Women's Oxbridge Colleges

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*dave*
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#41
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#41
(Original post by lala)
I think the fact that girls do better at A-level and GCSE but are still less likely to have a successful Oxbridge application is pretty significant in itself, dont you?
For the record, the point about men doing better at university is incorrect. They get more firsts, but also more thirds and also fails I think (not sure about that last one though). Women are more likely to get seconds, while men dominate both extremes.
GCSE and A-Level results aren't the sole things a uni selector is looking for ... you know that! Maybe boys are able to fulfill their potential at interview better than girls.

And I didnt state 'boys do better at uni' as fact, note the quote marks. I was saying that it could be used as a counter to saying 'the GCSE/ALevel exam system favours girls'
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Tek
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#42
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#42
I think the fact that girls do better at A-level and GCSE but are still less likely to have a successful Oxbridge application is pretty significant in itself, dont you?
Perhaps fewer women are offered places at Oxbridge because they simply do not have that 'spark of intelligence' needed for entry. Grades are not everything!

Indeed, if anyone is worried that female acceptances may drop if female colleges close, then doesn't that just show that some women aren't up to entry requirements in the first place?

Fundamentally, does the presence of a female college really solve sexism? Or does it just shy away from addressing the real issues of sexism (if there is any) in admissions, in that all colleges should treat men and women the same?
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lala
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#43
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#43
(Original post by *dave*)
GCSE and A-Level results aren't the sole things a uni selector is looking for ... you know that! Maybe boys are able to fulfill their potential at interview better than girls.
And I didnt state 'boys do better at uni' as fact, note the quote marks. I was saying that it could be used as a counter to saying 'the GCSE/ALevel exam system favours girls'
Never said you did say it was fact, but I'm setting straight any misconceptions about gender gap results. Actually,the fact that men make up the majority of both extremes and women are more likely to be in the middle really interests me, as I think its more difficult to explain. The GCSE and A-level gap is I think due to girls being more likely to take a more mature attitude to their work, and so I dont see how the fundamentals of male underachievement can be addressed there- things like more male teachers could well help but I dont see how the root of the problem can be addressed since its not like boys can be made to take their exams later. But there is no such simple explanation for the university gap- men on average I think do slightly better but then they are more likely to underachieve, which maybe suggests that males are just more polarised in attitude? Who knows.
I know that universities are looking for more than results, but a penis shouldnt be part of the specifications. I think it is due in the main to two factors- one, that the whole system was developed by men for men and had no female input for centuries, thereby putting those women who do enter it at a disadvantage. And two, that men dominate SCRs and so there are fewer women interviewers.
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Seer
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#44
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#44
(Original post by Tek)
Perhaps fewer women are offered places at Oxbridge because they simply do not have that 'spark of intelligence' needed for entry. Grades are not everything!

Indeed, if anyone is worried that female acceptances may drop if female colleges close, then doesn't that just show that some women aren't up to entry requirements in the first place?

Fundamentally, does the presence of a female college really solve sexism? Or does it just shy away from addressing the real issues of sexism (if there is any) in admissions, in that all colleges should treat men and women the same?
Tek you have no spark; you are a hard working mediocrity.
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hildabeast
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#45
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#45
So you are in effect saying that women are less intelligent or less able than men? That's a really archaic view. Of course women are up to the entrance requirements; more women than men get AAA at A Level and Hilda's standard offer is actually now slightly higher than that of the university as a whole. Female acceptances would of course drop if women's colleges went co-ed, but in a university in which mysogyny is evidently as widespread as it is this is hardly surprising. No-one ever claimed that women's colleges 'solved' sexism. They are there because sexism is still there and until it has been eradicated I believe there is a need to promote opportunity for women. Clearly men and women are not always treated equally in admissions, as recent internal cases have proven. Women's colleges do not shy away from issues of sexism but actively tackle them, and for them to go co-ed would send out a false signal that the job is done.

Also, women do not have 'more chance' of being admitted to a women's college. The figures in the prospectus are incorrect as they are firstly well out of date and secondly do not take into account either open applications or those who were pooled from other colleges. Of the people I met at interview very few of them were actually offerered places. For geography, for example, Hilda's initially interviewed 10 candidates for four places and only one of those places was given to one of the ten candidates. The others were made up of those who had been pooled, and therefore competition was in fact very stiff indeed.

