The Student Room Group

do the super rich bribe unis to let their kids in

has anyone heard of this happening in the uk

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Reply 1
Original post by zynnjah123
has anyone heard of this happening in the uk

Let's put it this way. 30-40% of Oxford students are from private schools. Given that only 7% of the population go to private schools are we suggesting that private schools only take the brightest students? I think not. It might not be a case of money talks but I would not be surprised if the colour of your tie counts towards your propensity to be selected.
Reply 2
I imagine its much harder than in the USA but of course. Merely look at the LSE, UCL and Oxbridge as but some outstanding examples of seriouskly dubious money and students going.
Not really. the whole point of bribes is that other people don't get informed about them, so rumour and speculation is all we have.
Original post by hotpud
Let's put it this way. 30-40% of Oxford students are from private schools. Given that only 7% of the population go to private schools are we suggesting that private schools only take the brightest students? I think not. It might not be a case of money talks but I would not be surprised if the colour of your tie counts towards your propensity to be selected.


I would expect that even if Oxford’s admissions process is totally fair from their part, even still a disproportionate number of private school students would get in.


To begin with, a disproportionately high number of private school students apply in the first place. I think there are several reasons for that:

- More likely to be confident enough to apply rather than see it as an unrealistic pipe dream (e.g. if they know people who went there, see other people applying and getting in every year etc.)

- More likely to have additional insights into the admissions process (again, by speaking to people they know who went there, their school coaching them for interviews etc.)

- More likely to come from cultures and backgrounds in which education is highly valued, (given that their parents cared enough about it to pay for private school; many who can afford it still don’t), and hence more likely to be highly ambitious

- Less likely to be out off by the expenses associated with going to uni away from home (travel, accommodation, food etc.)

Aside from that, private secondary schools also tend to be more selective about their intake than state schools. Plus parents are less likely to want spend all that money on a child who has too little academic potential to be able to make use of the opportunity. So it wouldn’t be far fetched to suppose that on average, private school students would be academically more capable.
Reply 5
Original post by tazarooni89
I would expect that even if Oxford’s admissions process is totally fair from their part, even still a disproportionate number of private school students would get in.


It isn't fair. Not even slightly. If 7% of the population go to private school, yet 30-40% of the places in Oxford are taken from that tiny cohort, are we saying that only the brightest people go to private schools?

The notion of who you know and not what you know is very much at play here. Oxford graduates no doubt feedback information about the admission process and the cycle continues. Similarly, private schools will put much energy and effort into coaching their students whilst state schools are tied by the government to delivering a broad curriculum including RE, PSHE and life skills. There isn't time for Oxford coaching to say nothing of the fact that some of our brightest students come from the poorest backgrounds and do not necessarily have access to a computer at home let along an incite into the interview process.

The rest is just fluff.

Yet it can be done and at Oxford
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/mar/24/one-oxford-college-has-96-of-students-from-state-schools-how-did-they-do-it

The other colleges just choose not to change and make their entry system fairer.
Not usually directly in an illegal manner within the uk - as regards the parents of home students raised within Britain or Northern Ireland.
This may happen sometimes with very competitite overseas unis and international students with few/zero qualifications or a very negative reputation but tends to occur most often on the more 'dubious maybe, not illegal' side.
Via educational consultant or lobbyist intermediaries and often involves relatives making pledges to donate significant cash/high value electronic equipment/fully funded scholarships/ guarantee dozens of coveted internships & jobs to new graduates of the uni.
Oh, yes they do. Worth a read
Original post by hotpud
It isn't fair. Not even slightly. If 7% of the population go to private school, yet 30-40% of the places in Oxford are taken from that tiny cohort, are we saying that only the brightest people go to private schools?

No we’re not saying that, and my post provided a whole list of other reasons why you might see disproportionately more private school students at Oxford.

There might be some bias there but these things never boil down to just one single issue. It’s like the gender pay gap.
Reply 9
Original post by tazarooni89
No we’re not saying that, and my post provided a whole list of other reasons why you might see disproportionately more private school students at Oxford.

There might be some bias there but these things never boil down to just one single issue. It’s like the gender pay gap.


Fair enough. Let's look at what else you said.

Original post by tazarooni89

- More likely to be confident enough to apply rather than see it as an unrealistic pipe dream (e.g. if they know people who went there, see other people applying and getting in every year etc.)


