Wwyd if your privately educated kids ended up at a “less prestigious” institution?

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Augustino D
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#1
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#1
A topic that comes up in conversations among certain types of parent is whether they would be happy to see their privately-educated child attend a less well-regarded Russell Group/top-tier non-Russell Group institution for a traditional academic subject such as law, history, economics, maths, physics and so on.

(This question is not about those who want to study creative or vocational courses that are better studied elsewhere; nor is it about Medicine.)

So, to provide an example, would you be happy if you spent however much on private schooling for your child to end up studying law at York or Liverpool instead of Oxford or the LSE?

I have heard some variant of the following arguments crop up as to why it is disappointing:

1A: Entry selection
Only a few universities in this country have an offer rate of less than 50%. The 'mainstream' universities among these are: Oxford, Cambridge, the LSE, St. Andrew's, Imperial College London, Edinburgh. The argument is therefore: why spend so much money when it is so easy to get an offer from all but the top institutions?

1B: Selectivity part 2
For each traditional academic course, only a few universities have very high entry requirements - as in, requiring at least one A* or more. The remaining institutions will take candidates with AAA or below and often lie about their entry requirements and take candidates in Clearing. Once again, why spend all of that money on the child only for it to end up in an institution that doesn't expect much of its students?

1C: Selectivity part 3
Only a few mainstream universities have over 30% of their intake come from British independent schools - there are: Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Imperial, Exeter, Durham, LSE, UCL. Obviously the real figures are higher as international students aren't counted and most internationals students at the likes of Oxford and UCL is privately schooled. But this raises a question: why pay for private school if most of the students at the university clearly didn't need it to get in?

2A: Graduate prospects
Most parents who privately educate their kids are middle or upper middle class and make considerable sacrifices to do so. It is therefore natural to want your child to go to a university where it has good career prospects. Unfortunately there is a lot of variation here. A handful of Russell Groups have very high employabilty scores 15 months after graduation. For example Oxbridge and LSE/Imperial have scores of 90% or more (depending on how you measure it). By contrast Glasgow and Newcastle sit at a more modest 75%.

2B: Salaries
Same point as above. A few universities produce the bulk of high earners for each course, the rest are more or less interchangeable. This is especially for courses with a large earnings upside like maths, law and economics. Privately educated parents may be class conscious and prefer for their child to network with ambitious future professionals, as well as end up in similarly reputable and well-paying jobs as themselves.

2C: Top jobs
It is well known that some universities are vastly better represented in so-called 'elite' graduate professions such as investment banking than others. This has been discussed to the death elsewhere so I will leave it at that.

2D: Student debt
Curently, only 25% of current full-time undergraduates who have taken out loans are expected to pay them in full. Students who graduated in 2020 took out an average of £45,060 in loans (it may be lower for privileged graduates who enjoyed parental support in paying for rent or food). When parents have spent tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds on schooling, they will not want to be bailing out their child for an investment that will not pay off.

3A: Prestige within the school
Many leading private schools see a large proportion of their students go on to study at Oxbridge and other leading institutions. Separately, many of the schools that get the most Oxbridge offers are private schools. Given this, an offer from a mid-tier Russell Group university may not look as good when compared to students at the same school (not the country at large - it has been proven that we mainly compare ourselves to the people around us).

3B: Prestige part 2
Only some Russell Groups/top-tier non-Russell Groups are seen as "prestigious" to your average man or woman. Even fewer are known internationally. This may hinder mobility and/or be an issue for parents who are from abroad and need to justify their investment to the wider family.

4: Academics
It is undoubtedly true that the top Russell Group universities hire more academic and driven students than the rest. A parent who wanted to send their kid to private school for it to be around smart and hardworking people who take school seriously may prefer for the kid to go to a top institution for the same reason.

5: Research
Many parents may be researchers or ex-researchers themselves, or want to support their kid as it pursues an academic career. If that is the case, the connections, references, calibre of tutors, international ties and other curricular support available at leading research institutions may cause them to want to send their kids there.

Which of these would you agree or disagree with? What would you be thinking if you were privately educated your child?
italics removed upon moderator request
Last edited by Augustino D; 3 weeks ago
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sachinisgod
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#2
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#2
A very odd thread - considering 90% of the users on this forum are students who do not have their own kids yet..:rofl:
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hungrysalamander
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I wouldn't care, I'm still sending my future kids to private school.
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londonmyst
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#4
I wouldn't mind.
As long as the child was happy and the uni didn't have an unsafe or revolting reputation.
I've studied at a diverse mix of Russell Group & non Russell unis, private, state and faith schools.
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skylark2
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#5
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#5
I actually am a parent with privately educated kids. Not because of snob value (I wasn't privately educated) but because it became increasingly obvious during primary school that it was in their best interests.