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Tek
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#46
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#46
(Original post by Seer)
Tek you have no spark; you are a hard working mediocrity.
You've never met me, so how can you tell? The point of the interviews is to look for this 'spark' and you cannot have such an interview without meeting someone!
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Tek
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#47
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#47
In terms of "discrimination" of minorites at Oxbridge, how do they solve the problem? By having "ethnic minority colleges"? Or by introducing access schemes and encouraging more minorities to apply?

Which way should be the way forward for women...
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lala
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#48
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#48
(Original post by Tek)
Perhaps fewer women are offered places at Oxbridge because they simply do not have that 'spark of intelligence' needed for entry. Grades are not everything!
Indeed, if anyone is worried that female acceptances may drop if female colleges close, then doesn't that just show that some women aren't up to entry requirements in the first place?
Fundamentally, does the presence of a female college really solve sexism? Or does it just shy away from addressing the real issues of sexism (if there is any) in admissions, in that all colleges should treat men and women the same?
For an explanation to womens reduced chance of getting into Oxbridge, see above. I do hope you arent going to try and sustain an argument that women 'do not have that spark of intelligence'!
Your second point- no, it shows that women only colleges provide a refuge from admissions procedures which favour men. Its obvious that if female colleges go mixed there will be less women since some of the places which used to go to women will then go to men.
I can understand where you're coming from about women only colleges just covering for disproportionately low number of places given to women, and if I thought that losing the womens colleges would force mixed colleges to take a good look at their selection procedures I might agree. But I dont think that there would be enough of an outcry to force change if the 'leg-up' that St Hildas etc provide was lost. Women are much less likely to get places than men by the way- the year I applied to Oxford there were virtually identical numbers applying (a tiny amount more women, but almost exactly 50-50). Yet less than 45% of those accepted were women, and that was even with St Hildas bumping up the numbers. Thats quite a significant discrepancy.
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hildabeast
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#49
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#49
(Original post by lala)
. Actually,the fact that men make up the majority of both extremes and women are more likely to be in the middle really interests me, as I think its more difficult to explain. .
I personally believe the '******** factor' can largely account for this. Women tend to work much more diligently and therefore earn middle class degrees. Men tend to be more successful at doing spectacularly well after doing relatively little work and can therefore perform better in the Oxford 'all-or-nothing' finals. I think this strategy can, howvever, also go spectacularly badly and lead to them coming out with thirds.

(Original post by lala)
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men dominate SCRs and so there are fewer women interviewers.
Very true; in fact across the university only 19% of fellows are women.

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Seer
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#50
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#50
I do honestly think women are genetically denser than men; I don't care if that's an unfounded opinion.
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hildabeast
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#51
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#51
(Original post by Seer)
I do honestly think women are genetically denser than men; I don't care if that's an unfounded opinion.
That's pathetic. Especially as you're the first person to criticise other people for having 'unfounded opinions'.... :mad:

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Seer
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#52
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#52
(Original post by hildabeast)
That's pathetic. Especially as you're the first person to criticise other people for having 'unfounded opinions'.... :mad:

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Oh I'm just being gratuitously provocative
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Tek
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#53
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#53
The point was that we should not rely on women's colleges to solve sexism but should in fact tackle the problem directly, through access initiatives and so on.

