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Oxbridge - white and middle class

Discussion in 'Education news' started by emerald52, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    David Lammy's has thriwn a hand grenade at Oxbridge admissions. For all their well intentioned outreach work, there are several colleges who have not admitted one black student in the last 5 years. I think it is time to impose quotas so Oxbridge reflects society. For example a ceiling of 7% privately educated as that is the current level of privately educated students. Same goes for ethnicity, gender, disability, free school meals and sexual orientation. There are plenty of students with good enough grades in these groups. It is not acceptable for them to get government money if this discrimination persists.
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    What would be interesting would be to see the proportion of the various groups of applicants who gained places. It seems at least possible that one of the causes of this unequal outcome is a lack of applicants. There may well be no discrimination among those who apply: we have yet to be told.
    alexanderosman and george1963 like this.
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Presumably that would lead to keen parents (& their children) claiming to be disabled, from an ethnic minority or to have a particular sexual orientation to get a place...After all most are simply 'proved' by the individual asserting it!;)

    NB Why not apply such quota to government ministers?
    Mrsmumbles, george1963 and emerald52 like this.
  5. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    From this report it is interesting that there were 4,832 unsuccessful applicants who then went on to score A*AA or better at A-level. It doesn't tell us anything about the background of these particular applicants but it is likely that at least some of them would be from under-represented sections of society. Given that students with these types of backgrounds have often achieved their excellent grades against the odds I think the universities themselves still have a long way to go in recognising and rewarding talented minority applicants.
    galerider123 and emerald52 like this.
  6. geographyrox

    geographyrox New commenter

  7. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    It is certain colleges offering certain courses. It would be quite interesting to know which they were. I'm not sure that "Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic" would have relevance to many people from anywhere...(apologies in advance to all History buffs out there).
    sophrysyne likes this.
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    As long as people have the right grades then Oxford Cambridge or any other university is free to carry on.

    Interesting Lammy fixes on one racial group to cry racism. The Chinese students of Oxford are doing fine ... over represented even... but no it's all "racism".
  9. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    To be fair, some of the colleges have been doing outreach work for decades. I went to Cambridge in the late 70s and the admission tutors looked favourably on the fact that I was from a single parent, working class immigrant family. They were doing outreach work then. It's the massive inequalities from 4 to 18 that you can't combat so easily. Removing charitable status from private schools and linking university fees to years in private education might be a start, as well as increasing funding to state education. Social mobility is in sharp decline and a suite of measures are required to address it.
  10. zizzyballoon

    zizzyballoon Star commenter

    I notice that Alan Rusbridger, former editor of the Guardian and now principal of Lady Margaret Hall Oxford is conducting an experiment with 12 students from very disadvantaged backgrounds whom he has admitted to do a foundation year where they are taught study skills so that they will be able to start degree courses. Apparently he personally takes them to London to see plays because some of them have never paid a visit to a theatre before. I wonder how they are getting on.
    Ruth_Linley and sophrysyne like this.
  11. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    The Oxbridge system is discriminatory, in that it discriminates by ability and intelligence. I'd expect world-class universities to do this.

    It's the government's job to right the injustices in society, not the role of Oxford and Cambridge. And justice won't be achieved by excluding many of the the most promising applicants in order to give their places to applicants from this or that minority, and this will only damage their reputation for excellence.

    As others have said, these universities both perform excellent outreach to state schools, especially those that do not traditionally send applicants.
  12. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    The Korean government allocate a certain number of places in each university (not including international students), each department gets X number of student places per year. Universities cannot over recruit.

    So for example if the maths department at the korean equivelant of Cambridge gets 30 places, they usually offer places (10 places for the highest equivalent of A-levels) (10 places based on the university enterance exam) and 10 places based on social equality aka poorer students or students who make outstanding contribution to society via volunteering/ charity work (they still need to have good exam results).....

    Students can choose which method of enters they wish to use, and they can vary it from university application to university application.
  13. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    I agree with Asnac, and I strongly suspect that when things are finely balanced some colleges very much practice affirmative action. One of my students was a tall blonde, very attractive, very bright, very hard working girl. She had two doctors as parents, and went to a school that gets lots of students into Oxbridge every year. She didn't get in, feeling that the interview did not go so well.

    But I'd bet good money that if she had been a spotty, working-class boy, from a council estate, with dad in prison, and attending a school in special measures then an offer would most certainly have been secured.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  14. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    The problem is the white middle class can manipulate the system. If you apply for Law there are masses of highly suitable candidates. Not very many for languages. If you are from a family with no experience of Oxbridge you may consider Law to be a better choice for the future. If your family background and school are disadvantaged, you may feel intimidated by the surroundings. One student I sent for interview to Oxford from our comprehensive, related how he sat in the waiting room for interview with his novel whilst had huge folders with 'Oxford interview' on them. He got in though! Much could be done to level the playing field.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  15. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Spot on. It is precisely the governments job to deal with social mobility issues not the Universities who must attract students of the highest ability regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical fitness.
    sabrinakat and alexanderosman like this.
  16. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Or the royal family :) ?
  17. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Against the odds? In that case let in everyone with a disability and exclude the rich? Pffffft. I want to get into the royal ballet school but unfortunately I am big boned, old and can't touch my toes.
  18. zizzyballoon

    zizzyballoon Star commenter

    What do you think could be done to level the playing field, emerald? Is Oxbridge the sort of place that many disadvantaged students would really want to go to? There is still so much snobbery there.
    Mrsmumbles and alexanderosman like this.
  19. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Things like have a central admissions instead of colleges, interviews being done in regions, having quotas, telling students they will be better off applying for a less popular course. It would then become less snobbish.
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Quotas? Is that actually legal?

    Central Admissions? Fine, but as each college is a separate legal entity an awful lot of negotiation would be needed before they'll all agree. Bit like Brexit, Id suggest...

    Interviews in regions? So students apply and get accepted without actually visiting Oxford or Cambridge? Not wise, I suggest.

    'Telling students they will be better off applying for a less popular course...' Well, that information is already in the public domain. But is it EVER wise to tell students to apply for a course, which now will bring huge student debts, that they aren't so keen to do, just because it is less popular?

    TBH I'm not sure any of these things, even if they are possible, would make it less 'snobbish' (whatever that might mean...)
    Oscillatingass likes this.

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