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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    The difference in private schools regarding academic achievement and being successful is as great as the difference in state schools.

    Very few students are in private education for 13 years. Some enter at Senior School and some only enter in the Sixth Form.

    Very very few private schools are like Eton, Malborough etc.
    And yet more people from eton get in than people on fsm.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Don't rep my comment, it's specifically railing against your brand of ignorant bigotry, not defending it.

    To write it in a form you might understand, I'm saying that that the people in power should be helping those it has spent the last 600+ years subjugating rise to their full potential which has and is continually being denied to them. I'm specifically saying that they shouldn't be left high and dry under the faulty reasoning that it's the marginalised group's fault they can't achieve the same level of attainment as those who form the dominant power group, which does include working class white men and women as well as middle class and bourgeois "elites".

    Quotas don't address that problem and hence perpetuate it. I'm not disagreeing with them because I have any illusions as to it being some form of reverse racism where BME and other students are afforded opportunities at the cost of others (who in your rhetoric are inevitably white people, especially men) who deserve them more.
    Why is your assumption that being BME automatically puts you at a disadvantage if you want to go to a top university? Surely your household income is the deciding factor? A black or Asian pupil whose parents earn £500k a year surely have a better chance at admission to Oxbridge than a white pupil whose parents are on £20k a year? This debate should be about social mobility of the classes regardless of race...we don't need an Americanised racial element to it which does not exist.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    "Thankfully it's never going to happen because no-one who matters in this context cares what they think. "

    In a sense, it is already happening due to the pressure universities are under from OFFA to meet targets for student admissions in terms of being state-educated; living in a deprived area and in a protected characteristic group. Since the penalty for meeting these targets could result in the loss of £millions of funding, they must be taken very seriously.
    really?

    can you give an example of which funding would be reduced and whether that's ever happened?
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    And yet more people from eton get in than people on fsm.
    Well, you would expect that though.

    Students at Eton are the children of some of the most successful people in the country (barristers, high court judges, hospital consultants) whereas people on FSM tend to be the children of people on a very low income such as low-paid workers. There are exceptions due to life circumstances, but generally that's the case.

    In all this noise, it seems to be forgotten that Oxbridge is supposed to be elite from an academic point of view.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    Well, you would expect that though.

    Students at Eton are the children of some of the most successful people in the country (barristers, high court judges, hospital consultants) whereas people on FSM tend to be the children of people on a very low income such as low-paid workers. There are exceptions due to life circumstances, but generally that's the case.

    In all this noise, it seems to be forgotten that Oxbridge is supposed to be elite from an academic point of view.
    Of course it is nobody is disputing that. I come from a local income background and was entitled to fsm until the start of this year. The fact I'm applying to Cambridge and other top10 unis for physics obviously means I am pretty inherently smart but I am extremely lucky to live in a fairly affluent area with a very good state school which has nurtured me and allowed me to achieve a fair proportion of my academic potential.
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    (Original post by Danny Dorito)
    There have been calls to bring in quotas to try and prevent elite universities from being dominated by a certain group of "privileged" students.

    80% and 79% Oxbridge candidates admitted between 2010 and 2015 were from the top twos social classes. More offers were made to Eton pupils than young people eligible for free school meals and just 1.5% of the offers made by Oxbridge were to black British students.

    Chief leader writer at the Observer Sonia Sodha suggests that "This situation calls for the reintroduction of a cap on student numbers, and strict quotas for every university that stipulate the number of students they must take from working-class backgrounds"

    You can read more on the story here.

    What do you make of this? Should quotas be introduced? Do you think the current system is fair?
    As someone from a working class family; I think it's ridiculous.

    They should take students who are the best. Academically or otherwise. And yes, as a general rule it's those who are from the top 2 social classes, as their education taught them how to perfect the exam system. So while I agree your education is unfortunately better if you pay for it...

    Anyone can work hard enough to get the grades for Oxbridge without paying for their education. And 20% do. They shouldn't have to take student who are "lesser" than others to fill a quota.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    really?

    can you give an example of which funding would be reduced and whether that's ever happened?
    If universities don't meet their access agreements with OFFA, they could potentially be prevented from charging £9,000 higher tuition fees and have to charge £6,000 instead which would result in the loss of £millions.

    https://www.offa.org.uk/access-agreements/

    https://www.offa.org.uk/press/freque...ons/#sanctions

    What powers does OFFA have?

    Universities and colleges must have an access agreement approved by the Director of Fair Access to be able to charge tuition fees above the basic level. We review access agreements annually. More information about access agreements
    There are two sanctions open to us if a university or college seriously and wilfully breaches its access agreement. We can:
    • direct the Higher Education Funding Council for England or the Teaching Agency to deduct a fine from the university or college’s grant or suspend part of its grant until it has put matters right
    • refuse to renew the university’s or college’s access agreement, thereby preventing it from charging full-time undergraduate students tuition fees above the standard level for a period after its access agreement has expired.

