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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:23 am 
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Very interesting article taking up half the front page of the Independent today. Major study of 130 thousand students who were followed during their time at university. Results showed that students from state schools on the whole got better level degrees than those from private schools. Once the advantage provided through the cheque book of smaller class sizes is removed state school students catch up very quickly and then start to overtake private school students. I would think the top Russell Group Universities will be looking very carefully at the results of this study. To stay top they want the students who will get the best results, so these findings are likely to be of great interest to them. Selecting their students is all about future potential. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:00 am 
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I think this is a larger study and tends to confirm earlier results which suggested that, amongst students with equal A level grades, state school educated students did better than those from the independent sector.

I'm not sure that this is such a big surprise. I would assume that equally able or self-organized children will generally get better grades when they have the benefit of teaching and tutoring more closely targeted to the exam grades. When comparing students with equal A level grades, I suspect those from the state sector were either more able or had developed a better work ethic than those in the independent sector, which they were able to leverage in order to do better at university.

I also think the student debt is probably much more of a driving force for students who can't rely on a family funded financial safety net.

Universities already consider contextual data when making offers.

nyr


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:01 am 
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I wonder if this is in part due to the fact that statistically speaking, there will be more from indies who do a degree for the sake of it (the old art history for Camilla thing....??? Stereotype stereotype but you know what I mean), because there is no concern about funding it, vs those who statistically have less money to spare, are far more likely to be building up a student loan and therefore are more likely to be the ones who are really motivated. Huge stereotyping there and total conjecture, but I just wonder whats behind it. Also, it would be interesting to tease out those who
1. Did indie from kindergarten all way to a level
2. Kindie to secondary, then state
3. State primary but indie secondary
4. As above but returning to state for A level, in what sort of institution
5. Any combo of the above.

This is a big study so it may be that this information could be teased out. I'd be willing to bet it hasn't been, as yet. I cannot believe it is as simple as state school = better degree, so many variables both statistically and demographically.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:05 am 
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Interesting study and interesting comments from Yamin. Have to go and read the whole article first.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:12 am 
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And to add in to this, another, further on, view

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... -jobs.html

Old school tie? Better interviewing skills? Who knows......


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:17 am 
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Also, 90% of university students are from the state system. This obviously is a reflection of the proportion of those educated in indies of course. But, it does mean that this study of 150,000 only included 15,000 indie students. I'm not convinced that would give robust statistical significance, although I don't know the p values.
Weakens the data for BOTH articles by the way, I'm not coming down on one side or the other, I just have a healthy cynicism about this kind of data, especially as reported in the newspaper. Too many years in medical sales, and seeing data manipulated perfectly legally to represent the publisher's agenda.

Opps, edited 10,000 to 15,000, maths clearly not my strong point!!!! :oops: :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:25 am 
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Actually Nyr, it mentions students with lower grades at A level from state doing better than those with higher grades from indy. Yasmin , it does say those who had spent all their previous education in an indy. The results are not a surprise to me at all. It reflects my own experience at an indy dominated university. State school students have to create their own work ethic and go off to university already self motivated. I spent my first year at university in a hall of residence full of students who thought it was really wierd that I went to lectures when you did not have to and that I did any study at all that you did not have to do. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:33 am 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Actually Nyr, it mentions students with lower grades at A level from state doing better than those with higher grades from indy. Yasmin , it does say those who had spent all their previous education in an indy. The results are not a surprise to me at all. It reflects my own experience at an indy dominated university. State school students have to create their own work ethic and go off to university already self motivated. I spent my first year at university in a hall of residence full of students who thought it was really wierd that I went to lectures when you did not have to and that I did any study at all that you did not have to do. DG


Isn't this the problem though, your experience then drives your belief in the statistics, even if they are not robust? I don't argue with your experience, but even if you met hundreds of indie students, which according to average would mean you have seen, say 2000 students altogether, then of those I'm sure you wouldn't say they were ALL not bothering with lectures etc. But the fact that some didn't has driven your belief in this data, when actually the data for a few years on, or even at the same time according to the other article, says the opposite. I'm not saying that I believe the other side either, but I do think that this is a great example of Non-robust statistics = the possibility to interpret in different ways = the belief system of the reader will believe or not believe based on that belief system or their experience, even though that is limited.

"Every one of my relatives smokes and they all lived to 102" ergo, don't tell me smoking is bad for you. An exaggerated example of course.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:44 am 
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I've not read the original research, but I'd take some convincing that you can find two populations to compare which are similar in other regards but differ only in the form their secondary education took. There are just too many confounders.

However, taken at face value, an obvious hypothesis would be that private education optimises your chances of university admission. So the cohort that attends universities contains a lot of privately educated people who wouldn't have got in had they gone to a state school, and who are therefore at the weaker end of the cohort.

This hypothesis assumes that a private school can get you through your A Levels without leaving you with any residual benefit which helps you at university. It would be interesting to do some serious fieldwork, but it won't be easy to find matched populations (for example, are state educated pupils more likely to do degrees in subjects that follow on from their A Levels, and therefore they have a clearer conception of the requirements and demands? Who knows?)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:53 am 
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I did meet hundreds of indy students! They were everywhere I was, impossible to avoid them! I lived with them, eat with them and had lectures and tutor groups with them. They were the main game in town. This was a long time ago and state students were in the minority at this university at the time. I did not say all of them skipped lectures as I was referencing the ones in my hall of residence. However it was well known that Fine Art was a popular choice as the lectures were at 2pm so you could have a lovely snooze in a warm lecture theatre after a long lunch! DG


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