I went on the John Locke institute summer school and was appalled by the standard. The students were not high-flying geniuses as was claimed- most scored incredibly weakly on the Oxford TSA. They were very stuck up private school type people with little ability. The director (Martin Cox) was rude, made a joke about someone taking their own life and seems only capable of employing young, blond women. around 8 of the applicants were kicked of the course after boys went into a girl's bedroom whilst drunk. the tutorials were a joke: the tutors didn't even look at the work and some didn't even have a degree/ academic position in the subject they were meant to be experts on. I can only hope my tutors at oxford are better next year( they will be according to my oxford-going brother). The accommodation was terrible and the food was even worse. Overall, it was a massive waste of money and i wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I'll be happy to answer any questions as truthfully as i can ( there were some good bits e.g experienced lecturers)
Did you gain any extra knowledge from the courses or at least help you with your UCAS application?
Hi everyone. Anyanoana, I actually posted a reply to you in another thread about summer schools. Historylover, I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy it though, from my own experience (I was also there this summer but probably on the other session to you - feel free to DM and we can work out if we know each other hahaha) I can see why.
For an historian, it doesn't offer teaching of anywhere near the standard to justify paying £3k. The course is genuinely well suited to PPE - the course's marketing has actually changed to reflect the fact it's PPE specific whereas, in the past, it used to claim to be a 'humanities' summer school. Political philosophy on things like positive and negative liberty is taught well, and the politics and philosophy tutors they had on my session were both Oxbridge and both excellent - they really enthused about their subjects and were so easy to talk to one-on-one if you wanted to learn a bit more after a lecture or seminar. It didn't help with my History reapplication to Oxford, but did make my switch to Political Economy at King's College London a much easier task as I am secure enough in my knowledge of the basics of both of my subjects.
Historylover, I'm also sorry you felt that the majority of your fellow students weren't that impressive. You were probably on my course and just spent too much time with me, I was pretty loud and did go to an independent school. Joking aside, I found that the guys on my session were all really engaged - maybe they weren't all completely out of the top drawer intellectually but lots of them were, and those who weren't were not exactly far behind. Of my session, I think at least 15 of us interviewed at either Oxford or Cambridge (the group numbered about 60) and 3 or 4 got offers. Maybe not the best success ratio, but I think that, ultimately, the summer school is what you make it. The cost certainly should be a factor in your thinking, though - £3k is a lot of money for anyone to spend on a fortnight's worth of occupation.
When it comes to interview, as a final point, just remember that knowledge is by no means the key. What really matters is that you display an adaptable mode of thinking, though are able to argue legitimate points. It's more about how you adapt to new factors brought into an argument than what you already know! Good luck and, if anyone wants to talk JLI some more with me, just let me know!