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Inside University of Bristol
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Contextual offer debate

Hi all so I want to see the justification for contextual offers on such a wide scale at Bristol. I agree with them as it is easier to do well if you go to a good school. So a lower offer is acceptable for people at bad schools. My issue is that at Bristol it seems anyone at a state school regardless of how good it is gets a contextual offer. If everyone is getting these lower offers or most people surely the offer should just be the norm and the university is falsely advertising its academic standards and thus prestige by putting the higher grades as the standard offer? Also is this not unfair on students who actually have to get higher grade as they are misled. Part of the reason you go to a uni with higher requirements is because of the prestige of the uni being selective. So my point is, is the scale on which Bristol gives out contextual offers undermining their standard offer and misleading people on its prestige and academic rigour.
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
Hi all so I want to see the justification for contextual offers on such a wide scale at Bristol. I agree with them as it is easier to do well if you go to a good school. So a lower offer is acceptable for people at bad schools. My issue is that at Bristol it seems anyone at a state school regardless of how good it is gets a contextual offer. If everyone is getting these lower offers or most people surely the offer should just be the norm and the university is falsely advertising its academic standards and thus prestige by putting the higher grades as the standard offer? Also is this not unfair on students who actually have to get higher grade as they are misled. Part of the reason you go to a uni with higher requirements is because of the prestige of the uni being selective. So my point is, is the scale on which Bristol gives out contextual offers undermining their standard offer and misleading people on its prestige and academic rigour.


If they continue to use this contextual system it’s that the difference between the end of year results obtained by contextual offers and standard offers is not significantly different, proving that the educational advantage obtained by certain is the most significant factor explaining the better A level grades. No university would risk its reputation, and especially one like Bristol with the sole objective of filling some diversity goal.
PS. Why anon. If you want to make a stand assume your point of view.
(edited 6 months ago)
Inside University of Bristol
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Reply 2
Surely it’s still at Bristol detriment as let’s be honest someone with AAA at Bristol or Durham or UCL etc could do well at Oxford. High grade requirements aren’t just to ensure students handle the course, it’s also to do with exclusivity and prestige.
could always save your parents' money and go to a state school. I'm only half joking. It's kind of hard to dictate how good a state school is tbh. I went to a few. One of them was the best state school in my area as rated by ofsted, but when it came down to it they still lacked many resources and were still at a disadvantage compared to private.
Original post by Anonymous
could always save your parents' money and go to a state school. I'm only half joking. It's kind of hard to dictate how good a state school is tbh. I went to a few. One of them was the best state school in my area as rated by ofsted, but when it came down to it they still lacked many resources and were still at a disadvantage compared to private.


Going private isn’t just about education but about a wider education building students character and giving opportunities in the arts/sports and other areas also the private school links are very valuable
Reply 5
If students with contextual offers are doing as well at Bristol as your 3 A student from private school, that also indicates that they would also do just as well in the other universities that you have cited and that those universities would gain from an equal measure of contextual offers. The fact that Oxbridge uses other criteria to chose its students shows how limited the predicted A level grades are in selecting the right students for their courses.
I’m not sure what has driven you to write this post. Are you a 3 A student at Bristol who doesn’t find the course up to standard, or have you missed out on a place and believe a contextual offer has benefited from an unfair advantage?
Reply 6
Original post by Euapp
If students with contextual offers are doing as well at Bristol as your 3 A student from private school, that also indicates that they would also do just as well in the other universities that you have cited and that those universities would gain from an equal measure of contextual offers. The fact that Oxbridge uses other criteria to chose its students shows how limited the predicted A level grades are in selecting the right students for their courses.
I’m not sure what has driven you to write this post. Are you a 3 A student at Bristol who doesn’t find the course up to standard, or have you missed out on a place and believe a contextual offer has benefited from an unfair advantage?

Iam a 3 A student and I am writing as I believe it is the reason Bristol has fallen off the wagon prestige wise. There’s a reason Durham etc is now better now and I believe it’s that Bristol is not as selective as it once was.
Reply 7
Original post by Anonymous
Iam a 3 A student and I am writing as I believe it is the reason Bristol has fallen off the wagon prestige wise. There’s a reason Durham etc is now better now and I believe it’s that Bristol is not as selective as it once was.