Same with university. If it was in my kid's best interests to go to private school, and then they wanted to study law or history or physics or whatever, and for whatever reason their best option wasn't a "top" university, then that would be fine. I confess I would have been disappointed if one of mine had opted for an easy option because they CBA to put in the work needed for good grades and/or didn't fancy the work needed to cope at a competitive university. I don't think I'd have been any less disappointed if I hadn't paid for their school education.

You seem to think that parents send their kids to private school to "buy" them places at top universities. Maybe some do. I didn't.
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Joinedup
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#6
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#6
You could spend the money and have them end up in an institution of an entirely different character...

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/lat...abbed-20515995
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Trinculo
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#7
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#7
Bank holiday. Nothing else to do. I know what. Class war.

Never change, lefties, never change.
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tazarooni89
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I think it's a hugely flawed piece of thinking that by sending your children to a private school, you're basically just trying to "buy" them better grades, hence a place at a more prestigious university, hence a job with a higher salary. That's really not how it works.

In all those areas, obviously everyone wants their child to do as well as possible, but there's always going to be a limit to what they're capable of. An expensive school is no substitute for having the discipline and intelligence to put in the hours and learn everything you need to know for your exams. It's also no substitute for the genuine intellectual curiosity and engagement you'd need to display when being interviewed.

One thing to understand is that for very rich people - i.e. the type who can afford to send their children to top private schools - getting the best grades and the highest possible salary is rarely the main motivating factor for doing so. In many cases they're already sitting on such vast sums of wealth that they no longer need to be motivated by that sort of thing.

The purpose of sending their children to top private schools is often completely different. Part of it might be about raising their child with upper-class or upper-middle class cultural values, because that's the society they're going to be living their lives in. Part of it might be about giving their children the most luxurious student lifestyle possible, given that they'll be spending 7 hours a day at school, or more if they're boarding. Part of it might be because private schools offer convenient, centralised access to a vast array of different extra-curricular opportunities (e.g. music, drama, sports, travel etc.) at the very highest level, offering them multiple avenues to tap into their potential, and to make them generally more well-rounded people with more enriched lives. And part of it might be to do with just putting them in an environment of other people who are very successful in different fields, giving them the confidence to raise their sights in what they can aspire to in any area of life.
Last edited by tazarooni89; 3 weeks ago
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meddad
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Augustino D)
A topic that comes up in conversations among certain types of parent is whether they would be happy to see their privately-educated child attend a less well-regarded Russell Group/top-tier non-Russell Group institution for a traditional academic subject such as law, history, economics, maths, physics and so on.

(This question is not about those who want to study creative or vocational courses that are better studied elsewhere; nor is it about Medicine.)

So, to provide an example, would you be happy if you spent however much on private schooling for your child to end up studying law at York or Liverpool instead of Oxford or the LSE?

I have heard some variant of the following arguments crop up as to why it is disappointing:

1A: Entry selection
Only a few universities in this country have an offer rate of less than 50%. The 'mainstream' universities among these are: Oxford, Cambridge, the LSE, St. Andrew's, Imperial College London, Edinburgh. The argument is therefore: why spend so much money when it is so easy to get an offer from all but the top institutions?

1B: Selectivity part 2
For each traditional academic course, only a few universities have very high entry requirements - as in, requiring at least one A* or more. The remaining institutions will take candidates with AAA or below and often lie about their entry requirements and take candidates in Clearing. Once again, why spend all of that money on the child only for it to end up in an institution that doesn't expect much of its students?

1C: Selectivity part 3
Only a few mainstream universities have over 30% of their intake come from British independent schools - there are: Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Imperial, Exeter, Durham, LSE, UCL. Obviously the real figures are higher as international students aren't counted and most internationals students at the likes of Oxford and UCL is privately schooled. But this raises a question: why pay for private school if most of the students at the university clearly didn't need it to get in?

2A: Graduate prospects
Most parents who privately educate their kids are middle or upper middle class and make considerable sacrifices to do so. It is therefore natural to want your child to go to a university where it has good career prospects. Unfortunately there is a lot of variation here. A handful of Russell Groups have very high employabilty scores 15 months after graduation. For example Oxbridge and LSE/Imperial have scores of 90% or more (depending on how you measure it). By contrast Glasgow and Newcastle sit at a more modest 75%.

