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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am
Posts: 580
Hi,

Reading another thread re Oxford, and then further comments re prejudice at Oxbridge has made me anxious for my DD who is planning to apply to Cambridge to do politics this autumn. She is a hard working, very bright, very politically active young woman who does a lot outside of school As well as throwing herself into everything school has to offer.

She has been constantly encouraged by staff to apply to Oxbridge, but I am now concerned about a) the fact we are a educated middle class family ( in public sector jobs) but with very little cash, living in a very mixed inner ciry, and b) that is will be so horribly competitive and she will feel the odd one out there, in a white, middle/upper class echelon.

Advice? Thanks ***


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888
Seriously, don't worry about it. We are (a) same as you, and if my kids want to apply to Oxford - or even Cambridge ;-) - I wouldn't hesitate to support them. (I went to Oxford and dh works there, hence the tongue being stuck firmly in cheek for any discussion of 'the other place' :-) )

Yes, it's not the widest cross-section of society. But that isn't going to change any quicker with people still peddling myths, hearsay, random opinions, etc. Both O and C do lots to encourage as many people as possible to apply, and Oxford does have the best bursary packages in the country, and are really working to make themselves more accessible. Dh (who went to Salford, shock horror, and isn't too much of an outcast ;-) ) was a bit of an inverted snob about Oxford when he started working there 19 years ago, but he came home yesterday and told me about the Moritz-Heyman buraries and is clearly very proud now to be there.

As for white - well in Oxford, I think the numbers of black students are very low, but there are lots of Asian students. Which actually is pretty similar to the town make up.


Last edited by aliportico on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:57 pm
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Don't be put off applying if that is what DD wants to do.
Do check admissions guidelines re A*'s / UMS and alike. Such things do matter very much and there is no point applying if a straight rejection is forthcoming because DD doesn't meet the norms regarding admissions criteria without appropriate mitigating circumstances.

If they think your DD 'fits' with their ethos etc. she will be offered a place. If she's not (offered a place) then move on!

There's more to life than Oxbridge; don't take it all quite so seriously! :wink: :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Just beware - there is still snobbery and several of my ex-students have not enjoyed the experience at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Sorry, disagree with the above comment re snobbery. There is a significant number of students with money but I don't think there is much snobbery.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:37 pm
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I agree with Ali. Oxford and Cambridge can't change their social and racial mix if only privately educated white students apply.

Try them. When I was there, it's true there were very few black students. But there were students from all over the world, and from quite a wide UK social and economic range. Encourage her to apply. The teaching is fabulous,


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Why do so many of my students report that there is then?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 874
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Guest55 wrote:
Why do so many of my students report that there is then?


Very difficult to say. Are these students who've been to interview and hated it (a good defence mechanism if unsuccesful) , or studied there for three years and come back to school to say they've hated it, or survived a term and found it difficult adjusting when they come home for the Christmas vacation? (it is like living in a "bubble") What subjects? What colleges are they going to? Are they being put off by the first few superficial trappings of tradition and privilege (college formal dinners, matriculation rituals, silly names for the terms, invitations from the Bullingdon club(!) ) or are they genuinely unable to find any new friends in their subject group or in one of the thousands of student societies? Do you put potential students in touch with current students to show them round?

There are no doubt a number of wealthy Eton-and-Balliol types travelling through on their way to a seat in government or a job with Daddy's investment bank, but they are very easy to avoid once you know where they hang out!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:18 pm
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Agree with all the above poster says. If you are young and at all lacking in confidence, either socially or academically, then it is daunting to be faced with more confident, wealthier students with hobbies and activities that are new or inaccessible to you. It is far harder, and can take time to notice the majority who are more like you. Sometimes, inverse snobbery, caused by lack of confidence, doesn't help.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:09 am 
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I would not call any of the students who have reported this 'shy' or 'shrinking violets'. It happens across a range of courses and colleges.

It's the day-to-day sneering, ignoring, rudeness, hiding of possessions, etc that just gets to people after a while. Colleges seem impotent to do anything about it ...


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