9dobbo1
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Hi everyone,

As I mentioned in the 2021 applicants thread, I am working on a book/guide on how to choose an Oxford college, to be published by the John Locke Institute.

I'd like to know why you applied to the college you applied to (or, for those thinking of applying, why might you apply to a particular college) - what factors were involved? Accommodation, food, sport, or something else?

If you could help me out with this I'd really appreciate it.

Many thanks,

Dobbo.
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hoemeric
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last year when i applied to oriel it was mostly because they have tiered room pricing, so i could be sure i’d get a nice en-suite room.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by 9dobbo1)
Hi everyone,

As I mentioned in the 2021 applicants thread, I am working on a book/guide on how to choose an Oxford college, to be published by the John Locke Institute.

I'd like to know why you applied to the college you applied to (or, for those thinking of applying, why might you apply to a particular college) - what factors were involved? Accommodation, food, sport, or something else?

If you could help me out with this I'd really appreciate it.

Many thanks,

Dobbo.
Nevarty could you add some stunning graphics please, to remind everyone why they applied to Oxford? Thanks
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Oxford Mum
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I will be adding a lot more comments tonight. This project is really exciting and it is a chance for all participants to speak directly to prospective applicants, who find it so hard to choose a college.

Each of the colleges, although similar on the surface, have their own unique personalities. Let's hear it.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by hoemeric)
last year when i applied to oriel it was mostly because they have tiered room pricing, so i could be sure i’d get a nice en-suite room.
You are absolutely right there, hoemeric Maybe I am biased because son is at Oriel, but they have absolutely amazing accommodation, some with view of the High and others down Oriel Street with a lovely, cottagy feel. I love the bright exterior colours, which remind me a bit of Devon. It's hidden, and it's called Narnia

To reach that part of Oriel (as a tourist) you have to go through an underground passage. It feels a bit "forbidden" to do that. Once there you can sit on the bench and be completely on your own. You don't feel like you are in Oxford. It's as tranquil as your own back garden.

Most of the first years are housed in the Rhodes building, which has en suites. Some rooms in the (stunning) main quads do have shared shower rooms, though.
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9dobbo1
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Thank you hoemeric, that's a good point about Oriel that I'll be sure to add to the book. Many people prefer a flat rate system, where rooms are assigned randomly, but I think being able to choose a room and decide whether you should sacrifice some cash to get the room that tugs your heart strings is quite a good system. I'm sure others will disagree though.
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9dobbo1
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To help get things started, I applied to Christ Church (ChCh) because I have lived in Oxford on and off over the years and it has always been the place that I consider to be the beating heart of Oxford. It is right in the centre, it's huge (like, really huge) and it is architecturally stunning, if a little imposing. I actually prefer Magdalen architecturally but they don't offer my subject (Theology and Religion).

I also picked ChCh for its generous discounts on accommodation on food to those from low income households, such as myself. It's also worth saying they have some of the best accommodation in Oxford, with double bed ensuites featuring balconies that look over the Meadow, 'Peck Sets' in Peckwater Quad with grand living spaces between two private bedrooms - meaning you get to have a roommate but also retain some privacy.

Christ Church also boasts *the* most famous dining hall in all of Oxford, and even though the food is (apparently) not the best Oxford has to offer, I think the magic of that Hogwarts-style eatery will negate any quibbles about the taste.

I could go on and on about this... though I better save my energy for the book itself!
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Oxford Mum
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9dobbo1
Who is this book designed for?
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Oxford Mum
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Ether Lin has some very interesting things to say about her college
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𝓖𝓱𝓸𝓼𝓽𝓵𝓪𝓭𝔂
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Although my daughter just made it to interview last year, she chose Merton when applying (diverted to Jesus/2nd interview St Hughs) .
She chose Merton college because it was central to Oxford and was still within walking distance of the Physics department, plus it was very pretty. She also saw a video from a vlogger called ''Molly at Oxford'' on Merton which had a tour of the place.

She also looked at the Oxford alternative prospectus https://apply.oxfordsu.org/ and Merton was offering 7 Physics places which was better compared to other colleges which had 3-4 students. (info she got was from here :http://apply.oxfordsu.org/colleges/c...-year/physics/ ) She also went off success rates from previous years which Oxford produces an admissions report. It was close between Merton and Balliol. Balliol got ruled out because of her attending there for the UNIQ summer school in 2018 and she thought other physics students that also went to Balliol would be trying there also.

So it was a little bit of what college she liked, the proximity to the department, and also the numbers game. Perhaps thats why she got diverted to Jesus college because other students were doing the same thing maybe with the numbers? 87 people applied for Physics and PhysPhil at Merton for 2020/2021. There was the PAT test and she got 54% and she had a lot of extra curriculars (UNIQ/EPQ/2 Work experiences/Astroclub for 6 years) so she was placed for interview stage. She liked Merton. It really is a pretty college and the grounds are lovely. The Rose Lane buildings for first years were huge, and the library across the road is really quirky with mini rooms on various levels. And the food looked really nice as well. A lot of the students on open day were raving on about how good the food was.
I would say not to play the numbers game so much, just because other students are doing the same thing. Choose a college which you like. If you get diverted to another college so be it, but at least you have giving it a shot to a college you liked, rather than statistics.
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Celtic Conjurer
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I chose to apply to Brasenose because of its central location. I had no desire to be somewhere far out like St Hugh’s, I needed to be close to the life and action of Oxford. Moreover, I fell in love with the architecture of Brasenose, especially the old quad which has a grand yet cottage-like feel at the same time. That attracted me much more than the huge colleges because they felt too big and grand whereas Brasenose had that smaller community and warm feel. I also chose Brasenose because it offers accommodation for all years of study which was very important to me as I wanted to be there for the whole degree and not have to move out and find a flat share in Cowley or something.
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Theloniouss
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I didn't apply to Oxford but I would've applied to Brasenose - I went round on an open day (as well as round a few other colleges) and it looked really nice.
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melancollege
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I chose my (Cambridge) college due to its location as well as its state-school representation and politics. I'm sure this has analogues for Oxford but I felt some Cambridge colleges - Gonville and Caius, Trinity - were far too Conservative for me, whereas a more Liberal, friendly one seemed better, such as Mansfield College for Oxford.
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9dobbo1
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
9dobbo1
Who is this book designed for?
schools and prospective applicants
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Ether Lin
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Ether Lin has some very interesting things to say about her college
Thanks OM for inviting!

