US lessons and Laura Spence 2

August 13, 2004

I grow increasingly weary of ploughing through acres of newsprint devoted to what is fast becoming an annual event - the furore surrounding the latest Oxbridge rejectee who claims their mistreatment is based solely on the grounds of their state education. My sister, having obtained her primary and secondary education entirely through state schools in Liverpool (no less), underwent the same interview/ examination process as Laura Spence at Oxford and went on to obtain a place at an Oxford college. She struggled at first with the ethos of high achievement and a significant workload, but she battled on in spite of her obvious educational impediment to obtain a 2:1 in physics.

Even Spence acknowledges that she has become "substantially more well rounded" and "better prepared" as a result of her time in the US.

Dare I suggest that this issue was spotted by the Oxford admissions staff at selection time? Is it too much to ask that the media choose not to give excessive coverage to this issue for once? Or am I missing the point? Is this in fact a way of students raising money to pay for their higher education by selling their tales of sour grapes to the tabloids?

Dave Wright

Lecturer (not at Oxford University)

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