Do not go on the John Locke Institute summer school

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historylover6465
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TSR Jessica
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Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you've posted in the right place? Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there.
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Anyanoana
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Did you gain any extra knowledge from the courses or at least help you with your UCAS application?
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Longshanks1239
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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!
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eleanoric
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Hi there! I'm considering the JL summer school but wanted a bit more info about the accomodation, roughly how many people per room, sizing etc. any help would be much appreciated!
(Original post by Longshanks1239)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!
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Longshanks1239
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Hi eleanoric!

So, last summer, I had two other people in my room - I was 18, and there was a 17 year old and a 22 year old (he subsequently got an offer at Harris Manchester College for PPE or something incorporating philosophy, I can't really remember!). The rooms were about 8 squared feet including an en suite shower and loo. There were about 60 people on the course and we were all lodged in the chateau, which has a lot of facilities for winding down if you have the time - this tends to be in the latter half of the course. There's a swimming pool, football pitch, rugby pitch, ping pong, tennis court, and chateau staff on site for much of the day separate to the summer school staff.
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izziehaynes
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Hiya, I just got into the summer school, and I've paid the deposit, but I'm still not sure if I want to go because its a huggge amount of money for my family. Sorry in advance for the long list of questions.
What were the students like, were they all obnoxious private school types? (I go to a state school)
I want to study PPE in 2020, was the actual content well taught and relevant?
Were the accommodation and food nice?
And finally who were the tutors, were they mainly Oxbridge tutors?
Thanks for reading my long ass questions
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Longshanks1239
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Hey, that's great news, well done! Your concerns are understandable, 3k is a lot of money!

Firstly, I went to private school myself - a comment I often heard from state-educated students on the course was that they had been (before the course) concerned that they may not fit in and that the course would be taken up by predominantly privately-educated students. They then would say how pleasantly surprised they were that the course had a pretty even balance between state educated students and independently educated students, as well as the fact that there was no real 'obnoxious front' put up by the independently educated students.

I think I said above that the rooms were something like 8 squared feet - its occurred to me that that's ridiculously small and I just have no sense of perspective - I think mine, at least (others were much bigger) was something like four metres by five or six metres. The accommodation was fine - there are lots of facilities at the chateau (the only potential downside is that the rooms are shared but you become very friendly with roommates - both of my roommates were state educated and we still talk now so that should give some sort of indication of how we all got/get on, I hope). There were all sort of things, a games room, a tennis court, a rugby pitch, a swimming pool, a tuck shop open between something like 8 and 4. The content was relevant and mostly very well taught, there was a lot of PPE basics such as liberty theories, philosophical schools, and game theory. There was also some good contextual history although this was pretty limited. The professors themselves were mostly pretty good. There were some absolutely quality lecturers who were from Oxford and Cambridge - Peter Millican of Hertford College, Oxford and John Filling of King's College, Cambridge - others were less good but a plus side is you got a lot of time with those two! Martin Cox did also lecture at Oxford in E&M for a time so there is a wealth of Oxbridge experience as well as expertise from further afield. The food was also lovely!

I hope that answers everything but let me know if you have any further questions. We may end up meeting as I've been asked to come again this Summer but, if not, enjoy your time (if you choose to go)!
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colorcrush
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Hi!

PPE 2020 applicant here too, got an interview for JLI this year. Just wondering, how was the interview experience? I have mine tomorrow and I'm not sure how formal/stressful/knowledge-based it will be. (The lack of online information is annoying argh)
Thanks in advance!



(Original post by izziehaynes)
Hiya, I just got into the summer school, and I've paid the deposit, but I'm still not sure if I want to go because its a huggge amount of money for my family. Sorry in advance for the long list of questions.
What were the students like, were they all obnoxious private school types? (I go to a state school)
I want to study PPE in 2020, was the actual content well taught and relevant?
Were the accommodation and food nice?
And finally who were the tutors, were they mainly Oxbridge tutors?
Thanks for reading my long ass questions
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TheManTheMyth
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My friend said it was like a casual conversation about what interests you etc. about each subject. Tbh, I think it's more of a test to see if you are serious about it. Its not as if they will reject you as they want their £3000...
(Original post by colorcrush)
Hi!

