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Poor Pupils To Get Easier Entry To Top Universities

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/8310171/Poor-pupils-to-get-easier-entry-to-top-universities.html

Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities should set higher entry requirements for private school pupils than for poor children from state schools, ministers will say this week.

The ruling will come in guidance for universities setting out what they must do to be allowed to charge the maximum £9,000-a-year tuition fees. To win permission to charge the highest level of fees, a university must show it is doing as much as it can to admit students from all backgrounds.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will tell leading colleges they must end "social segregation" and do more to bring in students from low-income families.

Universities will be urged to make more use of "differential offers", admitting poorer students from state schools with lower marks than those expected of private school pupils.

Mr Clegg is backing the "fair access" plans to make plans for higher fees more acceptable to Liberal Democrats and others unhappy at the Coalition's higher education policies.

Next year's rises in fees have led to warnings that the best universities charging the highest fees will become even more dominated by children from wealthy, middle-class homes.

Yet more trying to rebalance fairness, perhaps those from low income families should also be able to get lower marks before being awarded a 2:1 or a 1st?

If Uni's are going to have to admit more lower income individuals who are of poorer standard are they going to end up being accused of fleecing the poor when they find they aren't up to standard and can't do the work, unless of course those disadvantaged students have intense tuition but then who picks up those additional costs? I certainly wouldn't want to be picking up £9k a year of debt for the privilege of failing at a top Uni. I know that previous results don't necessarily predict degree outcomes, but how are the elite Universities going to find out who is capable before taking the money?

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I'm ambivalent about this idea, given that I don't think universities should be social engineering centres.

However, there is some evidence that state school kids with the same grades as private school kids perform better than the latter at university. That is, private school kids are performing at their peak potential at A-level whereas those from poor schools are not. So there's an argument that A-levels should not be the only criteria for determining talent.

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Poor kids shouldn't be going to Uni at all. Get the feckers down the mines.

Can't you see the wider picture?

What is wrong with the chimneys?

Edited by leicestersq

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Is there any way in which this could be legally challenged by the public school kids families on the grounds of inequality, or not?

They don't need to lower entry requirements to for applicants from poorer backgrounds, all they need to do is stop discriminating against them in favour of those from public schools. I went to a public school, by the way, but I never became part of the 'old-boy network', so I never became a mover or shaker!

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Poor kids shouldn't be going to Uni at all. Get the feckers down the mines.

What mines? Nearly every mine I've been down has been disused for at least a century. :(

Anyway, stupid idea. Entry to university should be based solely on academic ability. This is such an obvious statement that I can't see anyone thinking otherwise who would be remotely qualified to go. If there's a problem with poorer students not being up to scratch then tackle the problem at the schools level - it's not the university's problem. The fact that it's moving more and more to ability to pay though is a disgrace.

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The scope for abuse seems endless.

I studied theoretical physics and the drop-out rate over the three years was nearly 30%. I foresee that going to 50% if they start engineering the requirement like this. Academic requirement and application should be the only standards to judge students; all other s will simply be wasting public funds.

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Is there any way in which this could be legally challenged by the public school kids families on the grounds of inequality, or not?

If people really want to get round it, they could send their kids to private school until 16/17 and then switch them to a good state school for A levels.

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Here we go: State school pupils 'do better at university' (Guardian).

Pupils from comprehensive schools are likely to do better at university than children educated at private or grammar schools with similar A-level results, according to research carried out for the government and published today.

A five-year study tracking 8,000 A-level candidates found that a comprehensive pupil with the grades BBB is likely to perform as well in their university degree as an independent or grammar school pupil with 2 As and a B.

...

The research also shows that comprehensive pupils do better than grammar or private school pupils with the same A-level results in degrees awarded by the most academically selective universities, even though the intake of these institutions is dominated by privately educated teenagers. The effect was found across all degree classes awarded in 2009.

...

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High achievers from comprehensive schools know that they have to work very hard to achieve good results from university. The students from private schools tend to take the view that it is all "laid on", and they don't need to work so hard. A generalisation I know, but that has been my observation.

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So we can't improve state schools to the required level that they can compete with private schools?

Despite the billions being thrown into new BSF schemes.

Then the barrier has to be lowered, naturally to help the 'vulnerable and 'disadvantaged'.

Metal detectors and a police officer have to be paid for also.

Welcome to UK.

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What Clegg fails to realise is that the top universities only derive a relatively small proportion of their income from the HEFCE teaching grant. Furthermore, with the withdrawal of HEFCE money for humanities and social sciences teaching, that proportion is about to get smaller still. Even before he started grandstanding, Cambridge was thinking very carefully about doing a Buckingham and going totally private. They can easily recruit enough international students and filthy rich domestic ones able to pay £20-30k a year to survive and thrive. If Clegg's proposal is implemented, I can easily see half the Russell Group going the same way. And that won't exactly improve access to quality HE for bright kids from poor backgrounds.

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What Clegg fails to realise is that the top universities only derive a relatively small proportion of their income from the HEFCE teaching grant. Furthermore, with the withdrawal of HEFCE money for humanities and social sciences teaching, that proportion is about to get smaller still. Even before he started grandstanding, Cambridge was thinking very carefully about doing a Buckingham and going totally private. They can easily recruit enough international students and filthy rich domestic ones able to pay £20-30k a year to survive and thrive. If Clegg's proposal is implemented, I can easily see half the Russell Group going the same way. And that won't exactly improve access to quality HE for bright kids from poor backgrounds.

