Fifty-year admission

January 7, 2016

The more the mechanism of the myth-laden selection process at the University of Oxford is revealed (“Alan Rusbridger: lifting the lid on Oxford admissions”, 21 December), the more one is inclined to agree with Alan Ryan that it splits hairs, to the extent that half those rejected are not objectively distinguishable from those who succeed (“A select few: student recruitment in the US”, Opinion, 7 May 2015). Presumably no data exist on the fate of those who fail, although I read somewhere that a few are so disappointed that they decline to consider other universities and settle for the A-level job market instead.

As a University of Cambridge reject in 1964, I felt the pain acutely, all the more so because the then mandatory seventh term in the sixth form had raised such great expectations; but by the same token, the spur to succeed at the redbrick university that immediately accepted me was all the greater. Nevertheless, a slight sense of being an outsider clung to me ever after…until last year when out of the blue and almost 50 years after the Cambridge fiasco, I was invited to examine an Oxford DPhil. Finally I had been admitted and all was forgiven.

David Bignell
Via timeshighereducation.com


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com

Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday. View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

University President NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY
Vice Principal DURHAM UNIVERSITY
Reader/Professor of Race and Education LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY
Professor of Teacher Education LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest