Turn on thread page Beta

MPs to probe unconditional offers from universities watch

    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Science99999)
    The majority of politicians, especially the tories were educated at Oxbridge universities, however considering Oxbridge very rarely hand out unconditional offers, perhaps the number of unconditionals recieved has increased. Therefore, it is ironically hypocriticaly since the competition for these universities have significantly increased.
    Theresa May, David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson and a plethora of other MPs who were educated at Oxbridge, would undoubtedly never have stood a chance in today's competition; neither of them would be accepted by admissions tutors.
    Thats ridiculous - Cameron and Johnson in particular were academic superstars. Oh, and by the way, in the years they went Oxford offers tended to be EE.

    On the other hand David Miliband and Toby Young got Oxbridge places with VERY low grades. Apparently Marxist fathers help...
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by ajj2000)
    Thats ridiculous - Cameron and Johnson in particular were academic superstars. Oh, and by the way, in the years they went Oxford offers tended to be EE.

    On the other hand David Miliband and Toby Young got Oxbridge places with VERY low grades. Apparently Marxist fathers help...
    EE (matriculation) offers were uncommon, and afaik were more usual at Cambridge. They were usually only offered to applicants who had done well in the entrance exams.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    EE (matriculation) offers were uncommon, and afaik were more usual at Cambridge. They were usually only offered to applicants who had done well in the entrance exams.
    In my year of application - 1989 entry which would have been the same or similar to Cameron and Johnson - all Oxford courses I hear of required entrance exams. Success on these exams led to EE offers. I dont recall hearing of any exceptions to this.

    Cambridge had moved to offers based on 'A' level grades and possibly 'S' levels. I believe that move had been fairly recent and was in response to claims that entrance exams favoured the privately educated.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CoolCavy)
    Well I personally didn't slack off revision. Was given an unconditional cos I did well at the interview and then got AAA*. There is this annoying stigma that everyone who gets unconditional just coasts the rest of the year. It was also my favourite uni in the first place. I got unconditional from another uni but that wouldn't have made me want to go there since I didn't like it. Most of the pressure to slack off or whatever comes from other students 'oh you have an unconditional you don't even need to be here' 'why are you stressed' etc etc
    I agree... there's this unnecessary stigma around unconditional offers that you shouldn't work hard and that you can be lazy, etc... I got an unconditional, it was my favourite uni, firmed it, and still got A*A*A.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by ajj2000)
    In my year of application - 1989 entry which would have been the same or similar to Cameron and Johnson - all Oxford courses I hear of required entrance exams. Success on these exams led to EE offers. I dont recall hearing of any exceptions to this.

    Cambridge had moved to offers based on 'A' level grades and possibly 'S' levels. I believe that move had been fairly recent and was in response to claims that entrance exams favoured the privately educated.
    I defer to your knowledge

    Christ's Cambridge was the last to have EE offers and only stopped fairly recently. 2009 I think...
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    If the student firms a uni that wasn't their first choice and subsequently drops out because they're unhappy, that willl affect the uni :beard: but I guess they calculate that risk :holmes:
    Indeed they do, there are few things more data-mined than the retention figures by universities and they know a formidable amount about student motives, causes of drop out and so on. Actually, it's a shame more effort isn't made to connect this big data with the issues surrounding student mental health and causes of self-inflicted mortality amongst students, which is a big problem and downplayed I feel by many of the institutions.
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ajj2000)
    Thats ridiculous - Cameron and Johnson in particular were academic superstars. Oh, and by the way, in the years they went Oxford offers tended to be EE.
    Just a little reminder that Boris only managed an upper second - to his enduring disappointment, esp. when compared to his old Eton sparring partner, Cameron, who got his First in PPE. So Bojo wasn't quite the 'academic superstar' that Cammie was.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Just a little reminder that Boris only managed an upper second - to his enduring disappointment, esp. when compared to his old Eton sparring partner, Cameron, who got his First in PPE. So Bojo wasn't quite the 'academic superstar' that Cammie was.
    Boris was an academic superstar at Eton- admission was based on achievement at 17/18 - not where you are on graduation.
    • Community Assistant
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Indeed they do, there are few things more data-mined than the retention figures by universities and they know a formidable amount about student motives, causes of drop out and so on. Actually, it's a shame more effort isn't made to connect this big data with the issues surrounding student mental health and causes of self-inflicted mortality amongst students, which is a big problem and downplayed I feel by many of the institutions.
    I think I'm right in thinking that students who get a place via clearing are some of the ones most likely to drop out- so perhaps giving students unconditionals and getting them to emotionally commit to a place from, say, March, is better for these statistics. I'm sure some students do feel like they've made the wrong choice and drop out, but I would guess this is a small proportion of a small proportion.

    On your second point, I'm sure it would be a useful thing to look at. However, I wonder if students who feel able to drop out are less likely to self harm etc, as they feel able to do something to change/control their situation (and probably have a supportive family to return home to). I'm basing that on nothing at all, though!
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ajj2000)
    Boris was an academic superstar at Eton- admission was based on achievement at 17/18 - not where you are on graduation.
    Oh Eton, phtt. I was referring to proper academia, not the self-indulgent fakery and praise for tricksterism and deceit that comprises much of Eton's output. Although of course they were good preparation for bringing Boris to his full hypocritical potentials.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Youngest son already knew where he wanted to go and intended to firm as soon as he got an offer, unconditional or not. What put the cat among the pigeons and caused him a lot of stress was not one but 3 unconditional offers including one from his favourite university. The reason for the quandary and angst was his speculative application to an RG uni, one he thought he had no real hope at getting an offer from because of his educational history and which was also an unconditional (they were also the fastest responders with a personal email from the senior lecturer that most certainly massaged youngest's ego but also added to his angst and indecision)

    He was very very tempted for a while to change his long held choice to the RG uni, just so he could prove to his doubters that he was good enough (long story which includes being written off pre GCSE due to his disabilities) but in the end after a lot of soul searching and research into the pros and cons of each course and university, location, ease of travel etc, firmed his original favourite.

