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RG unis - are they really THAT difficult to get in?

(168 Posts)
Tasmania Thu 21-Feb-13 13:13:36

The more I read MN, the more my eyes seem to be opened up to a world I don't recognize. I guess it's true that we don't actually live in one world, but rather in smaller worlds that co-exist on one planet.

I have read, for example, that some state schools never manage to send any child to a RG uni, and a lot of people who are very supportive about state schools get very, very upset by that.

As someone who went to a RG uni, whose DH, SILs, friends (and their DHs) and even colleagues also went to such unis... are they really THAT difficult to get in? Some of those listed went to state schools. It didn't look as though they saw these unis as "out of reach".

Sometimes, I do wonder whether it is actually the nation's obsession of getting as many kids as possible into uni that makes the world seem so much more unfair. Because you have to admit that not many people went to uni in previous generations, and it is virtually impossible for everyone to attend Oxbridge (maybe in future, people can attend lectures online, etc.). So some people will HAVE to be left out. Is that really so bad?

We don't live in a communist state... but even the old Soviet Union had universities that were out of bounds for many.

JugglingFromHereToThere Sat 23-Feb-13 09:42:52

Thanks wordfactory - the "informed choices" document from the Russell Group was very interesting and informative - especially about which subjects are helpful or occasionally required for which courses. smile

mrz Sat 23-Feb-13 08:29:31

Can't be that hard I was offered a place grin

wordfactory Sat 23-Feb-13 08:14:34

Sorry Janice Turner link posted on wrong thread. Doh.

wordfactory Sat 23-Feb-13 08:11:37

Piece by Janice Turner for anyone interested.

For me, being from her neck of the woods to boot, it chimed so well. Too well.

wordfactory Sat 23-Feb-13 08:05:48

Info about subject choices

wordfactory Sat 23-Feb-13 08:00:52

juggling I'd say they were traits that might stand someone in good stead for parts of the law.

Thing is, there are lots of different avenues in the law and each require different skill sets. Law firms have a mix.

And the good thing about law is that there is always demand for new blood. A bit like publishing grin.

goingmadinthecountry Fri 22-Feb-13 23:20:02

I can assure you that my children did more for GCSEs/A levels than I did. Not really sure how I got my AAB back in the early 80s - luck more than hard work I think. Dd1 got 3 A* and and A this year and she certainly put the work in. Even then, she didn't think she was up for applying to Oxbridge due to one bad AS result. Whatever. She's happy where she is and may well choose to go PG as I did.

I do think there's a huge gap between exam boards though. Am very anti-Gove but on this one he has a point. It's always been the same way - I was a moderator for a few years.

Yellowtip Fri 22-Feb-13 22:46:06

Juggling there are enough lawyers out there. Isn't 11 is a bit young to consign anyone to anything though? Latin was a Classic in my day....If you really want to be in with a shout, apply for Classics and English smile

JugglingFromHereToThere Fri 22-Feb-13 19:49:28

Thanks wordfactory smile

Like you I've been getting more and more interested in history (now that I've lived through more of it ?!) Was probably put off at O level by the thought of studying the wars - even then was a bit of a pacifist - Testament of Youth was my era (TV wise)

We have DS(11) earmarked for law as has always been thoughtful, analytical, and incredibly pedantic - do you think that's the right skill set ? wink

wordfactory Fri 22-Feb-13 19:40:00

juggling there is a list floating around somehwere of facilitating subjects. I'll see if I can find a link.

wordfactory Fri 22-Feb-13 19:38:08

Law graduate here grin...didn't even do an O level in History...but huge interest in it as an adult!

polly I thuik there has been some grade inflation. The modular system (with retakes of descrete modules encouraged) has enabled more students to reach higher grades.

But even then, I don't think GCSEs are the piece of piss some like to make them out to be.

JugglingFromHereToThere Fri 22-Feb-13 19:36:06

How can you find out which subjects are good options for having more of a chance of getting into a good University ? (Just as part of what you might want to consider) I've heard Latin and Classics is good for Oxbridge as lots of old scholarships and less competition, but other than that I've little idea of which subjects are more/less competitive. Except obviously lots of people competing for vet and medicine places, and law slightly less but still tough.

