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(40 Posts)
GlobalTechIndustries Wed 14-Dec-16 23:04:11

To gain a perspective of what it is like to study at either Oxford or Cambridge ? Could anyone contribute any knowledge or experience of studying or knowing someone who studies/ has studied there.

Kr1stina Thu 15-Dec-16 12:12:44

Well it depends on the university, the college and the course .

Which one are you thinking of?

shareandtrade Thu 15-Dec-16 16:47:10

One of my sons is at Oxford. He has small two of three group seminars with lecturers as well as the normal large scale lectures. He finds these small group interactions brilliant, bouncing off ideas with a leading professor in the field of discussion.
Everyone is serious about their studies, my son does not seem to party as hard as my son in Bristol!
There are Garden Parties, academic competitions, dinners with lecturers and lots of other events throughout the year.
If your DC goes to Oxford, they are very lucky.

Peregrane Thu 15-Dec-16 16:59:47

At the undergrad level, they are amazing. If you tell us what you like to know about them, it would be easier to respond in more detail!

Gruach Thu 15-Dec-16 17:09:16

Here you are.

Possibly every single Oxbridge graduate on MN has contributed to at least one of these many, many threads ...

GlobalTechIndustries Thu 15-Dec-16 19:43:17

Kr1stina Mainly history / ancient studies and archaeology type courses / modules but also any other information inbetween with regards to other courses.

indiraisindiaisindira Thu 15-Dec-16 21:49:13

My DD failed to get a place at Oxford for the same area as that your dc is interested in.

She went on quite a few outreach events. From what she told me, the history tutors she met on the whole were quite snooty and as you would imagine. The archaeologists and classicists were much friendlier and down to earth, albeit many being vair vair pohsh. Of course, this is down to the academics she met and the colleges which she visited.

goodbyestranger Thu 15-Dec-16 22:00:24

In terms of contemporary Oxford, I don't recognize any of what the previous poster says about snooty posh tutors. Three DC of mine have read or are reading history there, the first went up only a few years ago and the other two are still there. I haven't heard a single instance or a 'vair vair posh' tutor or indeed a 'snooty' one, not that that would have been how I would have imagined them in any event. The absolute reverse would be true. People really do spout nonsense.

YokoUhOh Thu 15-Dec-16 22:03:25

I did my degree at Oxford. There was a distinct lack of support and the course was boring, but this was 17 years ago so things might have changed.

Some tutors at Oxbridge see undergrads as an inconvenience. But I'm sure they do at other unis too.

indiraisindiaisindira Thu 15-Dec-16 22:56:40


I find your comment to be quite rude and obnoxious. Perhaps if you've three children there then you come from a background used to such people.

I was stating what my dd told me and I absolutely recognise the fact that this was her experience and others may be different. On the contrary she did praise two very down to earth tutors, who were actually Irish where as the rest were English.

bojorojo Fri 16-Dec-16 00:59:45

I think goodbye has had about 6 DC go there! I may have lost count.

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 16-Dec-16 08:10:28

There are of course vair posh academics at Oxbridge. And the odd snooty one.

But for the most part that isn't the case. I for one am an unruly working class northerner!

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 16-Dec-16 08:12:18

indira but what does 'down to earth' mean?

goodbyestranger Fri 16-Dec-16 08:25:10

indira slagging off Oxford tutors as a collective is far ruder than my saying that you're talking nonsense, which you definitely are.

My own cultural background is mixed and the people I know now are equally mixed, so no I don't communicate exclusively with 'vair vair posh' people. Even if people are afflicted by 'vair vair posh' accents, that doesn't necessarily translate into snootiness. Extrapolating from an open day and an interview possibly aren't sufficient to give a full flavour of the quality of Oxford dons but I can think of several politically extreme history tutors off the top of my head who would absolutely not fit your DDs description, and not one who would.

goodbyestranger Fri 16-Dec-16 08:26:52

Thanks bojo you flatter me; it's only six smile

user1481838270 Fri 16-Dec-16 08:32:33

I worked in Oxford for a year or so.

How snooty the tutors are is very much dependent on the course and, also to a certain extent, the college.

In areas such as science, engineering, maths, etc. it is less so as the student intake is from a broader range of backgrounds and the majority of tutors are from abroad.

Other courses recruit mainly from independent schools and are less international in outlook and certainly retain an air of exclusivity in certain colleges.

MrsBernardBlack Fri 16-Dec-16 10:20:07

A very vague question, OP, what exactly do you want to know and why?

indiraisindiaisindira Fri 16-Dec-16 18:31:30


It's often hard to see another person's opinion when you yourself belong to the same group.

Anyways, let's leave it at that shall we. From working in chambers, I know when to bother with an argumentwink

goodbyestranger Fri 16-Dec-16 19:06:26

People who work in chambers come in all shapes and sizes and are of hugely variable quality indira, so the fact of working in chambers doesn't indicate much, in itself. Yes I'm fine to leave it there, on the grounds that if you're drawing simply on a single DD's experience of an open day and an unsuccessful interview then the evidence for slating all Oxford History dons is insubstantial to say the least.

indiraisindiaisindira Fri 16-Dec-16 19:18:17

Your dcs are doing very well for themselves, but perhaps a GCSE course in reading comprehension is needed on Santa's list for you this year.

indiraisindiaisindira Fri 16-Dec-16 19:25:25

Apologies to OP.

.As can be seen, it all depends on a persons viewpoint. But on the whole, people I work with do look back on it very favourably.

I ought to add some useful advice for those applying from state schools.

The best thing for your DC is to google study days, I know that University College offers them for mixed state and private.
Oriel do lots of outreach too.
Lady Margaret Hall run a foundation year for people from very disadvantaged backgrounds.

There are UNIQ summer schools which seem to have tightened up on what the consider disadvantaged, postcode etc.

Pathways is a great scheme.

As a matter of fact, having read in the Economist last night, Univ is going to increase 10% in places, set aside for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It'll be interesting to see their criteria.

If you DC is interested in study days, send me a message and I'll try and get some links for you.

goodbyestranger Fri 16-Dec-16 19:41:50

indira the best place for OP to find info is on either of the two university websites, which are absolutely excellent. I don't think messages to a random person on the internet who has a downer on supposedly posh tutors can trump that source of information. Funnily enough I have a state school DC at Oriel and my other DC are state schooled too - not that they or I have a beef with those who opt for private schooling either. Indeed one great thing about Oxford is that intelligence acts as a leveller and friendship groups are often extremely mixed socially. I'm extremely keen on that aspect. An open mind is an asset - and these things trickle down to DC.

OP I would recommend the two websites; you can't do better than those.

tropicalfish Fri 16-Dec-16 21:05:35

Indira I think your information is extremely helpful. I think it is a daunting process to go through the interview and for some subjects in particular gruelling; hence preparing for the process by taking part in the courses oxford offer would help.
I didn't know about all the opportunities you've mentioned. I've obviously been googling the wrong info.

goodbyestranger Fri 16-Dec-16 21:20:58

tropicalfish it continues to beat me why people don't read the websites thoroughly. Huge amounts have been invested in them and all the correct info is there, including the info indira mentions.

awayinamazda Fri 16-Dec-16 21:30:03

Goodbyestranger, your loyalty to ur children's uni is commendable, if perhaps a bit odd. Both u and Indira r providing a view based on their DCs experience, so not direct, and they may have had different experiences!
The uni websites will give factual info of course, but I have never seen one which covers any negative aspects - I suspect the OP would like to supplement the websites with some real life views from people who have something to share. I don't think that's at all unreasonable.

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