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Telegraph analysis of Oxbridge admissions

(25 Posts)
Tigermom79 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:50:54

Would like to get informed views on the analysis here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/12/revealed-schools-send-highest-number-pupils-every-oxbridge-college/

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I understand this analysis is ranked by number of admissions by school, and doesn't cover all admissions, but I noted after a cursory look, for example, City of London School for Girls appears just once, and some GDST schools such as South Hampstead High School not at all. Does this sound strange in that the analysis is incomplete, or is it just that Oxbridge entrants from these schools are distributed across a wider range of colleges.

Ironoaks Tue 14-Jan-20 21:07:05

A school could send 60+ pupils to Oxbridge a year and not show up on any of those tables at all.

It does highlight trends where a particular school is sending a higher than expected number of pupils to a particular college. But that bias probably originates in the culture of the school rather than the admissions department of the college.

One year, Y college coincidentally admits more than 2 pupils from X school. When those students graduate, they visit their old school to give a talk on applying to Oxbridge. The younger pupils in the school hear Y college mentioned more frequently than other colleges, and are more likely to apply there. Five years on, a disproportionate number of pupils from X school are now applying to Y college. The proportion of X school's applicants to Y college who receive an offer is the expected percentage, but as an actual number it is noticeably higher than the number of pupils receiving offers from other colleges. This reinforces bias amongst younger pupils that college Y is the one to apply to.

CostcoFan Tue 14-Jan-20 21:09:46

It will be because they are more widely spread among colleges and don’t send people to the same college each year. Places like Hills Road sixth form college that are frequently listed are huge. More students means more applicants and more chance of pupils in the same college or having an applicant for a college each year.

ListeningQuietly Tue 14-Jan-20 21:46:29

Some of the source schools are MASSIVE

Some of the colleges have a very high international intake

Some of the colleges have high numbers from a very narrow pool of schools

What a surprise

boys3 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:59:22

I'm not sure that the word "analysis" can be readily associated with any education article in the DT (or Times or Graun for that matter either, granted the low standards at these three are still light years ahead of the rest), and certainly not with this one. It is unclear from the article how for example the pooling system at Cambridge was factored in. Westminster has always had a hugely successful application rate for Oxbridge, so not exactly news there either. Both universities publish a lot of admission stats at UCAS apply centre (aka schools) level.

keyboardwarrior1 Thu 16-Jan-20 14:25:12

Some of most highly selective schools in UK send a lot of pupils to Oxbridge - who would have thought it?

Trewser Thu 16-Jan-20 15:15:13

It's interesting that its such a small pool of schools!

keyboardwarrior1 Thu 16-Jan-20 15:23:15

How many students from these schools applied?
What percentage were admitted?

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Jan-20 15:29:26

This seems like a particularly useless metric, especially given that both universities have a pooling system.confused

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Jan-20 15:38:55

* It's interesting that its such a small pool of schools!*

It's not that surprising - they will be mostly the highly selective indies/gs plus large 6th form colleges. I've not registered to see the whole list but I can see the chart for Brasenose headed by Runshaw. This is in an area of Lancashire in which most of the secondary schools don't have a 6th form, and has 8000 students.

Trewser Thu 16-Jan-20 16:02:27

Hills Road only has about 2k doesn't it? My local comp has 1500 in the 6th form and got 2 in total to Oxbridge.

horsemadmom Thu 16-Jan-20 16:44:59

Looked at the numbers from DDs' school. They are quite careful about where they direct applicants. No more than 1 per subject per college. They advise against colleges if the applicants never seem to get offers no matter how strong. For Oxford, they barely show up in spite of 20+ per year going. Except one college where one year saw 2 direct applicants and 3 more pooled before interview. Cambridge somehow seems to pool clusters of school applicants to the same colleges so the poor things end up competing against each other .

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Jan-20 17:12:44

Hills Road presumably has a rather atypical set of parents - it would be rather odd if they didn't have an atypical output.

keyboardwarrior1 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:44:59

@Trewser

How many students from your local school applied?

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Jan-20 18:55:39

Of course, the numbers of applicants/offers/acceptances for each school has been published for years, and is easy to find on the uni websites. I'm not sure why this breakdown by college is useful or worthy of a 'Revealed:' headline.confused stats on percentages of state v indie students for each college are also already extant.

Tigermom79 Thu 16-Jan-20 20:53:22

I guess my point was that some of the selective London schools which seem to top the UK league tables (GCSE, A levels) don't appear on this list.

Trewser Thu 16-Jan-20 21:07:05

keyboardwarrior1 no idea.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Jan-20 23:14:52

I don't know how big the two you mentioned in the OP are, but I took a look at the Cambridge data for last year, one had 7 offers and the other 10. So it would be surprising if they did show up, it would suggest loads were applying to the same college.

Glaciferous Fri 17-Jan-20 00:11:29

Raw numbers mean nothing. As others have said, you need percentages both of places compared to number of children in the cohort and offers compared to numbers of children applying for this to be data that actually means anything. The latter probably isn't available!

You have places like Hills Road (4000 students), Peter Symonds (2400 students), SPGS (200 students), Westminster (200 students), St Paul's boys (again around 200 students) being directly compared here. They are all obviously institutions that have lots of clever children attending. If you look at a college that has a few of these schools listed, it is v clear that some are doing better percentage wise than others.

For instance:

Jesus College Cambridge lists Hills Road 8, Westminster 7, SPGS 6. Looks like Hills Road is doing really well there until you remember that Hills Road has twenty times as many children in the sixth form as SPGS/Westminster. So this data is essentially meaningless. A better measure would be to publish applications versus offers really. It would make a lot more sense.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 17-Jan-20 00:19:46

* A better measure would be to publish applications versus offers really. It would make a lot more sense.*

They do - (not broken down by college which is daft anyway) but again lacks the size of each school.

Glaciferous Fri 17-Jan-20 00:26:54

Would be interested to see this data. Have you got a link? Agree applications by college is just pointless.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 17-Jan-20 00:46:18

The Cambridge data is all on here, in the 'Applications, Offers & Acceptances by UCAS Apply Centre ' section, obviously not available for this years offers yet.

https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/apply/statistics

Glaciferous Fri 17-Jan-20 07:37:00

That's really interesting. Thanks.

Witchend Fri 17-Jan-20 08:50:50

One year, Y college coincidentally admits more than 2 pupils from X school. When those students graduate, they visit their old school to give a talk on applying to Oxbridge

But there are also colleges that have "links" to schools. For example my old college had one or two from a specific grammar school every year because there was a scholarship attached to the school for any pupil that went to that specific college. That meant that a high proportion of applicants chose to go apply to that college.
So if you have 10 people applying to the same college, back then, you'd expect on average 3 to get in, so they would have appeared on that list.
The school without a link might well have the 10 candidates applying to 10 different colleges, and even if they all got in would not appear on that list.

Glaciferous Fri 17-Jan-20 12:28:19

Just found the Oxford data too, for anyone interested. You can sort by different columns on this one, which makes for very interesting reading.

public.tableau.com/views/UniversityofOxford-UCASApplyCentreApplications2018/UCASApplyCentre?:embed=y&:display_count=yes&:showTabs=y&:showVizHome=no

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