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Oxbridge 'over-recruits from eight schools'

Oxford and Cambridge are being accused of being so socially exclusive that they recruit more students from eight top schools than almost 3,000 other English state schools put together.

The Sutton Trust social mobility charity says the leading universities are failing to attract a wide enough range of talent.

Trust founder Sir Peter Lampl said all young people needed a "fair chance".

Oxford University said they "very aware" that they "must work harder".
The study examined Oxford and Cambridge admissions data between 2015 and 2017 and found a handful of schools, mostly private, disproportionately dominating the number of places awarded.

The Sutton Trust says pupils from eight schools filled 1,310 Oxbridge places over three years, compared with 1,220 from 2,900 other schools.

These 2,900 schools were those with historically few admissions to Oxbridge - and accounted for about three-quarters of secondary schools.

The charity was using anonymised admissions data - but it says that it believes most of these eight places were private schools plus a couple of big state sixth-form colleges.

The schools are believed to include Eton, Westminster and St Paul's.

The research also found that high achieving independent school pupils were twice as likely as state school pupils to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, even with the same ability and predicted grades.

The report shows the imbalance in admissions:
7% of all UK pupils attend private schools
18% of those taking A-levels are at private school
34% of Oxbridge applications are from private school
42% of Oxbridge places go to private school pupils

The study blames a lack of advice and guidance for applicants and calls for better information about what is required for entry and for admissions to take into account young people's backgrounds.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-46470838

What do you think of this? Should more be done to even the playing field so to speak, and if so what would be the best route to take?

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Reply 1
Although the "top 8" has changed a bit over the years:

2013 for Cambridge, ranked by number of acceptances:
St Paul's School, London
Raffles Junior College, Singapore
Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School
Westminster School
King's College School
Magdalen College School, Oxford
Eton College
Hills Road Sixth Form College
Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet

2017 for Cambridge:
Westminster School
Hills Road Sixth Form College
Sevenoaks School
St Paul's School, London
Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore
Raffles Junior College, Singapore
Henrietta Barnett School
Eton College

(Source: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/apply/statistics)

Those in bold are in both lists.

Edit: the top 8 represented about 6% of all Cambridge acceptances, and 3.5% of all applications.
(edited 5 years ago)
Eat the rich

(Or at least tax their schools and stop giving preference to PreU qualifications that aren’t available in most state schools)
It’s all cool. Let’s try to avoid social engineering and class war where possible.

Also, last time I checked, HB and QE Boys were state schools.
Hardly surprising really.
Original post by Trinculo
It’s all cool. Let’s try to avoid social engineering and class war where possible.

Also, last time I checked, HB was a state school.


It is, although a LOT of kids who've been at private school since they were 4 move there for sixth form so they can apply to Oxbridge "from a state school"
(edited 5 years ago)
I’d also add that research paper this is based on sounds like an affront to social science.
The headline is essentially that schools that select for academic ability find their pupils have greater success than those that don't. What a surprise!
Original post by LeapingLucy
It is, although a LOT of kids who've been at private school since they were 4 move there for sixth form so they can apply to Oxbridge "from a state school”

There would be no reason why that would make a difference. HB and QE Boys are both in Barnet and have exceptionally high rates of university attendance and affluence in the local area.

For a university to care that you went to state school, so many other factors would have to come into play. Going to a crazy grammar school isn’t one of them
if state schools stopped whingeing on about their "students" having "issues" and actually taught them stuff then this would not happen.
Original post by the bear
if state schools stopped whingeing on about their "students" having "issues" and actually taught them stuff then this would not happen.

I think a step forward would be to get rid of this obsession that comprehensive schools have with making girls wear ties.

If your school makes girls wear ties, it’s probably a crap school, the only exception I can think of off hand is Wycombe Abbey.
Maybe those schools just have better students? There are some schools in my area that certainly don’t have any serious Oxbridge candidates.
(edited 5 years ago)
Original post by MrDystopia
Oxford and Cambridge are being accused of being so socially exclusive that they recruit more students from eight top schools than almost 3,000 other English state schools put together.

The title of the article (and this thread) may imply that Oxbridge encourages applicants from these schools over (other) state schools, which simply isn't the case.
The research also found that high achieving independent school pupils were twice as likely as state school pupils to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, even with the same ability and predicted grades.

This is the real issue, IMO.
What do you think of this? Should more be done to even the playing field so to speak, and if so what would be the best route to take?