PPE 2020 applicant here too, got an interview for JLI this year. Just wondering, how was the interview experience? I have mine tomorrow and I'm not sure how formal/stressful/knowledge-based it will be. (The lack of online information is annoying argh)
Thanks in advance!
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izziehaynes
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Mine was a bit of a ****-show, I was asked a logic question but because I take maths I went about it in a mathematical way which wasted a lot of time but he was very polite so don't worry too much, I hope you get in.
(Original post by colorcrush)
Hi!

PPE 2020 applicant here too, got an interview for JLI this year. Just wondering, how was the interview experience? I have mine tomorrow and I'm not sure how formal/stressful/knowledge-based it will be. (The lack of online information is annoying argh)
Thanks in advance!
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Marie ThaCreator
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what was the logic question on?
(Original post by izziehaynes)
Mine was a bit of a ****-show, I was asked a logic question but because I take maths I went about it in a mathematical way which wasted a lot of time but he was very polite so don't worry too much, I hope you get in.
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Longshanks1239
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I have to say, as somebody who was privately educated, the way you talk about us says more about you than us. It shouldn't matter where people go to school, if you get an interview at Oxford or Cambridge it is because you deserve one. You're going to spend 3 years at Oxford and they should be amazing - you definitely will, though, come across people educated at Harrow or Eton or Winchester because they are big academically high-powered schools and if you arrive with misconceptions of the way most students at those schools are and behave you're just going to back yourself into a corner and worsen your experience.

Also, your suggestion that the admissions process would be deliberately lax to give the course more of an elite appearance is, frankly, silly. There were plenty of state educated people on my course. There were people on the course who, I could easily have told you, wouldn't have got an interview at Oxbridge let alone gotten in, but many of them weren't far off and the summer school is not just for people who want to go to a high-powered university. Some people go for self-improvement.

I agree with you on the history side, but everyone I know who was there for P, P, or E, felt that they had benefitted so I'm happy to trust their verdicts.

On my course they certainly did read essays in law, politics, philosophy, and economics. Also, there is a tradition at Oxford of essays being read by the student to the professor without the professor having already seen it, which is why some are not read before the mock tutorials.

On the point about your history tutor, I didn't think he should have been there either, but you did have access to Steve Davies who was much better than him and could have given you a better mock interview even if you don't rate him that much.

If you read any of my responses to questions or your initial post you'd see I didn't get in. I initially wanted to do PPE but was put off applying to Oxford for that subject as the Balliol undergrad admissions secretary warned me I may struggle with year one econ as I didn't do a level maths. I am now going to King's College London to do Political Economy with absolutely no regrets.

I suppose a question would be, were you on the first or second session?
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TheManTheMyth
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"Also, your suggestion that the admissions process would be deliberately lax to give the course more of an elite appearance is, frankly, silly."

There is literally no competition to get in to this summer school. The whole 'John Locke Institute' is a dodgy scheme imo. I went to their essay prize thing as well and not only did they charge £120 per person (should really be free considering that it is a reward for an essay prize), but they literally showed videos of the summer school to advertise it. They aren't even linked with Oxford, they just rent out their halls for events to appear elite.

(Original post by Longshanks1239)
I have to say, as somebody who was privately educated, the way you talk about us says more about you than us. It shouldn't matter where people go to school, if you get an interview at Oxford or Cambridge it is because you deserve one. You're going to spend 3 years at Oxford and they should be amazing - you definitely will, though, come across people educated at Harrow or Eton or Winchester because they are big academically high-powered schools and if you arrive with misconceptions of the way most students at those schools are and behave you're just going to back yourself into a corner and worsen your experience.

Also, your suggestion that the admissions process would be deliberately lax to give the course more of an elite appearance is, frankly, silly. There were plenty of state educated people on my course. There were people on the course who, I could easily have told you, wouldn't have got an interview at Oxbridge let alone gotten in, but many of them weren't far off and the summer school is not just for people who want to go to a high-powered university. Some people go for self-improvement.

