Oxbridge Elite Or Intelligent

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Ben@Forest
Posts: 1651
Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: Oxbridge Elite Or Intelligent

Postby Ben@Forest » 7 Feb 2019, 11:02am

roubaixtuesday wrote:Full disclosure: I went to the local comp then Cambridge and have a first class degree. My son likewise has recently started at Cambridge, again after going to our local comp.


And this of course begs its own question. Did you being at Cambridge help your son's entrance even unwittingly by those who consider entrance.

I knew a then girl who studied medicine at the same Cambridge college her father studied medicine. As she herself said, that connection helped her get a place. That's not to say she didn't become a fine doctor (25 years since l last heard of her) but she recognised bias in the system then.
Last edited by Ben@Forest on 7 Feb 2019, 11:50am, edited 1 time in total.

thirdcrank
Posts: 27837
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Oxbridge Elite Or Intelligent

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Feb 2019, 11:08am

Ben@Forest wrote: ... Yes I also wondered about mature students both at universities and the OU. My wife, a nurse, got her part-time study degree about 10 years after qualifying with different (nursing) qualification.

The graduation ceremony was those getting degrees in nursing and social care only. It was dominated by thirty-something to middle-aged women and a considerable amount got a Third. I can imagine why if you're juggling a job, kids and are in profession which has become degree oriented.


It seems times change. My chequered academic history includes a regional OU graduation ceremony (ie one of thirteen regions) in 1988. This has prompted me to check my booklet with all that years OU graduates listed. In those days, the only first degree conferred by the OU was BA which miffed many who had specialised in science units. (And unlike Oxford, it wasn't automatically upgraded to MA after a couple of years.) Anyway, graduates in the Yorkshire (07) Region that year included 33 firsts, 44 2:1's, 39 2:2, and only three thirds. There were perhaps 600 pass degrees (I'm not going to count the list.) A glance at the other regions confirms that those proportions are broadly typical. In those days completing six OU courses meant a BA and two further courses at the higher levels were necessary for honours, the classification being decided on the grades achieved in the individual courses. In an earlier era, OU students had been able to study almost unlimited numbers of courses in the hope of achieving a higher honours classification.

I believe the OU is a wonderful institution. I understand - largely from Private Eye - that it's been in difficulties recently. If so it's a pity because its distance learning model fits so well with the needs of our society. I know it's changed since my day, including scrapping TV programmes at ungodly hours given by academics in flared trousers with weirdo hair styles :lol: and BSc degrees but I wish it well.
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PS I was working full-time when I was an OU student.

londoncommuter0000
Posts: 177
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 10:36am

Re: Oxbridge Elite Or Intelligent

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 7 Feb 2019, 11:12am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
We all knew that but the stats tell the truth.-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-46470838

"Oxford and Cambridge are being accused of being so socially exclusive that they recruit more students from eight top schools than almost 3,000 other English state schools put together."


I recall back in the day, when I was applying to university, when the thought of applying to Oxbridge didn't even occur to me. Even if I'd been called to interview, my accent would have disqualified me right away.
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roubaixtuesday
Posts: 1413
Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 7:05pm

Re: Oxbridge Elite Or Intelligent

Postby roubaixtuesday » 7 Feb 2019, 12:47pm

Ben@Forest wrote:
roubaixtuesday wrote:Full disclosure: I went to the local comp then Cambridge and have a first class degree. My son likewise has recently started at Cambridge, again after going to our local comp.


And this of course begs its own question. Did you being at Cambridge help your son's entrance even unwittingly by those who consider entrance.

I knew a then girl who studied medicine at the same Cambridge college her father studied medicine. As she herself said, that connection helped her get a place. That's not to say she didn't become a fine doctor (25 years since l last heard of her) but she recognised bias in the system then.


I think these are reasonable questions. I can say for sure that there was no *direct* effect - the university had no way of knowing his father went there, and he certainly wasn't asked.

I think it probably eased his social worries ("aren't they all just posh"?). I can for sure say the same didn't apply to me - no-one else in the family had been to Oxbridge.

He's a student from a local comp with the best A level grades it's possible to get, and he also had to do an entrance exam. I think more could and should be done to encourage more people like him to apply, so it's seen as "normal" for high achieving students from low and middle income famlies, rather than a social elite where they will feel uncomfortable.

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georgew
Posts: 1443
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 4:23pm

Re: Oxbridge Elite Or Intelligent

Postby georgew » 7 Feb 2019, 2:52pm

It would be convenient if we could speak of intelligence as if it was discrete....a separate entity... but of course it's not as simple as that, given that intelligence consists of several components. Again, as has been said up-thread, "Intelligence" is not a scarce commodity though "Wisdom" certainly is.

The quality of "A-levels" is used in our system is used to gatekeep entry to our universities, and yet there exists little correlation between A-level results and the quality of the eventual university degrees.

It's complicated.