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My daughter just got interviewed for undergrad(Biology) at Oxford. Wanted guidance on two aspects:
- Since there are almost 40 colleges under Oxford, is there a major difference in sending to one college vs the other (My daughter was interviewed for St Anne's & St Hughes)

- Secondly how does UK fare in comparison to US in terms of teaching methodology, student diversity, work visa post studies etc.
Original post by Ashish01
My daughter just got interviewed for undergrad(Biology) at Oxford. Wanted guidance on two aspects:
- Since there are almost 40 colleges under Oxford, is there a major difference in sending to one college vs the other (My daughter was interviewed for St Anne's & St Hughes)

- Secondly how does UK fare in comparison to US in terms of teaching methodology, student diversity, work visa post studies etc.


Well done to your daughter for getting an interview! Although there are over 40 colleges at Oxford, only 21 of them offer biology to undergraduates. All the colleges are lovely and there is no difference in their academic standards. All the college subject tutors are amazing! It's quite common for students to receive offers from another college than their first-choice preference on the UCAS form. For a science subject like biology, nearly all the teaching is conducted in the department where students from all the colleges come together for lectures and lab practicals.
For teaching we have lectures, seminars and for science subjects labs. At Oxford we also have tutorials where students are given an essay to write or a problem sheet to work through, and then this work is discussed with their college tutor for an hour. We get tutorials at least once a week and its the teaching methodology that sets Oxford apart.
The University is going to great lengths to increase diversity within the student cohort. About 68% are now from state schools, 17% from overseas and 15% from private schools. Almost 25% are from non-white backgrounds.
I'm afraid I'm not qualified to advise on post work visas. The rules seem to change quite often.
Reply 2
I'm a graduate of the US university system myself and am now a parent going through the Oxford application process with my daughter. The abovementioned tutorial system is the huge differentiator, in my view. In the US, at most universities your child will spend a ton of time in large lecture halls, particularly in the first couple of years. The type of learning will be very much like what she's probably had at school so far, namely, sit in class, listen, study and regurgitate. My daughter is very good at that and is shy, so she has managed to get through 14 years of school without raising her hand very much or generally interacting a ton with her teachers. The reason I'm so keen to see her end up at Oxford is that there's no escape. She will be forced to develop skills that are currently not her strengths because of the weekly tutorials which are with only 1-3 other students and the top-level professor. At most US universities, she would also have these smaller tutorial groups, except they'd be small like maybe 20 students, not 2, and they're with one of several graduate students who serve as teaching assistants for the lecturer, not the lecturer him or herself.
Original post by Ashish01
My daughter just got interviewed for undergrad(Biology) at Oxford. Wanted guidance on two aspects:
- Since there are almost 40 colleges under Oxford, is there a major difference in sending to one college vs the other (My daughter was interviewed for St Anne's & St Hughes)

- Secondly how does UK fare in comparison to US in terms of teaching methodology, student diversity, work visa post studies etc.


https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/field/field_document/US_leaflet_2016.pdf

I don't know if this helps (Oxford university pamphlet designed to be informative to US students studying here)

There is no major difference between the 40 colleges. All of them have great tutors and fantastic students. The only difference in the most well known colleges (e.g. Christchurch) is they can get more tourists and that can be annoying in itself. Many people have not heard of St Hughes, however it has produced a prime minister (Theresa May) so it can't be all that bad!

The only drawback to St Hughes is it's relative distance away. However just opposite is the bus stop into the city and it can't be more than a mile away (ok to walk or cycle). I pass it on the way into the city and it's stunning.

I am reliably informed by both children that it's a lovely college (via visits to meals etc).

St Annes is equally amazing, and closer to town.

A place at either college would be so well regarded. My elder son's college (Exeter) has an exchange programme with Williams liberal arts college in the US, which means some students can come to Exeter for a year. Within a term, one student was made "an offer he couldn't refuse" from Morgan Stanley, and he ended up leaving Oxford early.

As for diversity, I love going to Oxford, just to hear all the different languages spoken by the students in the cobbled streets. Oxford is more interested in your brain than where you come from and there are societies for every different interest and international interest.

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