    The effect of putting pressure on universities to widen access has been to reduce the financial help available in terms of bursaries etc.:

    "Its(OFFA) guidance advises universities to come up with targets for taking teenagers from low-income homes, and those in care. They will also be told to come up with targets for increasing their pool of candidates with disabilities, as well as those from under-represented ethnic-minority backgrounds."

    "Universities will be free to choose how best to increase diversity, but they will be encouraged to pour money into outreach work in schools and colleges, rather than into bursaries and scholarships. These incentives have been found to have little effect, Offa said. At the moment, 85% to 90% of some universities' access funds are spent on bursaries and scholarships. Universities should also consider waiving fees."


    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...tion-fees-offa
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    If universities don't meet their access agreements with OFFA, they could potentially be prevented from charging £9,000 higher tuition fees and have to charge £6,000 instead which would result in the loss of £millions.

    https://www.offa.org.uk/access-agreements/

    https://www.offa.org.uk/press/freque...ons/#sanctions

    What powers does OFFA have?

    Universities and colleges must have an access agreement approved by the Director of Fair Access to be able to charge tuition fees above the basic level. We review access agreements annually. More information about access agreements
    There are two sanctions open to us if a university or college seriously and wilfully breaches its access agreement. We can:
    • direct the Higher Education Funding Council for England or the Teaching Agency to deduct a fine from the university or college’s grant or suspend part of its grant until it has put matters right
    • refuse to renew the university’s or college’s access agreement, thereby preventing it from charging full-time undergraduate students tuition fees above the standard level for a period after its access agreement has expired.


    The effect of putting pressure on universities to widen access has been to reduce the financial help available in terms of bursaries etc.:

    "Its(OFFA) guidance advises universities to come up with targets for taking teenagers from low-income homes, and those in care. They will also be told to come up with targets for increasing their pool of candidates with disabilities, as well as those from under-represented ethnic-minority backgrounds."

    "Universities will be free to choose how best to increase diversity, but they will be encouraged to pour money into outreach work in schools and colleges, rather than into bursaries and scholarships. These incentives have been found to have little effect, Offa said. At the moment, 85% to 90% of some universities' access funds are spent on bursaries and scholarships. Universities should also consider waiving fees."


    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...tion-fees-offa
    OK - that's great.

    Who sets the targets in an Access Agreement?

    Has OFFA ever actually turned down an Access Agreement and refused permission for a university to charge over £6k?
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    Of course it is nobody is disputing that. I come from a local income background and was entitled to fsm until the start of this year. The fact I'm applying to Cambridge and other top10 unis for physics obviously means I am pretty inherently smart but I am extremely lucky to live in a fairly affluent area with a very good state school which has nurtured me and allowed me to achieve a fair proportion of my academic potential.
    Well done - you should be proud. Hope you get on the course you want.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    OK - that's great.

    Who sets the targets in an Access Agreement?

    Has OFFA ever actually turned down an Access Agreement and refused permission for a university to charge over £6k?
    Access agreement set by individual universities in agreement with OFFA I assume?

    I don't think any university has tested OFFA to see what they would do if they didn't make serious efforts to meet those targets.

    I see OFFA is being replaced next April so maybe that will change.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    Well done - you should be proud. Hope you get on the course you want.
    Hopefully. Another issue is that different demographics apply disproportionately to certain courses. Courses like classics or land economy don't appeal to most people with a more normal upbringing.
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    In my opinion there should be no quotas.

    Applicants should not state their ethnicity or anything to do with social status/finance etc on UCAS; their application should be based solely on academic merit and no university, even Oxbridge, should have access to this sort of information - this will remove any accusations of bias or more stories like the one at the start of the thread.
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    (Original post by Danny Dorito)
    There have been calls to bring in quotas to try and prevent elite universities from being dominated by a certain group of "privileged" students.
    Calls for quotas are a smokescreen for the real issue.

    Oxbridge admits on the basis of academic ability and potential, regardless of background. It is the government's responsibility to educate students to 18. It is that education that is failing students from poorer backgrounds, not Oxbridge admissions.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    Access agreement set by individual universities in agreement with OFFA I assume?

    I don't think any university has tested OFFA to see what they would do if they didn't make serious efforts to meet those targets.

    I see OFFA is being replaced next April so maybe that will change.
    Universities set their own targets.

    OFFA ask a handful to review what they've put - mainly over their financial targets (where universities aren't spending the amount that is part of the deal for increasing fees (1/3 of the additional fee income) on improving access, achievement and retention).

    In the most recent review 39% of targets were missed (https://www.offa.org.uk/wp-content/u...5-16-Final.pdf page 10 ). OFFA prefer stretching targets that aren't always met to low easy targets - which is reflected in the monitoring and the fact that no university has had their access agreement outright refused.

    So this:
    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    In a sense, it is already happening due to the pressure universities are under from OFFA to meet targets for student admissions in terms of being state-educated; living in a deprived area and in a protected characteristic group. Since the penalty for meeting these targets could result in the loss of £millions of funding, they must be taken very seriously.
    Is not a true reflection of the process at all.

