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    (Original post by GradeA*UnderA)
    We're talking about quotas and no one's gonna mention how Imperial has become London's Chinatown?
    It has always had a strong reputation for international students - close to 50% of its intake is international students, and given China sends over 5 times the amount of students to the UK than any other country (getting close to nearly 100,000), somewhere like Imperial is bound to have a very high representation, especially given its specialism, reputation, brand and location.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    -snip-
    So thanks to the Lib Dems and their zeal for diversity, there has been a tripling of tuition fees for students; no increase in funds available for student hardship fund (btw in 2011 Cambridge were estimating this would have increased to £7.5m by 2013) and a tripling on outreach spend.
    -snip-
    There's a long standing suspicion that abuse of hardship funds by relatively wealthy students was widespread..

    2004
    Middle-class students are exploiting university hardship funds to subsidise their social lives, shopping sprees and holidays, The Times Higher has been told.

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com...190200.article
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    There's a long standing suspicion that abuse of hardship funds by relatively wealthy students was widespread..

    2004
    Middle-class students are exploiting university hardship funds to subsidise their social lives, shopping sprees and holidays, The Times Higher has been told.

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com...190200.article
    The Cambridge bursary is awarded using the info provided directly to SFE. Not so easy to exploit.

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    The Cambridge bursary is awarded using the info provided directly to SFE. Not so easy to exploit.

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    TBH I thought hardship funds were a different thing to bursaries
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    TBH I thought hardship funds were a different thing to bursaries
    Ah. They are, but the money the poster was talking about was actually for bursaries not hardship. They just named it incorrectly.

    Edit: and the current process regarding hardship also relies on SFE information. That's probably been tightened up since 2004...
    https://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac...d-barnes-funds

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Ah. They are, but the money the poster was talking about was actually for bursaries not hardship. They just named it incorrectly.

    Edit: and the current process regarding hardship also relies on SFE information. That's probably been tightened up since 2004...
    https://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac...d-barnes-funds
    How would they approach the case of someone transitioning and their parents earn above the threshold but decide to cut financial support abruptly (eg when someone comes out for example)? Since estrangement tends to be hard to get and require over a year of no contact. Sure you could get a hardship grant for 1st year but what would happen 2nd and 3rd?

    NB mostly asking in a hypothetical sense, going to post in SFE forum as well for their view and I appreciate this is a very specific/highly unusual position to be in
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    How would they approach the case of someone transitioning and their parents earn above the threshold but decide to cut financial support abruptly (eg when someone comes out for example)? Since estrangement tends to be hard to get and require over a year of no contact. Sure you could get a hardship grant for 1st year but what would happen 2nd and 3rd?

    NB mostly asking in a hypothetical sense, going to post in SFE forum as well for their view and I appreciate this is a very specific/highly unusual position to be in
    I imagine you would get funding for as long as you are entitled. But parents stopping support wouldn't necessarily qualify... and certainly doesn't for SFE purposes. (It might for Cambridge, I honestly don't know.)
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    Maybe school exams are the problem, as schools appear to teach to the exam, rather than teach a more general appreciation/ understanding.

    For say English Lit an entrance test using say an unseen piece or pieces looking for pract crits and interpretation of the work might be more enlightening re actual latent ability.

    Even asking for a piece of writing , say creative , on a random theme or topic, where no prior knowledge is assumed ,could help.

    Whilst such an approach might be trickier with STEM subjects it is probably not impossible.

    They could set a baseline of academic achievement in school exams as the criteria to be eligible, screen with unseen written tests which looked less at knowledge and more at thought process, all under exam conditions so no school coaching re the particular piece of writing, and then use Oxbridge interviews to try to delve into candidates potential for lateral thinking.


    Not foolproof but might uncover more beautiful minds.
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    (Original post by DJKL)
    Maybe school exams are the problem, as schools appear to teach to the exam, rather than teach a more general appreciation/ understanding.

    For say English Lit an entrance test using say an unseen piece or pieces looking for pract crits and interpretation of the work might be more enlightening re actual latent ability.

    Even asking for a piece of writing , say creative , on a random theme or topic, where no prior knowledge is assumed ,could help.

    Whilst such an approach might be trickier with STEM subjects it is probably not impossible.

    They could set a baseline of academic achievement in school exams as the criteria to be eligible, screen with unseen written tests which looked less at knowledge and more at thought process, all under exam conditions so no school coaching re the particular piece of writing, and then use Oxbridge interviews to try to delve into candidates potential for lateral thinking.


    Not foolproof but might uncover more beautiful minds.
    The problem is that running exams in itself operates as a deterrent to schools. in the other thread I listed the four papers I wrote for the Oxford entrance exam which involved over 10 hours of invigilation. Once that had been lost as an expectation on schools, it is difficult to get it back.

    Various entrance tests are using Pearson's network of driving test centres because of the difficulty of offering them through schools but that constrains the nature of the examination.

    I don't know whether you have seen this

    http://www.admissionstestingservice....ity-admission/

    but very few centres seem to be offering it.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The problem is that running exams in itself operates as a deterrent to schools. in the other thread I listed the four papers I wrote for the Oxford entrance exam which involved over 10 hours of invigilation. Once that had been lost as an expectation on schools, it is difficult to get it back.