Of course this is true. If you don't come from a background which expects you to apply to Oxbridge and you have a perception that only people from private schools apply it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Original post by tazarooni89

- More likely to have additional insights into the admissions process (again, by speaking to people they know who went there, their school coaching them for interviews etc.)


Most private schools have well established old-boy networks that feedback into the school system and keep the nurturing of those in the upper circles alive. Of course they help their own kind out.

Original post by tazarooni89

- More likely to come from cultures and backgrounds in which education is highly valued, (given that their parents cared enough about it to pay for private school; many who can afford it still don’t), and hence more likely to be highly ambitious


True - but then there is education and education. Isn't it interesting that the ruling classes like Boris Johnson and Kwasi Kwarteng study the likes of Latin, classics and Ancient Greek. Studying such subjects is the ultimate sign of superiority and wealth because only the super rich can afford to study subjects that have no application in the real world. Where as many of the modern universities only offer vocational courses useful in obtaining a job, it is interesting that Oxbridge puts on many courses that in terms of life requirements offer nothing but academic rigour. But of course, if you have several million to your name by the time you are 18, what does it matter? You might as well study a status subject which will make you stand out from the crowd when applying for the biggest jobs in the land.

Original post by tazarooni89

- Less likely to be out off by the expenses associated with going to uni away from home (travel, accommodation, food etc.)


Obvs! The Bullington Club Tails alone are £3500+ to say nothing of the expenses you pay for the joy of wrecking a restaurant on the traditional night out.

And as for the gender pay gap - it is exactly the same. Girls learn from a very early age that they are second to boys and men and that perpetuates right through society. Truss is an incompetent idiot, but she is getting it much worse than her idiotic predecessor simply because she is a woman.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by tazarooni89
No we’re not saying that, and my post provided a whole list of other reasons why you might see disproportionately more private school students at Oxford.

There might be some bias there but these things never boil down to just one single issue. It’s like the gender pay gap.


Many of the top private schools such as Harrow School have scholarships for working class children who might be talented in music/art/science. Many students are on lower fees because of their abilities it hard to get into Harrow School that the main reason so many students end up as top sport people, businesspeople etc.

Women in Britain apart from some culture groups such as Roma or Irish Travellers are more privilege men

89 percent of people sleeping in street are men
90% killed at work are male
70% one of violent in a relationship are women hitting men
working class white boys have the worst life changes of any group.
Men gets around 40% higher sentence for same crime as a woman
Half of all child murders are done by a female care giver
Men were forced to do National Services if they refused, they were imprisoned.

Women on average do less hours than males there is no gender pay gap. I find it interesting that people never ask why women are not doing the same percentage of dangerous dirty low paid work as men. People are only interest the percent of women in higher paying jobs. Also, there are more female doctors, vet, vet nurses, teachers, biological scientists etc than male.
(edited 1 year ago)
My uncle when to Cambridge in the early 1970s he was raised by a single father in a council house in an ex-mining town he when to the local state school and six form. He loved his time at Cambridge he was captain of the football team,
Original post by tazarooni89
I would expect that even if Oxford’s admissions process is totally fair from their part, even still a disproportionate number of private school students would get in.


To begin with, a disproportionately high number of private school students apply in the first place. I think there are several reasons for that:

- More likely to be confident enough to apply rather than see it as an unrealistic pipe dream (e.g. if they know people who went there, see other people applying and getting in every year etc.)

- More likely to have additional insights into the admissions process (again, by speaking to people they know who went there, their school coaching them for interviews etc.)

- More likely to come from cultures and backgrounds in which education is highly valued, (given that their parents cared enough about it to pay for private school; many who can afford it still don’t), and hence more likely to be highly ambitious

- Less likely to be out off by the expenses associated with going to uni away from home (travel, accommodation, food etc.)

Aside from that, private secondary schools also tend to be more selective about their intake than state schools. Plus parents are less likely to want spend all that money on a child who has too little academic potential to be able to make use of the opportunity. So it wouldn’t be far fetched to suppose that on average, private school students would be academically more capable.


There are two private girls' schools and one boy's school never me the six-form results are only on average one grade higher than the excellence rated state six-form in the same town, The parents at the private schools just want to say their child went to private school.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by hotpud
Let's put it this way. 30-40% of Oxford students are from private schools. Given that only 7% of the population go to private schools are we suggesting that private schools only take the brightest students? I think not. It might not be a case of money talks but I would not be surprised if the colour of your tie counts towards your propensity to be selected.


