LSE has quotas for state students

#1
A leading university is operating a secret quota system favouring state educated pupils at the expense of better qualified applicants from the independent sector, it was disclosed last night.

The scheme "top slices" places which will be available only to candidates who are approved by the London School of Economics (LSE) as being from poorly performing state schools.

It is the first firm evidence to support the fears of independent school head teachers that their pupils are facing discrimination as universities strive to meet the Government's targets for the recruitment of more students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Those not meeting targets for increasing the proportion of students from state schools and "low participation" areas face financial penalties.

The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, representing the leading secondary boys' and co-educational independent schools, condemned the use of quotas as "deeply unfair".

Philip Evans, the chairman of its universities committee and headmaster of Bedford School, said it was of "significant concern".

"These places are lost to us in the independent sector," he said.

"It is contrary to the basic principle that applicants should be treated as individuals and not as members of a particular group and appears to confirm our fears that there is no longer a level playing field in admissions."

The policy was uncovered using the Freedom of Information Act as Sir Howard Newby, the head of the body which funds higher education, warned that competition for places would be even more intense this year.

There are more students in the system because of a rise in the size of the cohort and they are likely to have better A-level grades. "It is going to be more competitive," said Sir Howard.

Confidential advice for admission tutors at the LSE, published in today's Times Higher Education Supplement, shows 40 places have been set aside for the past five years for pupils from low achieving state schools, divided among the 19 departments.

The document circulated to admission tutors states in bold: "These notes are for guidance only and should not under any circumstances be discussed with any member of the public, including students, parents and schools."

It explains that the average GCSE performance of a candidate's school would be marked on his or her application form by the central admissions office.

Tutors who wanted to offer a place to someone expected to get lower grades than usually required would take school background into account. It applies only for state schools.

Admission tutors can request that a student with low predicted grades from a school where students gain below the national average of 54 per cent with five or more GCSEs at grades *A to C should be counted as part of the quota for the "Discretionary Places Scheme".

Tutors send the forms of those they want to admit to the widening participation officer who decides who to accept for the scheme. A red star is placed in the top left corner of the application form and the offer is processed.

Prof Steven Schwartz, the head of the Office for Fair Access, said he was concerned at the way LSE appeared to be treating students as a group instead of as individuals.

"Universities may want to make lower offers to applicants if they have some way of knowing that their predicted grades do not match their potential but they should not try to bias the system towards any particular group."

He said the secrecy ran contrary to the guidance given by the steering group on fair admission.

Cath Baldwin, the head of recruitment and admissions, said the scheme was introduced because independent school applicants were more likely to be offered places. About 40 per cent of UK places at the LSE go to candidates from fee-paying schools, which educate seven per cent of pupils aged 5-18.

"It's difficult to see this as discrimination, given the number of places given to students from independent schools," she said. "Forty places represent just six per cent of our home and European Union intake."

Ray Richardson, the university's deputy director for teaching and learning, denied bias. "The scheme's purpose is not covertly to increase the number of students we take from state schools. Rather, it seeks to provide some compensation for possible handicaps facing some applicants."
Just another example of this country's PC driven postive discrimination. Whatever happened to getting into uni purely on academic ability? Now they give you a place because you come from a scheme. Makes me sick!

A_S
 
#2
I'm not overly bothered about that.

What I AM bothered about, is that certain universities seem to favour cold hard cash that foreign students bring in, so cutting down the number of domestic places available.

Funny how absolutely nothing is mentioned about that. Mind you, one particular Universtoy, is a firm favourite of Bluppets.
 
#3
Yes, i suppose there is that PTP.

Universities are becoming more and more like businesses and students are treated as commodities. I think that places should be granted on academic ability, rather than on where a student went to school. If they are clever enough they WILL be granted a place at university, regardless of how deprived their school was.

I wnent to a middle of the road secondary school in one of the most deprived areas in my city and yet i managed to work hard and get some decent qualifications and get a place at university (altough i am not 100% sure as to whether my university bumped up my application because of my school :? )

Lets keep universities a place of academic elitism or else they become worthless when 50% of the population has the same class of degree. If that comes about, we can no longer call it 'higher' education.