Durham has always been known as the Oxford reject home. Whether that makes it more prestigious is open to debate but it mimics the Oxbridge collegiate system that some applicants were hoping for in their October applications.
What does have less prestige than before are A level grades.The high proportion of A’s and A*’s given out over the last couple of decades has taken away their exceptional value and hence the need for the A* that didn’t exist originally.
If you don’t think Bristol gives value for money or prestige, then don’t apply and don’t go there. ( assuming they would see fit to make you an offer)
And although I don’t attach much weight to rankings ( in fact I don’t attach any at all!), if you look at the following, I can definitely see Bristol on the front page but Durham…..
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/best-universities-uk
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by user123456324
Going private isn’t just about education but about a wider education building students character and giving opportunities in the arts/sports and other areas also the private school links are very valuable


private school kids always says this which whatever floats your boat. But if that's the case this guy still really has no reason to complain about contextual offers. He got all his private wider opportunities from school now it's time to move on. State school kids are still gonna have the ability to do well at top unis without those extra bits after all. This guy chose Bristol for its believed exclusivity in higher grades. Most of us state school, and probably a lot of private, kids applied not about exclusivity but for parts of the uni that appealed to us. I'm personally not attending to feel better than anyone which it kind of feels like OP is looking for
Reply 9
I’m state school educated and didn’t get a contextual offer from Bristol. I did manage to achieve higher than the 3 As required though. Fancy that!
Original post by Anonymous
Hi all so I want to see the justification for contextual offers on such a wide scale at Bristol. I agree with them as it is easier to do well if you go to a good school. So a lower offer is acceptable for people at bad schools. My issue is that at Bristol it seems anyone at a state school regardless of how good it is gets a contextual offer. If everyone is getting these lower offers or most people surely the offer should just be the norm and the university is falsely advertising its academic standards and thus prestige by putting the higher grades as the standard offer? Also is this not unfair on students who actually have to get higher grade as they are misled. Part of the reason you go to a uni with higher requirements is because of the prestige of the uni being selective. So my point is, is the scale on which Bristol gives out contextual offers undermining their standard offer and misleading people on its prestige and academic rigour.

Bristol gives out contextual offers based on criteria that have nothing to do with the school you go to. It’s possible that the people you know who received an offer just met the criteria (such has being on free school meals during secondary school, or living in an area with low progression to higher education). Everybody I know with a Bristol offer so far has received the standard offer as they didn’t meet any of their contextual criteria. For courses like computer science, it’s so competetive that if you aren’t predicted 3 or 4 A*s you basically get auto rejected. Bristol is much too prestigious to be handing out contextual offers willy nilly and I think you’re sorely mistaken to imply otherwise.
I went to state schools my whole and my Bristol offer was A*AA, not sure where it says that everyone who goes to a state school qualifies for a contextual offer
It only gives it out to specific state school you make it sound like its all the state schools in the uk and these state school are like low so getting these grades at those schools are good plus their are other requirements you may have to meet its not just state schools people end up feeling their not good enough because you feel you missed out as they got a lower offer when infact despite the fact you went to a better school you just didnt make the cut aka suck it up and dont put others who need it down

also link
https://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/entry-requirements-qualifications/contextual-offers/
Reply 13
Only about 600 students from any given graduation cohort got the contextual offer through being in select state schools in past years, and this remains the case now, not sure where your made up stats have come from but you can look up the actual stats yourself by searching for the degree comes statements (you can also search up and view the intake/offer/etc stats too which paint an even clearer picture of how few people from these state schools apply), they tend to perform on par with normal entry students and better than other cohorts such as BAME, mature, disability, etc
Reply 14
Original post by Bogelles
Only about 600 students from any given graduation cohort got the contextual offer through being in select state schools in past years, and this remains the case now, not sure where your made up stats have come from but you can look up the actual stats yourself by searching for the degree comes statements (you can also search up and view the intake/offer/etc stats too which paint an even clearer picture of how few people from these state schools apply), they tend to perform on par with normal entry students and better than other cohorts such as BAME, mature, disability, etc

What stats are you even talking about nobody put any stats to do with contextual offers
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 15
Original post by ricky joe
What stats are you even talking about nobody put any stats to do with contextual offers

> My issue is that at Bristol it seems anyone at a state school regardless of how good it is gets a contextual offer. If everyone is getting these lower offers or most people surely the offer

OP post, "anyone at a state school" "everyone", measures of statistics with no actual statistics to back up their views and claims which are clearly misguided

No need to be rude big boy
(edited 3 months ago)

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