The 7% stat is wholly misleading.

Far fewer than 7% of children go to pre-prep schools or start prep-school at 7 or 8. Far more than 7% (it is around 15%) of 6th formers go to private schools. Moreover, those 15% are not academically evenly distributed.

Tim Nice But Dim who has been educated his whole career in private school is likely to waste another two years of his parents’ money but no-one is going to send their state educated none too bright daughter to a private VIth form for the first time. Those who commit to two years’ private education are those investing in academic talent.
Original post by nulli tertius

Tim Nice But Dim who has been educated his whole career in private school is likely to waste another two years of his parents’ money but no-one is going to send their state educated none too bright daughter to a private VIth form for the first time. Those who commit to two years’ private education are those investing in academic talent.


True. But Tim Nice but Dim was still elected Prime Minister by his thick Tory friends. He is called Boris Johnson. The perfect example of how incompetence rises to the top.
It's difficult in the UK. Universities watch their admissions processes (and staff) pretty closely. Any bribes would have to be (a) subtle, (b) well below the radar and (c) hard to prove.

There are always stories at Oxford about such and such a zillionaire father who got very upset because all attempts to bribe the college did not result in young zillionaire-heir getting the place. Equally, there were stories about success in bribery. Hard to know how many had any truth.
Original post by Fullofsurprises
It's difficult in the UK. Universities watch their admissions processes (and staff) pretty closely. Any bribes would have to be (a) subtle, (b) well below the radar and (c) hard to prove.

There are always stories at Oxford about such and such a zillionaire father who got very upset because all attempts to bribe the college did not result in young zillionaire-heir getting the place. Equally, there were stories about success in bribery. Hard to know how many had any truth.


Imagine Bribing someone, who would do a thing like that ^^

Disclosure: Illegaltobepoor bribed Open University officials many many times.
Original post by Fullofsurprises
It's difficult in the UK. Universities watch their admissions processes (and staff) pretty closely. Any bribes would have to be (a) subtle, (b) well below the radar and (c) hard to prove.

There are always stories at Oxford about such and such a zillionaire father who got very upset because all attempts to bribe the college did not result in young zillionaire-heir getting the place. Equally, there were stories about success in bribery. Hard to know how many had any truth.


If I was coaching an oligarch to get their, if not as thick as mince, at least no better than stewing steak, child admitted to Oxford, money no object, I wouldn’t be looking at an undergraduate course. A nice refined private liberal arts college in New England with a few financial pressures would be my first port of call. The major and minors need to be carefully selected to qualify said child for a masters in an undemanding subject at Oxford.

What you are looking for is a not a subject barely hanging on by its fingernails. They only want the really talented student once every three years who in 10 years time is going to replace his seminar leader as Professor of Medieval Burmese.

What you want is a subject that feels at home with the needs of rugger buggers and wetbobs but also has a voracious appetite for swallowing money on expensive high profile rent-a-dons and pointless research institutes. After the MPhil, there should be no problem with proceeding to a doctorate at UCL or Columbia where the nightclubs are better.
Original post by nulli tertius
If I was coaching an oligarch to get their, if not as thick as mince, at least no better than stewing steak, child admitted to Oxford, money no object, I wouldn’t be looking at an undergraduate course. A nice refined private liberal arts college in New England with a few financial pressures would be my first port of call. The major and minors need to be carefully selected to qualify said child for a masters in an undemanding subject at Oxford.

What you are looking for is a not a subject barely hanging on by its fingernails. They only want the really talented student once every three years who in 10 years time is going to replace his seminar leader as Professor of Medieval Burmese.

What you want is a subject that feels at home with the needs of rugger buggers and wetbobs but also has a voracious appetite for swallowing money on expensive high profile rent-a-dons and pointless research institutes. After the MPhil, there should be no problem with proceeding to a doctorate at UCL or Columbia where the nightclubs are better.

Basically that's what Rick Singer did in the US with places like Harvard and Princeton. Rich parents bribing college sports officials via his 'foundation' to get places for their kids. Things have gotten really absurd with top tier universities in the States, the admission processes and their gamers have been locked in the bitterest arms race since Kennedy and Kruschev and both sides are engaged in nonsense. The other thing is that even without the bribes, the system remains hopelessly tilted towards the children of the well off in many cases. As I have to say it does in the UK, maybe even more so.
Moved to education debate

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