    Various entrance tests are using Pearson's network of driving test centres because of the difficulty of offering them through schools but that constrains the nature of the examination.

    I don't know whether you have seen this

    http://www.admissionstestingservice....ity-admission/

    but very few centres seem to be offering it.
    they include some practice papers:

    http://www.admissionstestingservice....n/preparation/
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    "I was trying to flush out (successfully) that AllonsEnfants wasn't really wanting to select on academic ability but was wanting to reward any past educational advantage. "

    You didn't flush out anything. Here's a summary of the discussion:

    #92 (ME) I even think existing access agreement targets are wrong, let alone introducing quotas. I think the state vs private school measure is too crude and the POLAR targets open to abuse. They should just make the admissions system more open to independent scrutiny; keep all records and have spot checks to ensure that all offers are being made fairly with regard only to academic ability regardless of race, religion, gender or anything else.

    #93 (D) So the context of an application doesn't matter?

    #95 (ME) In my opinion, for the most part no. And the reason is because there are so many variables to a person's life and circumstances that you cannot possibly take them all into account: everyone has a cross to bear when you dig a bit deeper. Illness and a disability such as blindness should be taken into account, but not some sob story about hardship which cannot even be verified anyway.

    If the Government wants to see more lower income students getting into Oxbridge, then they need to create more Mossbourne Academies not introduce targets and quotas for the universities. The model that worked at Mossbourne should be rolled out across the UK in failing schools

    #125 (YOU) I was trying to flush out (successfully) that AllonsEnfants wasn't really wanting to select on academic ability but was wanting to reward any past educational advantage.
    I rather regard this as confirming what I said.

    You use the example of Mossbourne Academy rather than Eton but the point is he same. How do you measure the ability of a student in a sink school in Hull relative to a student being educated by the best teachers money can buy at Eton or the best teachers Mossbourne Academy can attract to work in one of the world's great cities?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I don't know whether you have seen this

    http://www.admissionstestingservice....ity-admission/

    but very few centres seem to be offering it.
    Don't forget that STEP was basically a Cambridge only thing for around 20 years before other universities started asking for it; I would give this new exam a few years before writing it off.

    [Although I personally hate the idea of testing via MC questions].
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Don't forget that STEP was basically a Cambridge only thing for around 20 years before other universities started asking for it; I would give this new exam a few years before writing it off.

    [Although I personally hate the idea of testing via MC questions].
    STEP was a complete failure and has only survived for maths, Oxford abolished the 7th term entrance exam and kept 4th term only. Cambridge moved to 6th term entirely but (with the exception of Cambridge maths) neither survived for more than 3 or 4 years.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    STEP was a complete failure and has only survived for maths, Oxford abolished the 7th term entrance exam and kept 4th term only. Cambridge moved to 6th term entirely but (with the exception of Cambridge maths) neither survived for more than 3 or 4 years.
    Except STEP now has several other universities asking for it for maths. [I have to confess, I'd totally forgotten they had it for anything other than maths, which is kind of ironic seeing as I applied just as they were introducing it...]

    Edit: As far as "failure / success", it seems that the long "battle" between the AEA and STEP has now essentially been won by STEP. Although I think STEP is a better exam, I do think the AEA was more approachable to A-level students without access to extra resources. On the gripping hand, the internet has made access to extra resources much easier than in the past. (Also much greater efforts from Oxbridge with providing worked solutions, past papers etc).
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    Personally, I'm from a very poor part of the country where very few people progress to university. Nobody from my secondary school ever went to Oxford or Cambridge. I'm applying this year for maths at Oxford. Preparation for the MAT has been difficult as I've had no help whatsoever. However, I believe that Oxbridge should definitely NOT take quotas of any sort. It is unfair to deny somebody a place at a university, simply because they were privately-educated. If they did better in their GCSES, A-levels, and the admissions test then it is quite apparent that they would be a better fit for Oxbridge than someone who did less well from a poor background like myself.
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    (Original post by AllonsEnfants!)
    It's interesting that the OP links to a Guardian article which begins by talking about Norwegian football because football is an area where they are free to choose the best footballers for the team, based solely on ability,rather than attempting to make the football team entirely representative of the overall population. F1 drivers are not chosen to ensure diversity but because they can win races..
    true, this situation is a scandal

    both football and F1 should be regulated by strict quotas imposed on the basis of socio-economic background and racial origin : not only, but also skiing, ice-hockey and darts, areas where white privilege is omnipresent (not to mention that both snow and ice are white, which in itself is unjustifiable...)

    best
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    (Original post by Calg_)
    Preparation for the MAT has been difficult as I've had no help whatsoever.
    Have you found this thread?
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...rimary_content
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Don't forget that STEP was basically a Cambridge only thing for around 20 years before other universities started asking for it; I would give this new exam a few years before writing it off.

    [Although I personally hate the idea of testing via MC questions].
    To be fair the multiple choice aren't super trivial and you have to be v quick if you wanna answe them all.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Have you found this thread?
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...rimary_content
    Yeah I'm not really sure how helpful it is though.
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    (Original post by Calg_)
    Yeah I'm not really sure how helpful it is though.
    Ok, but you should use it to ask any questions or for advice. There's lots of *very* experienced people in the Maths Study Help forum.

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