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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:52 am 
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Read the To Miss With Love blog by Miss Snuffleupagus who asks - if Oxbridge is now discriminating against private school pupils. And - as a teacher at a state school - her conclusion is that they are, that indeed they must be (right down to the fact, she says, that nearly every state applicant gets an interview). You may agree, or you may not, but it will certainly get you thinking.

http://timesonline.typepad.com/schoolga ... truth.html


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:59 am 
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[quote="Sassie'sDad]
(right down to the fact, she says, that nearly every state applicant gets an interview).
[/quote]

I know lots of girls at my daughters' grammar school with superb grades, all the extra curricular brownie points etc who didn't get a interview.I equally know some who did and some who got places.They were all similar on paper and state school applicants.
It struck me as rather random selection in some ways.I think they are soo oversubscribed that they make inexplicable decisions at times and I am not really sure it is an anti - private school bias. :? Of course I could be wrong but certainly not the case that state school applicants all get to the interview stage.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:19 am 
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I think its just the noise being made by indies heads and ICS. Infact the news is much gloomer for state schools as below. The universities publish their results a bit later and so there isnt anything available yet for the current year. The system is still VERY screwed in favour of those with deep pockets. The Cambridge PR machine has been in overdrive trying to convience us they are taking state pupil but its sadly not the case. Its a complicated system which cant be blamed on these Universities alone.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... dents.html

Quote:
The breakdown of data about those who joined Oxford this academic year shows an increase of 8.5 per cent in the number of applications from the state sector, from 5,979 in 2008 to 6,485 last year. But the number of state school pupils accepted by Oxford fell by 3.9 per cent, from 1,515 in 2008 to 1,456 in 2009.


Quote:
According to the latest figures, 3,479 students were admitted to the university in 2008/9. Entrants from state schools and colleges dropped five per cent to 1,675, while those from independent schools increased by three per cent to 1,318. Some 486 undergraduates were from overseas – a slight fall on a year earlier.

Among British students, 58 per cent of undergraduates were from state schools and 42 per cent were from the fee-paying sector, even though fewer than one-in-10 children nationally are privately educated.

It represented a one percentage point fall in the proportion of state school students at Cambridge compared with a year earlier.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:32 am 
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Read the blog. I deliberately did not identify with the stance adopted in the blog - the Times article simply notes that the blogger (a state school ex Oxbridge graduate and teacher) asks the same question as the article author. It is the two opposing views and their attempts to justify themselves, that I find interesting. Also read the comments in response. Many are from Oxbridge graduates. I think the comments from those who gained entry in the days of the Oxbridge entrance are very revealing.
As for finance, I predict there will be some very big changes soon affecting Education generally and University Education in particular. The fees actually paid to Universities in no way represent the true costs of educating undergraduates. I have just listened to the student representative of the NUS complaining about proposals to change the basis for repaying Student Loans. He is utterly unrealistic! - Trouble ahead methinks!


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:35 am 
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Do the Tutors at Oxbridge have information where the student went to school when they are interviewing or is this information witheld form them?

Whats a bit worrying for me is that more eyes are focused on Oxbridge, the foot is being taken off other Rusell Group with Universities like Birmingham, Southampton and Nottingham having acceptance rates of over 80% of indie pupils compared to just 15% of state. I cant paste the table properly but the data below shows which universities have the highest acceptance rate of indie pupils.

Russell Group University acceptance rates of Independent School Pupils
ISC Data 2008 National Data 2008

First column is number of pupils accepted from independent school ie 1541 at Birmingham
Second Column is indies acceptance ie 86% for Birmingham
Last is the acceptance rate nationally ie 15% Brimingham :cry:


The University of Birmingham 1541 86% 15%
The University of Sheffield 1210 84% 16%
University of Glasgow 669 83% 19%
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne 1818 83% 18%
Queen’s University Belfast 246 83% 20%
The University of Nottingham 2411 82% 18%
University of Southampton 1019 81% 16%
The University of Manchester 2495 79% 17%
University of Leeds 2914 79% 21%
The University of Liverpool 766 78% 16%
Cardiff University 910 74% 17%
Imperial College London (University of London) 657 68% 18%
The University of Warwick 1412 66% 12%
King’s College London (University of London) 867 60% 12%
University College London (University of London) 1177 56% 13%
University of Bristol 1855 46% 9%
The University of Edinburgh 1593 43% 11%
University of Cambridge 571 36% 24%
Oxford University 588 33% 23%
London School of Economics and Political Science 285 27% 7%