I agree with you on the history side, but everyone I know who was there for P, P, or E, felt that they had benefitted so I'm happy to trust their verdicts.

On my course they certainly did read essays in law, politics, philosophy, and economics. Also, there is a tradition at Oxford of essays being read by the student to the professor without the professor having already seen it, which is why some are not read before the mock tutorials.

On the point about your history tutor, I didn't think he should have been there either, but you did have access to Steve Davies who was much better than him and could have given you a better mock interview even if you don't rate him that much.

If you read any of my responses to questions or your initial post you'd see I didn't get in. I initially wanted to do PPE but was put off applying to Oxford for that subject as the Balliol undergrad admissions secretary warned me I may struggle with year one econ as I didn't do a level maths. I am now going to King's College London to do Political Economy with absolutely no regrets.

I suppose a question would be, were you on the first or second session?
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Longshanks1239
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I didn't contest that the admissions system is pretty redundant, what I did say is that conducting admissions in that way is counterproductive if you are aiming to give an elite appearance to the summer school. I may have misinterpreted historylover's point, though, I'm assuming they actually meant that having an 'interview' would make the summer school seem more impressive whereas before I thought they were saying the summer school appeared more elite because of the demographics of students in terms of their schooling rather than their intellectual abilities.
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Camhiststudent
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I did the summer school in 2015 and thought it was brilliant (I am now studying History at Cambridge). In fact, I based a whole chunk of my personal statement on the history related experiences I had on the course. I loved exploring the history around Normandy and the D-Day landings and read widely around this. I also made a number of friends on the course who I still see in Cambridge and also when I visit Oxford. Despite applying for history, I also really enjoyed attending the Philosophy, Politics and Economics seminars - these disciplines all profoundly influence History and can also be subsets of it. I'm also just generally intellectually curious so I loved them. Overall I would really recommend the course.
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Poldork
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Likewise, I'm currently studying History and Politics at Oxford and made some good friends at John Locke that I am sure I will remain close to for the rest of my life. I'll admit that a couple of people on it were a bit stuck up, but you don't have to talk to them - everyone else is lovely, and quite frankly in that respect its good training for Oxbridge (and life) in general. Martin was always very kind to me, and I found the course very interesting to the extent that I went back for the next two years and did the Gap year as well.
(Original post by Camhiststudent)
I did the summer school in 2015 and thought it was brilliant (I am now studying History at Cambridge). In fact, I based a whole chunk of my personal statement on the history related experiences I had on the course. I loved exploring the history around Normandy and the D-Day landings and read widely around this. I also made a number of friends on the course who I still see in Cambridge and also when I visit Oxford. Despite applying for history, I also really enjoyed attending the Philosophy, Politics and Economics seminars - these disciplines all profoundly influence History and can also be subsets of it. I'm also just generally intellectually curious so I loved them. Overall I would really recommend the course.
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n.st
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My experience at the John Locke Institute Summer School was an overwhelmingly positive one and an excellent use of my holiday time. I was made to feel very welcome by both the students and the staff during my time at the beautiful château. One of my roommates, who I became close with, was attending the course for the second time as a History student (the previous year, he was a prospective PPE student). I personally know a number of John Locke Institute alumni who have gone on to read History at both Oxford and Cambridge. Although my interest was primarily in PPE, I learnt much about history on the course. After asking Stephen Davies a question about the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, he kindly spent his dinner hour explaining the major developments in Middle Eastern history (with a focus on the 20th century) that culminated in the present state of affairs. Throughout our meal and conversation, he was happy to field my many queries and even indulged me in a detailed prediction of future US-China relations. I had many other great discussions with esteemed professors and economists, both at mealtimes and throughout each day. Hence, I question grievances regarding a lack of opportunity to speak with academics on the course. On the contrary, I found the director, Martin Cox, did his utmost to facilitate this by seating academics and students together at mealtimes, various events and activities outside of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. I became friendly with a number of my teachers and have corresponded and met with them since.