    For him, the unconditional offers spurred him on. He didn't just want to have the offer in the bag but he also wanted to prove he was good enough for it and to be going to university. He could do that without the stress, he knew where he was going, that it was a certainty and it gave him a chance to really show what he could do unencumbered by all the pressure and stress.

    By results day, he was not only the top student in his year group during lessons at college but also for his results.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Birmingham is the worst offender - it's a clear marketing strategy by them, and not necessarily in the interests of the student. Birmingham is only interested in securing bums on seats ahead of their competitors.
    And yet Birmingham's reputation has arguably improved since handing them out - was previously ranked mid-20s in all the league tables (now ranks about 15th), and is now one of the most applied to universities in the country. So they must be doing something right. The improved reputation benefits the students.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
    And yet Birmingham's reputation has arguably improved since handing them out - was previously ranked mid-20s in all the league tables (now ranks about 15th), and is now one of the most applied to universities in the country. So they must be doing something right. The improved reputation benefits the students.
    Interesting. I wonder what they did in 2014:
    Name:  Birmingham ranking.jpeg
Views: 28
Size:  112.2 KB
    https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...am/performance
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Interesting. I wonder what they did in 2014:
    Name:  Birmingham ranking.jpeg
Views: 28
Size:  112.2 KB
    https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...am/performance
    It's usually - "failed to recruit to target"/slashed intake numbers so their staff student ratio and spend/student ratio got a boost and staff had a bit more time to help finalists (boosting NSS and degree classifications) and more effort went into retaining the smaller cohort (so continuation gets a boost)....
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    2013 table - 1sts and 2:1s was 76.1%
    2018 table - 84.9%

    So it looks like what they did was start handing out a lot more firsts (which then boosted their employment stats)....:moon:

    Shame that the TEF is now looking into grade inflation :flute:
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    See PQ's post!

    And the chart below shows these offers are increasingly made to "good" (i.e. BBB to AAB) rather than the "outstanding" A* students.

    Attachment 725306


    So it's universities outside the "top-tier" fighting over bums on seats... i.e. Birmingham, Nottingham...
    What people on this thread don't seem to be interested in acknowledging is the conditions that are actually required to get unconditionals from certain universities. There seems to be a stigma about them but some are harder to get than others, to get an unconditional from Birmingham you generally need least AAA predictions at A-Level, plus at least 7 A*s at GCSE (and a good personal statement, reference etc.), so they're probably the most 'desired' unconditional offers attainable atm. The whole point of introducing unconditionals was to get numbers of applicants up and innovate the admissions system across the board, won't be long before other highly-ranked unis start copying Birmingham, apparently even UCL does them now.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PQ)
    2013 table - 1sts and 2:1s was 76.1%
    2018 table - 84.9%

    So it looks like what they did was start handing out a lot more firsts (which then boosted their employment stats)....:moon:

    Shame that the TEF is now looking into grade inflation :flute:
    (Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
    And yet Birmingham's reputation has arguably improved since handing them out - was previously ranked mid-20s in all the league tables (now ranks about 15th), and is now one of the most applied to universities in the country. So they must be doing something right. The improved reputation benefits the students.
    There is your answer, and a cynical strategy for keeping market share: Steal the candidates from more reputable universities by using UiF offers and get around the likely reputational problems by making sure everyone gets a first, even if the quality of the intake has been compromised.

    I wonder how long-lasting this will be.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
    What people on this thread don't seem to be interested in acknowledging is the conditions that are actually required to get unconditionals from certain universities. There seems to be a stigma about them but some are harder to get than others, to get an unconditional from Birmingham you generally need least AAA predictions at A-Level, plus at least 7 A*s at GCSE (and a good personal statement, reference etc.), so they're probably the most 'desired' unconditional offers attainable atm. The whole point of introducing unconditionals was to get numbers of applicants up and innovate the admissions system across the board, won't be long before other highly-ranked unis start copying Birmingham, apparently even UCL does them now.
    The chart says different. A rapidly increasing 25% of BBB are getting unconditionals vs a plateauing 17% of AAA.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PQ)
    2013 table - 1sts and 2:1s was 76.1%
    2018 table - 84.9%

    So it looks like what they did was start handing out a lot more firsts (which then boosted their employment stats)....:moon:

    Shame that the TEF is now looking into grade inflation :flute:
    Or maybe the students are just fundamentally doing better...
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
    Or maybe the students are just fundamentally doing better...
    It'll be interesting to see Birmingham make that case in their next TEF
    Name:  bhamfirsts.PNG
Views: 24
Size:  6.0 KB

    6% to 16% in less than a decade :eek3:
 
 
 
The home of Results and Clearing

4,078

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year
Poll
A-level students - how do you feel about your results?
Useful resources
Uni match

Applying to uni?

Our tool will help you find the perfect course

Articles:

Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

Quick link:

Educational debate unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.