London School of Economics is really the one that seem to reject more indie pupils only taking 27%. However I understand it also has a large cohort of International Students and nationally accepts just 7% :cry:

I read that blog and I really disagree with her here
Quote:
So in my humble opinion, and what do I know after all - I'm just a state school kid who managed to stumble her way into Oxbridge in the day when there was still an Oxbridge exam - Oxbridge does discriminate against private school students. Of course they do. If they didn't, only a handful of state school applicants would ever get in.


Whats she says is that indie pupils are miles ahead of state pupil and that if indies pupils werent discriminated more would get in :?

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:44 pm 
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I'm going to be a bit controversial here and say perhaps we ought to give the interviewers a bit more credit.

I'm an Oxbridge graduate (of the 1980s - Cameron, Boris, et al) and I've recently been into my DC's grammar school to help conduct practise interviews with those who are interested in going to Oxford or Cambridge.

It was a really interesting experience. I was sent the young people's personal statements (I think that's what they are called!) and every one of them was glowing and I couldn't tell the difference between them.

However, when I conducted the 'mock' interviews the difference between the youngsters was immense. They were all clearly very clever, but some of them could think beyond the obvious stuff and others couldn't.

After the interviews I talked to the teacher, who knew them all well, and asked which she thought would get in. She gave exactly the same answers as I did - two of the five seemed ideal.

When the time came, three of them were offered places - including the two that we'd identified.

I have to say I was amazed that the difference between them was so clear in one interview, even though I don't normally interview for universities, although on paper the young people were all ideally suited to Oxbridge.

Make of this what you will!


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:59 pm 
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sterling wrote:
However, when I conducted the 'mock' interviews the difference between the youngsters was immense.

But can this not be learned? If children are taught to be independent thinkers who arent afraid to think outside the box perhaps just a little maybe that can improve things.

I am amazed at the confidence levels I have seen in some indie kids which can sometimes lean towards arrogance. I think to myself if my child was ever going to come face to face with these kids for interviews she would be eaten alive.

It is true we cant blame all the woes on Oxbridge, its much complicated than that.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:05 pm 
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I was great (well, great-ish) on paper and truly dismal in the flesh. :cry: A confidence thing which lots of these children do seem to have. Wish I'd learnt early how to present myself well in interviews. Was scarred by my Oxbridge interview which was truly truly horrible. Have interviewed badly ever since although my applications are always fine.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:16 pm 
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Milla wrote:
Have interviewed badly ever since although my applications are always fine.

Same here Milla and that drove me to near self distruction and the only way to keep myself sane was to go self employed on the internet where my indentity is annonymous and no one ever has to see my lack of confidence. :cry:

I see those traits exhibiting in my DD already and I am hoping she doesnt follow my path. :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:18 pm 
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I really don't want to knock your confidence even further Milla, because I'm sure there are lots of people who really don't do themselves justice at interviews.

However, with the young people I was 'interviewing' one of the outstanding ones would certainly have been described as 'interviewing badly'. She was obviously incredibly nervous, barely dared look me in the eye, etc. But when I asked her a question and she plucked up courage to open her mouth she could think through angles way beyond anything I could do! She wasn't confident in any way, but her ability at the subject was obvious anyway. She'd clearly thought about the subject because she loved it, not because she was coached or 'told' to read around it, she was soaked in it.

She was one of those who has been offered a place and I'm sure that's part of what the interviewers are looking for.

On the other hand, when I was at university one of our tutors actually said he wouldn't take any boys from a certain independent school ever again because he had taken so many on the basis of their brilliant interviews and they had struggled to manage in the environment of the university. When they left the intensive environment of school and had to learn independently and understand the subject, rather than learning by rote or being coached hard, they simply couldn't do it.


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