Making the most of your time in such a highly intellectual environment, as opposed to simply acquiring a place, is the real achievement. Unfortunately, our disparaging History student didn’t appear to succeed in this. Whilst I appreciate the difficulty in creating a course that caters to all, I feel that many of the complaints in this thread could have been rectified by having a quick and honest conversation with Martin Cox, who I have always found to be approachable, attentive and amenable. Martin Cox cares very much for both his students and his colleagues and I am glad that he is prepared to take the disciplinary measures needed to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all. Students across subjects stand to benefit from this course as it encourages the free exchange of ideas and hones the valuable skill of critical thinking. I do not recall the John Locke Institute ever making claims about their students being geniuses. In fact, research suggests that the IQ level for genius status begins between 145 and 160. Nobel Prize winners typically fall somewhere in this range, as well as some professors. I doubt that the John Locke Institute would imply that its students were, on average, smarter than its academics. I would like to believe that our History student’s recent admission to Oxford (if this is indeed true) reflects their intelligence but the number of contradicting statements made in their posts makes this no easy task. I propose that our History student refrain from making sweeping statements about the competence of others, particularly when posting in a manner that suggests their own grasp of written English is tenuous at best.

P.S. To anyone reading my response, it appears that the thread starter has now retracted their comments.
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TheManTheMyth
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Lol would not surprise me if they begged you/paid you off to write this. 2 posts on student room, one in 2016, one 3 years later to write this? Camhiststudent above only made his account to post 1 post praising the summer school. It's a bit weird to defend this course so passionately tbh.

(Original post by n.st)
My experience at the John Locke Institute Summer School was an overwhelmingly positive one and an excellent use of my holiday time. I was made to feel very welcome by both the students and the staff during my time at the beautiful château. One of my roommates, who I became close with, was attending the course for the second time as a History student (the previous year, he was a prospective PPE student). I personally know a number of John Locke Institute alumni who have gone on to read History at both Oxford and Cambridge. Although my interest was primarily in PPE, I learnt much about history on the course. After asking Stephen Davies a question about the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, he kindly spent his dinner hour explaining the major developments in Middle Eastern history (with a focus on the 20th century) that culminated in the present state of affairs. Throughout our meal and conversation, he was happy to field my many queries and even indulged me in a detailed prediction of future US-China relations. I had many other great discussions with esteemed professors and economists, both at mealtimes and throughout each day. Hence, I question grievances regarding a lack of opportunity to speak with academics on the course. On the contrary, I found the director, Martin Cox, did his utmost to facilitate this by seating academics and students together at mealtimes, various events and activities outside of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. I became friendly with a number of my teachers and have corresponded and met with them since.

Making the most of your time in such a highly intellectual environment, as opposed to simply acquiring a place, is the real achievement. Unfortunately, our disparaging History student didn’t appear to succeed in this. Whilst I appreciate the difficulty in creating a course that caters to all, I feel that many of the complaints in this thread could have been rectified by having a quick and honest conversation with Martin Cox, who I have always found to be approachable, attentive and amenable. Martin Cox cares very much for both his students and his colleagues and I am glad that he is prepared to take the disciplinary measures needed to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all. Students across subjects stand to benefit from this course as it encourages the free exchange of ideas and hones the valuable skill of critical thinking. I do not recall the John Locke Institute ever making claims about their students being geniuses. In fact, research suggests that the IQ level for genius status begins between 145 and 160. Nobel Prize winners typically fall somewhere in this range, as well as some professors. I doubt that the John Locke Institute would imply that its students were, on average, smarter than its academics. I would like to believe that our History student’s recent admission to Oxford (if this is indeed true) reflects their intelligence but the number of contradicting statements made in their posts makes this no easy task. I propose that our History student refrain from making sweeping statements about the competence of others, particularly when posting in a manner that suggests their own grasp of written English is tenuous at best.
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n.st
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Would it surprise you if you were wrong?
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