The 'playing field' is level, in that Oxbridge selects the candidates that will do best there. It is not Oxbridge's fault if the state school system discourages good candidates from applying - one reason why I encourage anyone that is predicted to meet the entry requirements to apply, and attempt to dispel some of the myths about Oxford.

Many people are put-off by what they've heard, so don't apply. They then perpetuate the myths, and claim that Oxbridge is biased against state school applicants. It isn't.
(edited 5 years ago)
Oxford and Cambridge universities should be turned into museums and charities. I don't believe they have any place in a 21st century meritocratic British society. For centuries, these universities have divided British society by promoting a 'them Vs us' approach to education. This is wrong. Education is about inclusively, not exclusivity. Oxbridge have limited economic growth. An increasing number of young people fail to reach their potential because these universities promote social inequality, a corrosive British class system, institutional racism, and nepotism, all methods they use to protect 'white privilege' and sustain the British class system and thus their existence. Post-Brexit Britain needs a strong economy, and Oxbridge must reform and promote an inclusive environment to achieve this. Free, universal high quality education for everyone always creates the strongest economy, just like it has in Germany and Scandinavia.
(edited 5 years ago)
under Mr Corbyn Oxford and Cambridge will be forced to offer courses in chimney sweeping and the laying of tarmac.

smh
Original post by studentshello
Oxford and Cambridge universities should be turned into museums and charities. I don't believe they have any place in a 21st century meritocratic British society. For centuries, these universities have divided British society by promoting a 'them Vs us' approach to education. This is wrong. Education is about inclusively, not exclusivity. Oxbridge have limited economic growth. An increasing number of young people fail to reach their potential because these universities promote social inequality, a corrosive British class system, institutional racism, and nepotism, all methods they use to protect 'white privilege' and sustain the British class system and thus their existence. Post-Brexit Britain needs a strong economy, and Oxbridge must reform and promote an inclusive environment to achieve this. Free, universal high quality education for everyone always creates the strongest economy, just like it has in Germany and Scandinavia.

I somewhat agree though we shouldn't fault rich students if they are much smarter than a student who is from a poor background. Yes, rich kids get better education which would mean better grades but Oxbridge is really meant for those who are VERY intelligent but that's not to say that poor kids should be automatically declined entry due to financial problems or their background.
Reply 16
Original post by studentshello
Oxford and Cambridge universities should be turned into museums and charities. I don't believe they have any place in a 21st century meritocratic British society. For centuries, these universities have divided British society by promoting a 'them Vs us' approach to education. This is wrong. Education is about inclusively, not exclusivity. Oxbridge have limited economic growth. An increasing number of young people fail to reach their potential because these universities promote social inequality, a corrosive British class system, institutional racism, and nepotism, all methods they use to protect 'white privilege' and sustain the British class system and thus their existence. Post-Brexit Britain needs a strong economy, and Oxbridge must reform and promote an inclusive environment to achieve this. Free, universal high quality education for everyone always creates the strongest economy, just like it has in Germany and Scandinavia.


You use the words "meritocratic" yet are compketely blind to the fact that as far as this philosophy goes, Oxbridge are the biggest proponents of not and are the only two universities where you really have to be interested in your subject and have a depth of knowledge that is genuine in order to get in.

How about we bring back the polytechnics which actually provided useful skills instead of useless media degrees and only keep the best if the best universities for those who want to study their subject sincerely?
Original post by the bear
Oxford ... will be forced to offer ... the laying of tarmac.

smh

"Many, many things must be done, but nothing must be done for the first time."

Sir Humphrey Appleby Hon Fellow Baillie College Oxford

https://madeleineemeraldthiele.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/the-ruskin-road-gang/
Original post by Yr_11_MATHS
I somewhat agree though we shouldn't fault rich students if they are much smarter than a student who is from a poor background. Yes, rich kids get better education which would mean better grades but Oxbridge is really meant for those who are VERY intelligent but that's not to say that poor kids should be automatically declined entry due to financial problems or their background.

This is kinda the problem. If all the really smart kids go to Oxbridge, because of how the university is set up, it changes them into people who believe they are better than other people (because of the environment and the people they are surrounded by).
Reply 19
Original post by nulli tertius
"Many, many things must be done, but nothing must be done for the first time."

Sir Humphrey Appleby Hon Fellow Baillie College Oxford

https://madeleineemeraldthiele.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/the-ruskin-road-gang/


"British democracy recognises that you need a system to protect the important things of life, and keep them out of the hands of the barbarians. Things like the opera, Radio Three, the countryside, the law, the universities both of them"

-same dude

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