I chose Balliol as my 1st college. The main concern is the academics. My subject is Mathematics and Philosophy, so I went on the Faculty of Philosophy to search for professors specifying in this field. And I found Adam Caulton who is the associate professor of Balliol, and his research interest lies in this field.


And then I need to consider some other factors. Different colleges have different preferences for students. Some colleges accept few international students and some colleges do not welcome Asians. I checked the statistics for the past years and found the proportion of Asians and international students in Balliol is above the average level of Oxford. This helped me to eliminate some alternatives, such as New which accepts few international students each year and Worcester which accepts few Asians.

And when it comes to the specific subject, I checked the statistics for subjects by colleges. Balliol appears to be super competitive but it is shown that they accept students every year. So applying for Balliol seems to be firm.

Besides, I also took some other factors into account such as the Norrington Table (where Balliol's average rank is 5th), the accommodation (Balliol provides accommodation in most years) and food (which many Chinese reported as relatively tasty) etc.
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XHannahR
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I applied to Keble because the building was so beautiful (red brick with an intricate pattern in the walls too 🤩)
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hoemeric
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
You are absolutely right there, hoemeric Maybe I am biased because son is at Oriel, but they have absolutely amazing accommodation, some with view of the High and others down Oriel Street with a lovely, cottagy feel. I love the bright exterior colours, which remind me a bit of Devon. It's hidden, and it's called Narnia

To reach that part of Oriel (as a tourist) you have to go through an underground passage. It feels a bit "forbidden" to do that. Once there you can sit on the bench and be completely on your own. You don't feel like you are in Oxford. It's as tranquil as your own back garden.

Most of the first years are housed in the Rhodes building, which has en suites. Some rooms in the (stunning) main quads do have shared shower rooms, though.
this reminds me oriel also provides accommodation for the full degree and i applied as i wanted to live on campus.
it’s also quite traditional with formal dinners every night. so i would say it was mostly the culture and the rooms that made me choose oriel.

this year though i’m applying to either christchurch for the more traditional vibe and architecture, or worcester for the wonderful gardens and the lake.


i think the overall ‘vibe’ of college is very important in choosing which one you would like to attend, and that is probably why i tilt more towards traditional ones.
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oppiwall
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(Original post by Ether Lin)
Thanks OM for inviting!

I chose Balliol as my 1st college. The main concern is the academics. My subject is Mathematics and Philosophy, so I went on the Faculty of Philosophy to search for professors specifying in this field. And I found Adam Caulton who is the associate professor of Balliol, and his research interest lies in this field.


And then I need to consider some other factors. Different colleges have different preferences for students. Some colleges accept few international students and some colleges do not welcome Asians. I checked the statistics for the past years and found the proportion of Asians and international students in Balliol is above the average level of Oxford. This helped me to eliminate some alternatives, such as New which accepts few international students each year and Worcester which accepts few Asians.

And when it comes to the specific subject, I checked the statistics for subjects by colleges. Balliol appears to be super competitive but it is shown that they accept students every year. So applying for Balliol seems to be firm.

Besides, I also took some other factors into account such as the Norrington Table (where Balliol's average rank is 5th), the accommodation (Balliol provides accommodation in most years) and food (which many Chinese reported as relatively tasty) etc.
Gosh,thats quite a statement "some colleges do not welcome asians",.Evidence?
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elizamunday02
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My sister, who graduated from Oxford a couple of years ago, told me that it was important to look at things like whether I liked the lecturers and what they had focused on for research etc., but that the most important thing was that I applied to the college where I would most like to live. All the colleges have incredible teaching and resources, that's a given. But I needed to apply to a college where I could see myself living and being happy – because it's going to be hard work and whether I actually liked the college is going to play a huge part in that. So I applied for LMH just because it's so so beautiful, and for me it was a perfect combination of not too old and not too modern. In the end I actually got an offer from St. Johns which I am still incredibly happy with, because it's a beautiful college with lovely grounds where I can see myself living and being comfortable. Plus it's in a great location. So I guess what I'm saying is that I feel you have to apply to a college that you think you'll be able to call home. If you're not a lover of ancient buildings then some of the more modern colleges might be best, like St. Annes or St. Katz, or if you'd prefer somewhere quiet then maybe go for a college that's slightly further from the centre of the city, like LMH. At the end of the day, we all know that whichever college we choose/get given, we're all going to become biased that it's the best college haha. Good luck with your book!
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Ether Lin
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(Original post by oppiwall)
Gosh,thats quite a statement "some colleges do not welcome asians",.Evidence?
I have already put the link in my post. For Worcester there were 119 Asian applicants who studies in UK and only 2 were accepted in 2019. The acceptance rate was about 2% while the Oxford average level was 13%. For 2017-2019 the average acceptance rate was 5% in Worcester while Oxford had an acceptance rate of 13%. It might be difficult to accept that, but unfortunately this is the fact.

Plus, Somerville rarely accepted Chinese students for Mathematics. The only one accepted in the recent year scored 100 in MAT.
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