Did you see the THES article? Cambridge to go for 9k fees, 3k bursary for under 25k household income, tapered to 42k. Post 92s certainly won't be able to match that, dunno about other non Russell. Key will be whether 6 to 9k is off putting for the poorer students to a sufficient degree. If not, then I'd imagine that Russell Group will be financially enticing for poorer students, and Post 92s and others become for the rich and thick.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=415108&c=1

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The middle classes will always find a way around any requirement meant to promote a more level playing field. Given that, I've done a u-turn over the past year and now favour grammar schools. Yes, the middle class will do their best to colonise them (and largely succeed), but at least they offer a place for the more able working class kids to aspire to, and an environment where they won't assume that university is 'not for them'.

And while we're at it, can we just take it for granted that universities should be for the top 10% (academically speaking).

If you want to make things 'fair' then the obvious thing to do is to have means-tested tuition fees...

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Other Western European countries don't have our state/private school split. This is because they have decent state schools and rich people don't pay if they can get just as good for free. The solution is to raise the game of the state schools, not try to engineer outcomes AFTER compulsory education is finished.

Edited by Nationalist

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Based on my experience at uni, if you had a state pupil and private pupil with the same A level results, the state pupil would do much better.

My theory is that the private schools are better run and more exam results focused that pupils tend to over achieve and can be found out later.

The girl next to me at uni came back from her first exam crying. They wouldn't give her any hints in the exam like they did at her very expensive school.

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Secondary education upto 16 and through to 18 now in the case of most colleges is about inclusion.

Univeristy, not fecking Uni, is about quality. Always was the case and always should be. OK if some spacka wants to spend 17k going to Luton 'Uni' then fair enough but at the traditional 'Universities' it is pitiful that they see fit to change the rules for these institutions.

If they were worried about exclusion of the potential of poorer students they should not have got rid of Grammer schools and Assisted Places. Dumb feckers.

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This sounds like Nick Clegg wanting to be seen to say the right things but actually doing sod all about it. Worse than useless. What's the point in these politicians again?

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This sounds like Nick Clegg wanting to be seen to say the right things but actually doing sod all about it. Worse than useless. What's the point in these politicians again?

Their point is to make sure that the boat doesn't get rocked too much, even if it's heading towards a waterfall.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/8310171/Poor-pupils-to-get-easier-entry-to-top-universities.html

Yet more trying to rebalance fairness, perhaps those from low income families should also be able to get lower marks before being awarded a 2:1 or a 1st?

If Uni's are going to have to admit more lower income individuals who are of poorer standard are they going to end up being accused of fleecing the poor when they find they aren't up to standard and can't do the work, unless of course those disadvantaged students have intense tuition but then who picks up those additional costs? I certainly wouldn't want to be picking up £9k a year of debt for the privilege of failing at a top Uni. I know that previous results don't necessarily predict degree outcomes, but how are the elite Universities going to find out who is capable before taking the money?

surely the answer is to get more low income family kids better educated much earlier to ensure that they can meet the same standards as those kids who were lucky enough to go to private schools...recognise talent much earlier & let those kids have a better chance at achieving the entrance qualifications for top universities...like bringing back Grammar schools in all areas of the country???

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The middle classes will always find a way around any requirement meant to promote a more level playing field. Given that, I've done a u-turn over the past year and now favour grammar schools. Yes, the middle class will do their best to colonise them (and largely succeed), but at least they offer a place for the more able working class kids to aspire to, and an environment where they won't assume that university is 'not for them'.

And while we're at it, can we just take it for granted that universities should be for the top 10% (academically speaking).

If you want to make things 'fair' then the obvious thing to do is to have means-tested tuition fees...

Indeed, send them to Eton for their GCSEs and first year of A-levels, by which time they should be ready to pass, then send them to Scumbag College for the final year - of course no one will notice if they don't turn up for lesson at scumbag college, so should be plenty of time to slip in some private tutoring.

Edited by Mikhail Liebenstein

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Based on my experience at uni, if you had a state pupil and private pupil with the same A level results, the state pupil would do much better...

of course.

if course requirements are, say, BBB A level grades or equivalent, it stands to reason that: (a) the results of many people on the course will be clustered around the BBB level since more able students woudl aim higher; and (B) someone who's been expensively hot-housed to get grades BBB is probably not terribly bright, at least compared to someone who's got those grades under normal circumstances.

it's empirically proven that, other things being equal,

see, e.g. here - LINK

"We estimate that, on average, a male (female) graduate who attended an Independent school is 6.5 (5.4) percentage points less likely to obtain a `good' degree than is a student who attended an LEA (that is, state-sector) school, ceteris paribus".

what they shoudl do is slowly positively discriminate, increment by increment, until that differential vanishes, i.e. until pupils are judged on underlying talent rather than picking relatively dim privately educated pupils with slightly better or the same grades.

it'll never happen though. the VIs know that cries of 'dumbing down' etc are too powerful.

Edited by the flying pig

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of course.

if course requirements are, say, BBB A level grades or equivalent, it stands to reason that: (a) the results of many people on the course will be clustered around the BBB level since more able students woudl aim higher; and (B) someone who's been expensively hot-housed to get grades BBB is probably not terribly bright, at least compared to someone who's got those grades under normal circumstances.

it's empirically proven that, other things being equal,

see, e.g. here - LINK

"We estimate that, on average, a male (female) graduate who attended an Independent school is 6.5 (5.4) percentage points less likely to obtain a `good' degree than is a student who attended an LEA (that is, state-sector) school, ceteris paribus".

what they shoudl do is slowly positively discriminate, increment by increment, until that differential vanishes, i.e. until pupils are judged on underlying talent rather than picking relatively dim privately educated pupils with slightly better or the same grades.

it'll never happen though. the VIs know that cries of 'dumbing down' etc are too powerful.

universities already discriminate AFAIK, the news debate is simply over whether governments should impose discrimination, or universities whould simply naturally discriminate in their own best interests

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