    There's no pressure from OFFA to meet targets - there's pressure for universities to set themselves stretching targets and make progress towards them.
    There's no penalties from OFFA for missing targets.
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Haven't read the story (at work atm) but (as a poor ethnic minority disabled LGBT student) I strongly believe there should NOT be ANY positive discrimination or quotas at Oxbridge :nope: Access initiatives, yes, but no quotas :nope:
    Isn't the problem though that access initiatives are not working? Or at least, not so far particularly well, most especially in two areas - students from afro-caribbean backgrounds and students from schools and parts of the country that do not have a history of Oxbridge admission?
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    (Original post by RogerOxon)
    Calls for quotas are a smokescreen for the real issue.

    Oxbridge admits on the basis of academic ability and potential, regardless of background. It is the government's responsibility to educate students to 18. It is that education that is failing students from poorer backgrounds, not Oxbridge admissions.
    It really isn't that simple.

    The facts are:

    - Oxbridge persistently recruits in the main from a limited set of schools with a proven track record in supplying successful candidates - that in itself fosters a bonded relationship between them, with access to those schools being a carefully controlled privilege - some are state, some private.

    - Oxbridge generally spends far more on outreach to those already privileged schools than it does to others, or to a limited additional set that resemble them.

    - admissions processes, like it or not, persistently succeed in filtering out students from less privileged backgrounds.

    The latter in particular is not just an Oxbridge phenomenon - it applies across the RG - but it is a real phenomenon and not some fantasy.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Universities set their own targets.

    OFFA ask a handful to review what they've put - mainly over their financial targets (where universities aren't spending the amount that is part of the deal for increasing fees (1/3 of the additional fee income) on improving access, achievement and retention).

    In the most recent review 39% of targets were missed (https://www.offa.org.uk/wp-content/u...5-16-Final.pdf page 10 ). OFFA prefer stretching targets that aren't always met to low easy targets - which is reflected in the monitoring and the fact that no university has had their access agreement outright refused.

    So this:

    Is not a true reflection of the process at all.

    There's no pressure from OFFA to meet targets - there's pressure for universities to set themselves stretching targets and make progress towards them.
    There's no penalties from OFFA for missing targets.
    "There's no penalties from OFFA for missing targets "

    Well, there is clearly provision for financial penalties:


    There are two sanctions open to us if a university or college seriously and wilfully breaches its access agreement. We can:
    • direct the Higher Education Funding Council for England or the Teaching Agency to deduct a fine from the university or college’s grant or suspend part of its grant until it has put matters right
    • refuse to renew the university’s or college’s access agreement, thereby preventing it from charging full-time undergraduate students tuition fees above the standard level for a period after its access agreement has expired.


    Source: https://www.offa.org.uk/press/freque...ons/#sanctions
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Haven't read the story (at work atm) but (as a poor ethnic minority disabled LGBT student) I strongly believe there should NOT be ANY positive discrimination or quotas at Oxbridge :nope: Access initiatives, yes, but no quotas :nope:
    I really hate the term 'positive discrimination'. Discrimination is never positive IMO, and should not be legal.

    IMO, Oxbridge bends over backwards to give everyone a fair admissions assessment - doing much more than universities that go purely on the UCAS form. They should not be forced to lower standards because the state education system fails some.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Isn't the problem though that access initiatives are not working? Or at least, not so far particularly well, most especially in two areas - students from afro-caribbean backgrounds and students from schools and parts of the country that do not have a history of Oxbridge admission?
    I don't know the ins and outs of things but I think access initiatives are working to an extent, just perhaps not as quickly or effectively as people would like. Ultimately, like RogerOxon, I feel there's only so much Oxbridge can - or should have to - do. It's not up to two universities to go massively out of their way to make up for the failings in the education system, or to compensate for our class system, etc.

    As a minority applicant (in many categories, as I outlined. Forgot to mention I'm comp-educated but that's probably obvious!), I would hate there to be positive discrimination and especially in the form of quotas for different groups of students. Not only could that put pressure to take inferior students as tokenisms, but imagine the backlash their could be amongst the rest of the student body. I've had people imply that I was not taken in on merit, but on demographic info as a tokenism, and it's not nice. Imagine if there could have been some truth to that - the impact on my self-esteem and self-belief would have been horrendous

    It's also worth noting that whilst I can't speak for Afro-Caribbean communities, there are certain reasons outside of Oxbridge's control, as to why pupils from certain demographics can't/won't apply there. I remember taking round some Bangladeshi-origin Tower Hamlets girls round on an access open day. They loved the day and really enjoyed it and it dispelled some myths for them. But when I asked if they would apply, they all said no. Why? They're not allowed to leave home for uni :nope:
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    (Original post by RogerOxon)
    I really hate the term 'positive discrimination'. Discrimination is never positive IMO, and should not be legal.

    IMO, Oxbridge bends over backwards to give everyone a fair admissions assessment - doing much more than universities that go purely on the UCAS form. They should not be forced to lower standards because the state education system fails some.
    Completely agree with the second paragraph :five:

    I can see why some places try to do positive discrimination but it's not something I really agree with either tbh :nah:
 
 
 
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