Go to navigation
It is currently Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:22 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 3017
I do have year on year experience of seeing students who are under a high level of stress and who have not received support.
Also of gifted students who hated their undergraduate time at Oxford who went on to an academic career at other highly rated institutions and thrived.

I absolutely accept that this is not a large enough number to be of statistical relevence but there is no reason to think it is a self selecting group.

Again, I'm not claiming there aren't other universities where this is also a problem.
No doubt all institutions will have people who have found them supportive or otherwise.

The point really was that my own experience would agree with the open day impression so if that is a consideration it's worth being aware that it does become an issue for many students.

I did try to make it clear this was my experience of interaction with students not any widespread study. I apologise if it appeared otherwise.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 8056
Fair enough. I have no axe to grind about Oxford but do know several very happy undergraduates from there and no drop outs, the latter being more than I can say for almost every other university in the country! I know young people who have been very unhappy at several institutions, with an excess at 2 in particular (both RG). I understand that the dropout rate is comparatively very low at Oxford, which may be an indicator. I have been impressed with the selection process and also I note the fact that children who hate the open day tend not to apply.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
I appreciate that it's not appropriate to badmouth particular universities.
But for those of us (like me) who have very few friends with older children and very little chance of getting any insider information (we have one friend with a child at Cambridge and another with a child at Winchester and that's it!) it would be nice to hear some opinions (albeit accepting that they are only based on anecdote). For example, I'd hate my child to decide on a university that is known for not having great pastoral care when knowing that would have swayed their decision.
Maybe we could start a thread with people (with no axes to grind either way) stating the positives and negatives that their children/friends' children have experienced?
I find the Student Room really difficult to negotiate (the two times I've been on there) and there are too many opinions to be able to get a real sense.
If everyone says it's a bad idea I won't start the thread.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 8056
Looby I would not feel comfortable contributing to such a thread but if there is a market for it so be it. I shall stay off it so you can all badmouth me as well if you like! :lol:

If you are interested, LLL, you can PM me and I will give you my own opinions (for that is all they are) of the universities I know about. It is a fair few, because I work in one, and because DD applied to university twice for different courses; and because DS is about to go. They both have a lot of friends with experience of other places too.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Fair enough. There's always the risk that that kind of thread could deteriorate pretty fast anyway! I'll pm you though, thanks for the invitation!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 6062
The problem is always going to be LLL, if a parent has a child that is about to go to a particular university, they are unlikely to say that they have found the experience poor! The friends we have whose children have gone to Oxford/Cambridge, or are about to go, for example, (and our school does have a higher than average Oxbridge rate) become almost evangelical in their support of it and how amazing the selection process was etc, weeding out those who really weren't suited and so on. This may or may not be true - from my experience as a Careers Adviser, many students (very able and perfectly capable of surviving with the academic rigour) do, as Amber says, self select away from applying following the Open Day. Dare I say that the feedback I have had over the years is often not only how they feel they have been treated by current students/staff on the day (underwhelming indifference is often the comment) BUT....more significantly....by other prospective students and their parents on the day, making them feel uncomfortable.

I attended a recent event where a representative from Oxford Admissions gave a frank talk to the few professionals who were there and they admitted that they still have a long way to go in ensuring that it is seen as a positive choice amongst "normal" state school children or lower income families with part of the problem being the actions/attitudes of some of their current students.

Actually this was quite positive to me as it showed they recognised that there is often a core of arrogance adopted by students who attend their university and are trying to work out how to strike more of a balance. Pastoral care is one of those things that you really only know how well they do it when something awful happens - Bristol is much maligned in the media due to recent events but, the way they are supporting a very close friends son is unbelievably amazing - maybe one lead to the other, maybe not, but if that is how they respond from now going forward, that is a tick in my book, for example.

The attitude is not peculiar to Oxbridge institutions - the RG institutions need to all take a long hard look at themselves in my opinion BUT, very much like some parents on here who have the GS or bust mentality, so do some parents - often they have a snobbery about the university their offspring is attending which may not be relevant to someone else, if the course they are doing is better taught at an old polytechnic, for example.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1834
Tricky isn't it?
And often people have no idea about the pastoral care of an institution unless they need to use it. For example, I have no idea how my own university managed struggling students back in my day because I didn't know anyone who asked for help (although that's not to say I didn't know anyone who had pastoral needs).
My own child is just starting to think about this - I have concerns about her choosing what I perceive as snobby universities (where the majority of their intake comes from the independent sector for example) because I worry about her not fitting in. But I have to keep my lips sealed I think and trust that she will go where she feels she will be happy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 9577
Location: Herts
There are no snobby universities. But of course there are some snobby students and some snobby members of staff.

Departments can be quite different from each other at the same university.

Durham ignored every piece of email sent by my dd which was not even asking them a question but explaining a decision that she had made. But she applied again and dd2 also applied so we were not put off by the rudeness of one individual.

I hope you did take the time to let the Physics department know about your experience. We always let senior people know when their good name is being let down by the behaviour of individuals.

We have met snobby students and members of staff at both Oxford and Cambridge but also met others that have gone out of their way to help us.

We have also had bad experiences elsewhere in what has been visits to a lot of universities in the past four years for two dds.

I think that the best way of finding out what will suit you is to visit places and find out what does not suit you.

In my opinion it is course first, place second but I know many who choose the town first and then the course.

We know someone who put Manchester five times on their UCAS form! DG


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 9577
Location: Herts
Back to Physics.

We know a dd who was desperate to go to Durham for Physics and got a 3 A * Offer. She got A * A* A and lost the offer and was really upset but went to her backup Bath.

She loved it and was offered a full bursary PGCSE at Oxford when she graduated. She turned it down and went travelling but the next year they wrote to her and offered it again and added a parking place!

So she took it and is now a Physics teacher.

I would look very carefully at the course content and visit all the ones that interest him. DG


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 16127
Daogroupie wrote:
She loved it and was offered a full bursary PGCSE at Oxford when she graduated. DG

Do you mean a PGCE? They all all funded ....


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2019