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disappointed mum

(42 Posts)
clementina25 Sun 13-Oct-13 22:14:03

Dd in 6th year at Scottish state school, already has 5 As in Highers and 1 A at Advanced Higher. Sitting 2 more highers and 2 more advanced highers this year. Has decided not to apply to Oxford for a number of reasons. But had she thought about it earlier and visited she might have done. Will hopefully get into St Andrews - studying Physics. I can't help feeling really disappointed. Feel cross that Scottish students from state schools have a huge hurdle to overcome - do they try for oxbridge when it would mean shelling out £27-£36K more for a degree than if the go to a Scottish university? I worry that she will not be seen as so good as those who go to oxbridge. Hopefully someone can cheer me up.

littlesquid Sat 09-Nov-13 10:29:02

We are English, DD is at Oxford.

One of her other offers was Edinburgh, and in the end,, although she loves the city, she turned that down because she thought (and I agreed) it would be very bitterness-making to be paying £36k and sitting in lectures next to Scottish students who were getting the same education for free.

If we'd been Scottish, though... I think she would have seriously considered Edinburgh over her Oxford offer - in fact, she would probably have applied to St. Andy's over Oxford in the first place, so as to not have such a dilemma.

prettybird Wed 06-Nov-13 22:31:19

Oh - and I went from 5th Year and never ever felt that I was disadvantaged by not going to Oxbridge. I made a conscious choice not to do a 6th Year and in doing so not give myself the option of applying to Oxbridge.

steeking Wed 06-Nov-13 22:27:46

Rawcoconut i couldn't agree more. Where we live pupils are being restricted to 6 subjects in 4th year. The Scottish government thinks it's ok to get qualifications gradually in 5th and 6th year but the unis have said they need the grades in one sitting to prove ability . It's going to totally disadvantage Scottish students and they just can't see it. No wonder it's been likened to the emperor s new clothes. I wrote to the education minister about the limited 4th year subjects and was told that pupils would be filling the rest of their timetable with voluntary work and working on their cvs . wtf !!!

prettybird Wed 06-Nov-13 22:22:23

Your job as a mum is to support her as she makes her own choices. I hope you're letting off steam here and not letting her know you are disappointed hmm

She's done brilliantly in her exams and sounds like she is being very sensible and pragmatic in her choices about where to go.

I loved St Andrews (did French/Economics having gone there to do French/Russian) and got a good job on in the milk round with a top chemical manufacturing company as a senior management trainee albeit a loooooong time ago blushgrin

Don't live your own dreams through your daughter and be grateful she is clear about what she wants to do. smile

happyyonisleepyyoni Wed 06-Nov-13 22:07:12

If your DD really wants to go to Oxford could she not take a year off and apply then. If it's just you, you need to get over it and support her in what she does want to do.

Almostfifty Wed 06-Nov-13 22:02:17

Not all candidates with amazing Highers and Advanced Highers get into St Andrews either. Be warned.

2rebecca Wed 16-Oct-13 10:33:24

I also think that with league tables alot of weighting is given to universities requiring high grades for entrance and doing alot of research. These don't necessarily give you any advantage as an undergrad so some universities lower down may be just as good if not better.
For some degrees local connections with industry etc count for alot as well.

moralimbecile Wed 16-Oct-13 10:22:33

Edinburgh is a better university than Oxford or Cambridge, according to the times university guide, although this was a few years ago.

Sadly, Edinburgh is "only" a Scottish university though, so will never be seen to be as good as it's English counterparts. hmm

Prince William studied at St Andrews. Can't be that bad can it?

2rebecca Wed 16-Oct-13 10:13:29

My son considered Oxbridge and decided it wasn't worth it, both due to the tuition fee money and complexity of the admissions procedure. Scottish unis have as good employment statistics and student satisfaction for his course anyway. If he decides to study further postgrad he may consider England and Oxbridge.
I agree with unfairness of our taxes supporting EU students to come here. I'm generally pro EU but think that if they come to our universities their countries should pay not ours, same if Scottish kids go abroad, the Scottish government should pay.
I also think tertiary education just like primary and secondary should give preference to students from that country.

RawCoconutMacaroon Wed 16-Oct-13 07:51:37

Curriculum for excellence... Don't get me started on that, I predict an absolute mess for the next few years while they sort it out.
I've been telling people about the implications of the "no externally marked exams" for the less academic, and the disintegration of a country wide frame work for the "normal" number of exams and the year they are "normally" sat.
How will universities (and employers) actually be able to compare the results of young people?

Sigh, so glad ds3 is was in the last year to do SG last year, as DS4 is so young any issues will be ironed out before he gets to that stage!

Sorry, thread hijack, it all seems to be such a muddle with school not even being given info about what they should teach until well into the term sad.

clementina25 Tue 15-Oct-13 23:38:13

Well that unleashed an interesting collection of responses. Thanks for helping me look at things with a bit more perspective. Of course I am immensely proud of dd. I think the fees situation in England is hellish and the policy is hugely short sighted (or maybe it is designed to keep higher education for the rich few). She did higher art in 4th year and advanced higher art in 5th year. She had to do much if the studying for the higher on her own due to time tabling but the advanced higher was fine. I think that the curriculum for excellence should allow able pupils to take highers early as the senior phase is supposed to be more flexible.

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 14-Oct-13 21:39:34

I think so.

Of course people from anywhere should be free to apply to the universities of any country they chose - but paying international fees, not home fees(or no fees!).