The other point I suggested (which I don't believe, it was just too tempting not to make) was that women might not have as much 'raw' intelligent - or potential - as men, and hence are not offered places.
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lala
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#54
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#54
(Original post by Tek)
The point was that we should not rely on women's colleges to solve sexism but should in fact tackle the problem directly, through access initiatives and so on.
The other point I suggested (which I don't believe, it was just too tempting not to make) was that women might not be as intelligent as men, and hence are not offered places.
There are some female access initiatives in Oxford, like womens open days and stuff, though I guess these could be stepped up. However, access stuff generally works on the principle that it is applications from particular groups which need to be encouraged, and then the problem will solve itself. More of certain groups apply, more get in. And thats true enough for ethnic minorities, the working class etc. It isnt for women though- the problem doesnt lie in getting more women to apply, since they do so to Oxford in equal numbers to men (not sure about Cambridge though). It lies in the actual numbers who are admitted. I'm not necessarily suggesting that access initiatives wouldnt be helpful here, just that there would need to be a different approach. I dont know what the best way to do this would be though.
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Tek
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#55
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#55
(Original post by lala)
There are some female access initiatives in Oxford, like womens open days and stuff, though I guess these could be stepped up. However, access stuff generally works on the principle that it is applications from particular groups which need to be encouraged, and then the problem will solve itself. More of certain groups apply, more get in. And thats true enough for ethnic minorities, the working class etc. It isnt for women though- the problem doesnt lie in getting more women to apply, since they do so to Oxford in equal numbers to men (not sure about Cambridge though). It lies in the actual numbers who are admitted. I'm not necessarily suggesting that access initiatives wouldnt be helpful here, just that there would need to be a different approach. I dont know what the best way to do this would be though.
Is it likely that the interviewers and so on would be biased against women? Are they the problem?
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lala
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#56
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#56
(Original post by Tek)
Is it likely that the interviewers and so on would be biased against women? Are they the problem?
Well it isnt in the numbers of women who apply, or those who are considered to be 'suitably qualified' ie the requisite grades and so on which you need to secure consideration.
I actually dont think its usually a conscious thing for male interviewers to be biased against women. Though I could tell you a few stories about notorious misogynists, they are in the minority. I think bias is more likely to come about as a consequence of other factors. Oxford and Cambridge both grew up for centuries with no female presence whatsoever. When you consider that Oxford dates back to the 11th century and Cambridge isnt much younger, and that the first womens college didnt come about til 1870ish, it isnt all that surprising really. Of course everything still favours men, because there are still so few women, especially at higher levels. Its taken this long just for one in five fellows to be women, progress is a slow process!I think that most of the sexism is not deliberate, it just happens as a consequence of the way Oxford and Cambridge developed, and since theres never been much in the way of action designed to tackle this, its no surprise that there are problems. Unintentional though they may be, they still need tackling. Which I think is where the all female colleges come in.
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hildabeast
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#57
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#57
(Original post by Tek)
Is it likely that the interviewers and so on would be biased against women? Are they the problem?
In the majority of cases, no. Sadly in a few cases this has been known. There are some well-known dons in certain colleges who, due to their own personal views, do not believe women should study at that level and thereore are very reluctant to take on female students. I know, I had tutes with one of them

Anyway we're not only talking about undergraduate entry. At graduate level approximately a third of MCR members are women. At fellowship level this drops to under 20% and less than 10% of professorships are currently occupied by women. Does this indicate that women are 'less able' than men? Some how I suspect it is more likely that there is some kind of entrenched glass ceiling at work, for whatever reason.

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emzie
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#58
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#58
in the college i have an offer at, the two geogo fellows are woman, as are the two lectures! - so woman 100% men 0% lol. i happen to prefer being taught by men, i don't know why but I just do.
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emzie
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#59
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#59
Jesus college, Oxford. Theres Dr Patricia Daley (fellow), Dr Katherine Wills (fellow), Dr Sarah Howard and Dr Catriona Gardner. Dr Nick Carter is kind of attached to the college aswell I think (He was in one of my interviews) but he is also attached to Hertford.
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smaug
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#60
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#60
(Original post by hildabeast)
Anyway we're not only talking about undergraduate entry. At graduate level approximately a third of MCR members are women. At fellowship level this drops to under 20% and less than 10% of professorships are currently occupied by women. Does this indicate that women are 'less able' than men? Some how I suspect it is more likely that there is some kind of entrenched glass ceiling at work, for whatever reason.
Surely the most important reason for the shortage of women at higher levels is not a glass ceiling, but the fact that most professors qualified twenty to thirty years ago and at that time only a relatively small number of women were going in for higher education and even fewer were doing PhDs? During the next ten to twenty years we will see more qualified women applying for these jobs and more being accepted.

Also at undergraduate level i think the reason fewer women are getting into oxbridge than other top universities is not because of discrimination so much as because oxbridge takes in way too many people from public schools and, havent you noticed, there are way more top boys public schools than girls?! More boys well educated at top schools =more boys applying successfully to oxbridge.
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