    My VIth form college had a roomful of potential Oxbridge applicants. That was reduced to 4; me with O level French, another lad with a CSE 1 in French, an Asian lad with a Saturday school O level in an Asian language and a girl who was willing to re-sit her failed French O level.

    I sat the old Oxford entrance examination and I sat it in Modern Studies. That meant one three hour General Paper 1; 3 essays chosen from a huge range of topics (everyone had to offer this paper except straight candidates for straight maths). Modern Studies candidates had to offer a shorter General Paper II or General Paper III or both. General Paper II was a précis and comprehension paper. My English language O level syllabus didn't include précis. General Paper III which I didn't offer was I think formal logic. You then had to offer 2 other three hour (I think) essay papers taken from Modern Studies (politics, philosophy and economics) or from any of the other entrance examinations. I offered economics, as I was reading for A level economics and one of the geography papers.


    At Oxford, for all except entrance scholarship holders, you had to pass the matriculation requirements; 2 A level passes and 5 O levels; one of which was an ancient or modern language, one of which was English language (not such a stretch for anyone other than mathematicians because A level sciences included essays) and either maths or a science. Botany or biology saved the places of an awful lot of girls reading English and history.

    At Oxford, History Prelims were taken at the end of Michaelmas (Autumn) term of the 1st year and that involved offering two ancient or modern languages to a standard beyond A level.

    I think Cambridge required Latin for the Part II of the law tripos. I say I think, I never quite managed to understand the Cambridge prospectus (I still have my Oxford prospectus which is a far more structured piece of literature than anything seen today).

    Oxford had dropped mandatory questions on brief passages in Latin from Law Mods a couple of years before I got there, but candidates could still offer questions on Latin passages and were presumably awarded extra credit for their answers.

    Greats (classics) at Oxford had just introduced a novel syllabus that allowed a minority of candidates to offer Greek ab initio along with Latin rather than the traditional syllabus that expected familiarity with both languages.

    Theology required you to be able to read the New Testament in Greek by the end of your 1st year but they may have provided tuition for this. I think Hebrew was optional.

    English required two papers to be offered in Old English at the end of the 1st year but they definitely taught for that.

    Medicine was a trap at all universities. The correct A levels were maths, physics and chemistry but hundreds must have realised they couldn't apply by offering biology rather than physics.

    That is a lot of barriers or deterrents to entry that have been swept away in the last 30 years or so.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I went to school in an area of 11-16 education with Vith form and FE colleges. That is very significant because it meant that secondary schools were simply not thinking of post 18 education when children were
    choosing options late in the 3rd form (year 8). Their interests were limited to getting pupils the best O level results.

    My VIth form college had a roomful of potential Oxbridge applicants. That was reduced to 4; me with O level French, another lad with a CSE 1 in French, an Asian lad with a Saturday school O level in an Asian language and a girl who was willing to re-sit her failed French O level.

    I sat the old Oxford entrance examination and I sat it in Modern Studies. That meant one three hour General Paper 1; 3 essays chosen from a huge range of topics (everyone had to offer this paper except straight candidates for straight maths). Modern Studies candidates had to offer a shorter General Paper II or General Paper III or both. General Paper II was a précis and comprehension paper. My English language O level syllabus didn't include précis. General Paper III which I didn't offer was I think formal logic. You then had to offer 2 other three hour (I think) essay papers taken from Modern Studies (politics, philosophy and economics) or from any of the other entrance examinations. I offered economics, as I was reading for A level economics and one of the geography papers.


    At Oxford, for all except entrance scholarship holders, you had to pass the matriculation requirements; 2 A level passes and 5 O levels; one of which was an ancient or modern language, one of which was English language (not such a stretch for anyone other than mathematicians because A level sciences included essays) and either maths or a science. Botany or biology saved the places of an awful lot of girls reading English and history.

    At Oxford, History Prelims were taken at the end of Michaelmas (Autumn) term of the 1st year and that involved offering two ancient or modern languages to a standard beyond A level.

    I think Cambridge required Latin for the Part II of the law tripos. I say I think, I never quite managed to understand the Cambridge prospectus (I still have my Oxford prospectus which is a far more structured piece of literature than anything seen today).

    Oxford had dropped mandatory questions on brief passages in Latin from Law Mods a couple of years before I got there, but candidates could still offer questions on Latin passages and were presumably awarded extra credit for their answers.

    Greats (classics) at Oxford had just introduced a novel syllabus that allowed a minority of candidates to offer Greek ab initio along with Latin rather than the traditional syllabus that expected familiarity with both languages.

    Theology required you to be able to read the New Testament in Greek by the end of your 1st year but they may have provided tuition for this. I think Hebrew was optional.

    English required two papers to be offered in Old English at the end of the 1st year but they definitely taught for that.

    Medicine was a trap at all universities. The correct A levels were maths, physics and chemistry but hundreds must have realised they couldn't apply by offering biology rather than physics.

