colleges at Oxford, help!

(13 Posts)
ventilatormum Sun 29-Sep-13 14:01:18

DD is thinking of applying to Oxford for Biomedical Sciences. We have not a clue about the different colleges nor does her school. She has read a lot on line etc etc but does anyone have any views about what these three colleges are actually like and what sort of student would be happy there? Balliol, Keble and Oriel. She is a normal, out going sixth former, lots of friends, co ed school, active, no massive passion except her subject, ordinary sort of interests including all the typical Oxford applicant stuff; head of school etc.

samandcj Sun 29-Sep-13 15:21:00

Have you been to an open day?
My DD chose her college simply because she felt that the students showing her around were welcoming and she felt "at ease"
To be honest, from my experience, which ever college she chooses - she will love it.
Good luck

alreadytaken Sun 29-Sep-13 17:26:02

it's really quite difficult to get much of an impression of the colleges on open days. My suggestion would be that she goes on the student room and looks at the information on there www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Oxford_College_Pros_and_Cons

That might help her get a short list and she can then visit at open days.

Mine will be going to Cambridge but the same principles apply.

kritur Sun 29-Sep-13 19:33:25

I know Keble quite well, a friend of mine is a fellow there. It's a big college, quite a science bias being just across the road from the physics and chemistry depts.

I agree with go and have a look and see what everyone seems like.

Runandbecome Sun 29-Sep-13 19:47:53

Keble, Oriel and Balliol were all sporty colleges in my day in case that's useful. Obviously quite a while since I was there but I also chose my college based on higher state school intake on the basis that they would be more accepting of my comprehensive background and it would also be more down to earth - which it was. Agree with others that it's important to read the views of current and recent undergrads to get a feel for the college.

ventilatormum Sun 29-Sep-13 21:53:25

Thanks all - very helpful (also got some help from Chat thread) - trying to advise whilst ignorant is not easy but I think she is going to put Keble as her choice. Phew. Almost in the starting gates!!

FreckledLeopard Sun 29-Sep-13 22:01:57

Is she at a state sixth form? When I was at Oxford, Oriel was quite 'rah' - lots of public school boys drinking champagne etc. Keble and Balliol were more down to earth.

georgettemagritte Mon 30-Sep-13 22:18:13

Would second the posters above advising against Oriel... Keble is down to earth and fun.

Hendricksandcucumber Tue 01-Oct-13 08:39:55

Just to reassure regarding Oriel, I have friends who went there, all are state school educated (from cities such as Leeds and Birmingham) who are very down to earth, kind and funny. No Rah-ness (quite a bit of Champagne though). If she's at all keen on rowing I think Oriel have been head of the river for some years now. Summer VIIIs is always fun if you're winning!
I think so long as you're bright, open minded and socialise at every opportunity for the first fortnight you'll have fun wherever!

2rebecca Thu 03-Oct-13 12:18:01

The college system is a big reason my son isn't applying to Oxbridge. He couldn't be bothered with the hassle of reading all the different stuff, plus each college had it's own seperate admission requirements for his course and some had their own special test you have to sit.
I disregarded Oxbridge for similar reasons in the 1980s, then the admission test several months before A levels put me off too.
The cities are beautiful though, he may try for them if he does a postgrad degree.
Good luck to those who are motivated enough to jump through the hoops.

BlackMogul Wed 09-Oct-13 23:46:39

Look at the Colleges a bit lower down the league table of Colleges. They tend to be the less Public school ones. Look at Somerville, st Anne's, Keble and Lincoln take from State schools.

williaminajetfighter Thu 10-Oct-13 00:10:48

I work at Oxford. Each college has its own personality as you know. Fwiw I would probably avoid the especially old colleges that tend to attract the 'toffs' and Etonian types eg. magdalen, St. John's. otherwise best to go to a college with a known science bent.

TheBuskersDog Sun 13-Oct-13 23:39:42

I second the poster about Keble being down to earth and fun (although my personal experience of it was late 80s). I knew lots of people who were just normal comprehensive school kids, who just happened to be bright.

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