IHaveA Mon 14-Oct-13 21:30:19

It looks like it may end up with Scotland and England all charging the same anyhow. I think it would be a good thing if it prevented the influx of EU students into Scottish Uni's

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 14-Oct-13 20:31:56

And, interesting article, but missing the real issue - and that's eu students in huge number applying for places in Scottish unis because there are no fees - hence the cap on numbers of "Scottish" students (which must also include eu students as equals).

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 14-Oct-13 20:25:52

Well yes I suppose the money is from the pot allocated to devolved Scotland but that is money which not then available for us to spend on other things... That pot of money is (in effect) the Scottish government getting handed back the taxes that have been collected centrally - to my mind anyway, although that's a gross simplification smile, and there are arguments and counter arguments about which countries within the uk are paying their way that could go on all night grin!

IHaveA Mon 14-Oct-13 18:16:51

RawCoconutMacaroon. I didn't realise that Scottish students are not eligible for Scottish clearing. There is an interesting article about it HERE. That would be really irritating. I wonder if Scottish students are allowed to apply for the places in clearing IF they pay the fees imposed on English candidates? If they were, they wouldn't be 'disadvantaged', however they would no longer be 'advantaged' grin

Hmm, I am not clever enough to argue the case for who pays for Scottish Students to have free university education but I don't think its a simple case of the money coming from Scottish tax payers. I know that in the context of devolution that Scotland manages its own education spending...(however, they do get a few billions and billions bob from Westminster. and this budget is payed for by the whole of the UK shock )
I don't think the money for education is from Scottish tax payers although it is from the Scottish budget. (I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong smile. I think this is an interesting subject.

I still think Scottish Students with 'disappointing' results sad would still have an advantage if they were applying to English universities but only so far as they would be able to research their options ahead of A'level Results day.

AMumInScotland Mon 14-Oct-13 14:31:30

Oh and the fees thing. I know it is a pain, and I do feel for you. But you have to understand the problem came in because England moved the goalposts and did away with grants for fees. Scotland did not cause this problem. They just didn't copy England in being shitty to students who are based there.

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 14-Oct-13 14:31:09

Just to clarify- "Free" Scottish fees are paid for by the Scottish taxpayer, not by people living elsewhere in the uk.

Eu students also get their fees paid as the eu insists that other countries get the same deal as "home" students.

But the eu says its ok to charge fees to students from different countries within the uk.

This is actually not a good thing for Scottish students, as the numbers cap (to keep costs down) is making it harder for Scottish students to get places at Scottish unis.

Unless the the law around the funding of eu students change, I think Scottish students will be paying fees too before long.

AMumInScotland Mon 14-Oct-13 14:29:37

Where exactly is this parallel universe where Oxford and Cambridge are the only acceptable universities to go to and anything else is just 'slumming it'?

I mean St Andrews FFS! It is full of rich English students if you hope she's going to meet those. And if she actually wants a good academic education, then she will do no worse, not in the teeniest tiniest little bit, by not going to Oxbridge.

fairisleknitter Mon 14-Oct-13 14:20:37

I feel more sorry for English students paying full fees at Scottish Universities when other EU students don't have too.

(Or have I misunderstood that bit?)

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 14-Oct-13 14:18:39

Ihavea, Scottish students are not at an advantage in clearing. Firstly, most are applying to university at the start of 6th year, using the Higher results already achieved, so no clearing for them...

Secondly, if a Scottish student applies in 4th year (before they sit their Highers), or in 6th year (if they have done additional exams needed for their application), and they miss their university offer, they can't enter clearing - for almost all courses, there are not ANY clearing places available to Scottish students at Scottish universities. This is because there is a cap on the number of places at Scottish universities that are allowed to be offered to Scottish/eu students. This August there were thousands of clearing places available at Scottish unis, but they were only available to Rest of UK and international students!

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 14-Oct-13 14:09:12

Kaumana, my DS was able to do "off column" extra subjects in both 5th and 6th year, a few kids do it every year at that (state) school. It require the child to be very very interested in the subject and be a self learner.

I assume the same is the case at the OP school. Lol, maybe it's the SAME school!

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 14-Oct-13 14:01:19

My Scottish state school educated Dc is currently at Oxford, and of course pays fees which he wouldn't have if he'd gone to a Scottish uni... That's just the way it is, English unis charge fees to all students. They don't discriminate against Scottish applicants or Scottish qualifications, and a lot of subjects have their own entrance exams anyway.

You seem to be assuming your DD would have been offered a place if she'd applied - but of course most who apply don't get an offer, and the ALL have the exam grades you describe- it is exceptionally competitive.

St Andrews is fabulous but be aware that Physics is very difficult to get into there, possibly as difficult as an Oxbridge application so good PS essential.

If St Andrews is going to be her 1st choice I'd make sure that her ps is angled a bit towards the particular course path she'd follow there (with out making that too obvious to her other uni choices!).

UptheChimney Mon 14-Oct-13 13:43:09

There are many universities as good as Oxford or Cambridge. The Scottish universities have an extraordinary heritage and tradition in the sciences, because they weren't t up just to train clergy, as Oxford and Cambridge were.

But really, why are YOU disappointed? Vicarious status perhaps? It's not a good mindset to have as you go into this process.

antimatter Mon 14-Oct-13 10:26:26

or you can go to your political leaders and lobby them to amend Scottish law so that your kids will get those fees paid from taxpayers pockets

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