    That is a lot of barriers or deterrents to entry that have been swept away in the last 30 years or so.
    ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt

    ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ

    :yep:
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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... )
    There's an overwhelming correlation between Oxbridge and government ministers over any time frame since the war, including the Labour governments. PPE specifically much less so, but PPE is strongly represented amongst PMs and senior ministers and depending on how far back you look, Eton is as well, but of course Cameron and Johnson warp the modern statistics. :rolleyes: Oxbridge amongst MPs generally currently stands at 24%.

    Speaking of PPE, here's an amusing quote from the recent Guardian Long Read (excellent article) on the subject:

    "Monday, 13 April 2015 was a typical day in modern British politics. An Oxford University graduate in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE), Ed Miliband, launched the Labour party’s general election manifesto. It was examined by the BBC’s political editor, Oxford PPE graduate Nick Robinson, by the BBC’s economics editor, Oxford PPE graduate Robert Peston, and by the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Oxford PPE graduate Paul Johnson. It was criticised by the prime minister, Oxford PPE graduate David Cameron. It was defended by the Labour shadow chancellor, Oxford PPE graduate Ed Balls.

    Elsewhere in the country, with the election three weeks away, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, Oxford PPE graduate Danny Alexander, was preparing to visit Kingston and Surbiton, a vulnerable London seat held by a fellow Lib Dem minister, Oxford PPE graduate Ed Davey. In Kent, one of Ukip’s two MPs, Oxford PPE graduate Mark Reckless, was campaigning in his constituency, Rochester and Strood. Comments on the day’s developments were being posted online by Michael Crick, Oxford PPE graduate and political correspondent of Channel 4 News. On the BBC Radio 4 website, the Financial Times statistics expert and Oxford PPE graduate Tim Harford presented his first election podcast.

    On BBC1, Oxford PPE graduate and Newsnight presenter Evan Davies conducted the first of a series of interviews with party leaders. In the print media, there was an election special in the Economist magazine, edited by Oxford PPE graduate Zanny Minton-Beddoes; a clutch of election articles in the political magazine Prospect, edited by Oxford PPE graduate Bronwen Maddox; an election column in the Guardian by Oxford PPE graduate Simon Jenkins; and more election coverage in the Times and the Sun, whose proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, studied PPE at Oxford."
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    There's an overwhelming correlation between Oxbridge and government ministers over any time frame since the war, including the Labour governments. PPE specifically much less so, but PPE is strongly represented amongst PMs and senior ministers and depending on how far back you look, Eton is as well, but of course Cameron and Johnson warp the modern statistics. :rolleyes: Oxbridge amongst MPs generally currently stands at 24%.

    Speaking of PPE, here's an amusing quote from the recent Guardian Long Read (excellent article) on the subject:

    "Monday, 13 April 2015 was a typical day in modern British politics. An Oxford University graduate in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE), Ed Miliband, launched the Labour party’s general election manifesto. It was examined by the BBC’s political editor, Oxford PPE graduate Nick Robinson, by the BBC’s economics editor, Oxford PPE graduate Robert Peston, and by the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Oxford PPE graduate Paul Johnson. It was criticised by the prime minister, Oxford PPE graduate David Cameron. It was defended by the Labour shadow chancellor, Oxford PPE graduate Ed Balls.

    Elsewhere in the country, with the election three weeks away, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, Oxford PPE graduate Danny Alexander, was preparing to visit Kingston and Surbiton, a vulnerable London seat held by a fellow Lib Dem minister, Oxford PPE graduate Ed Davey. In Kent, one of Ukip’s two MPs, Oxford PPE graduate Mark Reckless, was campaigning in his constituency, Rochester and Strood. Comments on the day’s developments were being posted online by Michael Crick, Oxford PPE graduate and political correspondent of Channel 4 News. On the BBC Radio 4 website, the Financial Times statistics expert and Oxford PPE graduate Tim Harford presented his first election podcast.

    On BBC1, Oxford PPE graduate and Newsnight presenter Evan Davies conducted the first of a series of interviews with party leaders. In the print media, there was an election special in the Economist magazine, edited by Oxford PPE graduate Zanny Minton-Beddoes; a clutch of election articles in the political magazine Prospect, edited by Oxford PPE graduate Bronwen Maddox; an election column in the Guardian by Oxford PPE graduate Simon Jenkins; and more election coverage in the Times and the Sun, whose proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, studied PPE at Oxford."
    Gee what an iconoclast!

    Andy Beckett really comes at this from the perspective of the disenfranchised; Britain's have-nots; dare we whisper it, the Brexiteers; the outsiders; the non-elite; the Angleterre profonde; the Balliol historians
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Gee what an iconoclast!

    Andy Beckett really comes at this from the perspective of the disenfranchised; Britain's have-nots; dare we whisper it, the Brexiteers; the outsiders; the non-elite; the Angleterre profonde; the Balliol historians
    The Balliol historian as a creature is so harshly treated generally, it almost deserves protected minority status. :yep:

    I liked Beckett's book on the 70s, really worth a read and very interesting on the reality-vs-the myths about Thatcher, the power cuts, the miners, Ted Heath, Harold Wilson, Crisis what Crisis, etc.
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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?
    Just to add, Lammy has been heavily criticised for his selective use of data this time around. Seems like he didn't listen to the same criticism in 2010...
    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...t-discriminate
 
 
 
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