Any thoughts ?

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Feb-13 19:09:31

Copthall nope. grin

pollypandemonium Fri 22-Feb-13 18:39:55

That's interesting Copthallresident. I think students now are better equipped because the national curriculum covers most of the bases that need to be covered so nobody will go out and feel inadquate - every child knows who Picasso was, everyone knows about the Victorians and they will all have read some Shakespeare. Citizenship courses are also very useful for general understanding about the world.

I personally don't believe that there has been grade inflation, I think that children learn far more quickly nowadays because of the tools they have.

For example, learning about fold mountains and oxbow lakes is quite easy in a utube video, however reading about it in a book with a black and white diagram, watching a teacher wave his arms about shouting and pointing takes so much longer.

Look at the history and nature programmes on TV - you can pick up so much from what is around you unlike in the 'good' old days where you had to read several pages of dusty text and use your imagination.

Analysis is the thing that takes longer to learn but I think they do that pretty well in schools now. I wish they would teach children how to fix leaky taps and grow potatoes, it would be far more useful.

Tasmania Fri 22-Feb-13 18:32:12

Yellowtip Just personal experience of people I know who have studied the subject, but each uni may be different.

Copthallresident Fri 22-Feb-13 18:28:21

sorry iPad seems to be goveist, understanding the substance................

Copthallresident Fri 22-Feb-13 18:26:47

Do I detect other History and English graduates wink

Totally agree, and it isn't just the relevant skills you develop, the reason I am back at uni was that I went and worked in another culture and not having that in depth knowledge and understanding of it's culture and where it was coming from felt like working with one hand behind my back. Studying it after three years living there was like a road to Damascus, suddenly everything came together and made sense. Vital skills and understanding, not just in business, but government too. Shame Gove only heard the story, and wants our children to only hear the story, instead of the substance angry

tiggytape Fri 22-Feb-13 17:37:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yellowtip Fri 22-Feb-13 16:53:14

History is not more biased towards public schoolers Tas. Why do you say that?

higgle Fri 22-Feb-13 16:25:42

English and history would have ben a dream come true for me. I did Law ( many years ago) because my parents would only support me if I did a subject that led to a job.

Tasmania Fri 22-Feb-13 16:15:44

English and History are actually good subjects to study. Much better than loads of mickey-mouse subjects. You need quite a lot of ability to digest material and analyze them in those subjects. Not just learning formulas and applying them.

History is more biased towards public school peeps, but that might be because it's hard not to be interested in it when you're walking down the same halls as the greats.

wordfactory Fri 22-Feb-13 16:11:52

Me either russians.

And I do think that students who study those subjects at good universities have a good chance of getting employemnt in all manner of fields - from banking, to the law, from publishing to the diplomatic service.

Employers like history/english grads.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 22-Feb-13 15:56:10

I can't think of many subjects that would be more interesting than English and History actually.

badguider Fri 22-Feb-13 15:48:58

What I don't understand is why SO MANY young people are desperate to study English and History at RG Universities... I mean, English and History are not the most exciting subjects in the world, I understand that some young people might be passionate about them but I just cannot see why they are THAT much more popular than other subjects.
If you REALLy want to get into 'any RG University' for it's RG-status, then why choose one of the two most popular subjects. Why not choose something less popular and then look at exactly which University is best for that subject and then whether you can meet their entrance requirements.

AuntySib Fri 22-Feb-13 15:12:00

They are accessible to anyone with good enough grades. AAB is certainly a possiblility - based on my son's experience 2 years ago.
Personal statement needs to be strong in that it should reflect candidate's interest in the subject and demonstrate ability to succeed on the course - I was surprised that they weren't interested in work experience ( unless hugely relevant) other interests and hobbies etc. Good reference from school obviously essential. It also depends on the course - the more over-subscribed courses will be more stringent in their requirements.

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