2B: Salaries
Same point as above. A few universities produce the bulk of high earners for each course, the rest are more or less interchangeable. This is especially for courses with a large earnings upside like maths, law and economics. Privately educated parents may be class conscious and prefer for their child to network with ambitious future professionals, as well as end up in similarly reputable and well-paying jobs as themselves.

2C: Top jobs
It is well known that some universities are vastly better represented in so-called 'elite' graduate professions such as investment banking than others. This has been discussed to the death elsewhere so I will leave it at that.

2D: Student debt
Curently, only 25% of current full-time undergraduates who have taken out loans are expected to pay them in full. Students who graduated in 2020 took out an average of £45,060 in loans (it may be lower for privileged graduates who enjoyed parental support in paying for rent or food). When parents have spent tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds on schooling, they will not want to be bailing out their child for an investment that will not pay off.

3A: Prestige within the school
Many leading private schools see a large proportion of their students go on to study at Oxbridge and other leading institutions. Separately, many of the schools that get the most Oxbridge offers are private schools. Given this, an offer from a mid-tier Russell Group university may not look as good when compared to students at the same school (not the country at large - it has been proven that we mainly compare ourselves to the people around us).

3B: Prestige part 2
Only some Russell Groups/top-tier non-Russell Groups are seen as "prestigious" to your average man or woman. Even fewer are known internationally. This may hinder mobility and/or be an issue for parents who are from abroad and need to justify their investment to the wider family.

4: Academics
It is undoubtedly true that the top Russell Group universities hire more academic and driven students than the rest. A parent who wanted to send their kid to private school for it to be around smart and hardworking people who take school seriously may prefer for the kid to go to a top institution for the same reason.

5: Research
Many parents may be researchers or ex-researchers themselves, or want to support their kid as it pursues an academic career. If that is the case, the connections, references, calibre of tutors, international ties and other curricular support available at leading research institutions may cause them to want to send their kids there.

Which of these would you agree or disagree with? What would you be thinking if you were privately educated your child?
italics removed upon moderator request
Your question seems to assume that all privately educated kids go to University. I know kids who were privately educated who chose to leave school at age 16 or 18, and some have done very well for themselves.
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AliceKS
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#10
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#10
tbf think the school is more likely to be annoyed/disappointed about this as, from personal experience, the Russell group success rate is always in the prospectuses for the private schools I have looked at (small sample, personal anecdote etc. don't come for me) so i think it's more of a selling point for the school. slightly off topic but does the same thing apply to grammar schools and if so, is it more because of the selection process as it is an expectation of these kids
lmk if that makes no sense as this is before i've let my brain wake up so it might be delirious!
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Admit-One
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#11
I honestly couldn’t care less. But then again I hate kids and what they do with their life is their own business.
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gjd800
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#12
execute them
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econhelp525
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#13
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#13
What a weird characterization to name Liverpool and York as 'less prestigious' institutions

Note: Oxford Law requires AAA. Does this make Oxford a 'less prestigious' institution, by your own criteria?

Equally, York has several courses requiring A*AA. But York's still not a prestigious institution?
Last edited by econhelp525; 3 weeks ago
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Little pecker
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#14
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#14
That would suck, for them moreso

Imagine going Eton and ending up at Southbank and working in Primark, it’s like being posh with non of the upside
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Kernel_Coder
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#15
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#15
If I had privately educated kids, I'd use my connections and network to get them a job, and I'd also educate them on the importance of building wealth and I'd let them live at home for free.

This would put them above anyone else (except equivalents) regardless of the educational attainment of their peers.
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summerbirdreads
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#16
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#16
Demand my money back
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meddad
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Admit-One)
I honestly couldn’t care less. But then again I hate kids and what they do with their life is their own business.
That sounds like an admirable opinion to have for a "Universities Forum Helper" 🤣🤣
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skylark2
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Kernel_Coder)
If I had privately educated kids, I'd use my connections and network to get them a job
Sending your kids to private school doesn't magically give a parent connections and network.

I mean, I did once get my kid a couple of afternoons casual labour stuffing envelopes at my workplace, but it had sod all to do with them being privately educated.
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londonmyst
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#19
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#19
(Original post by hungrysalamander)
I wouldn't care, I'm still sending my future kids to private school.
You've already dismissed all other educational options at this stage of your life?
Before knowing the children/child's personality, opinion & learning needs, asking for your future partner/coparent's opinion or being certain of what your financial situation is likely to be. :yikes:
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Reality Check
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Admit-One)
I honestly couldn’t care less. But then again I hate kids and what they do with their life is their own business.
I still haven't stopped chuckling at the brutal honesty of this post.
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