A_S
 
#4
So what?

The fact is, a set of grades - say 3B's or something - is worth more form a sh1tty comp where it's all off your own bat than 3B's from a public school where you have had everything money can buy. Simple as that. Research has also shown that of students with the same grades, the ones from the less privileged backgrounds outperform those from "good" schools.

The people that object to this are the ones who realise that all that money spent on little Tarquin's education hasn't bought him the unfair advantages to which they felt entitled.
 
#5
I think making Universities more accessible to State Students is an excellent idea. I can speak with some personal bias being a state school product who also has in depth knowledge of the private sector.

A state school has contact with its pupils for about 4-5 hours a day (about 22 hrs a week on avg), for about 38 weeks a year. I know that a number of "good" schools in the private sector work on about a 10 hour contact a day schedule...right up until the exams in some cases.

In addition, they simply take their slightly more able (on average) pupils and essentially cram and prepare their students for exams, over and over again by simply training them to sit that A level exam.

The result. An average Sate school pupil who competes for teacher attention (with less able but equally deserving pupils in often much larger classes) and gets about 40-50% of class contact time with teachers, in often less resourced facilities and a leaking dirty classroom does not "enjoy" the cramming porcess nor the compulsory "Prep" each evening, often for 3 hours. nor does he/she enjoy the intensive interview coaching provided as aprt of the entrance.

A levels are not a level playing field, and are probably less so now than 20 years ago. I would love to think they are and wish that it could be so. With the tactics employed by the Independent Sector (whose profits/jobs depend on their priveleged few getting top grades) it is only equitable that all "able and intelliegent" state school pupils get the access to publicy funded places at so called Top universities.
 
#6
When I was at Uni, there was a guy in my year who had been positively discriminated for, since he got to read Classics at Oxford on BBB.

He dropped out within a year, cos he couldn't hack it - it was academically beyond him.

"Positive" discrimination only serves to reduce overall standards.
 
#7
pmc_abo said:
I think making Universities more accessible to State Students is an excellent idea. I can speak with some personal bias being a state school product who also has in depth knowledge of the private sector.

A state school has contact with its pupils for about 4-5 hours a day (about 22 hrs a week on avg), for about 38 weeks a year. I know that a number of "good" schools in the private sector work on about a 10 hour contact a day schedule...right up until the exams in some cases.

In addition, they simply take their slightly more able (on average) pupils and essentially cram and prepare their students for exams, over and over again by simply training them to sit that A level exam.

The result. An average Sate school pupil who competes for teacher attention (with less able but equally deserving pupils in often much larger classes) and gets about 40-50% of class contact time with teachers, in often less resourced facilities and a leaking dirty classroom does not "enjoy" the cramming porcess nor the compulsory "Prep" each evening, often for 3 hours. nor does he/she enjoy the intensive interview coaching provided as aprt of the entrance.

A levels are not a level playing field, and are probably less so now than 20 years ago. I would love to think they are and wish that it could be so. With the tactics employed by the Independent Sector (whose profits/jobs depend on their priveleged few getting top grades) it is only equitable that all "able and intelliegent" state school pupils get the access to publicy funded places at so called Top universities.
I quite agree that all able state pupils should be judged to the same standards as private school pupils. However, i dont see why they should be postively discriminated against because of their background

As for your section about the differences in the facilities/priviledges enjoyed by the two groups, i agree that this may cause some unfair advantages between the two. Maybe universities should include interviews and tests (to show the ability of someone to learn) alongside the academic ability. This would allow those that may have been underpriviledged to shine through with their natural ability.

A_S
 
#8
So what?

The fact is, a set of grades - say 3B's or something - is worth more form a sh1tty comp where it's all off your own bat than 3B's from a public school where you have had everything money can buy. Simple as that. Research has also shown that of students with the same grades, the ones from the less privileged backgrounds outperform those from "good" schools.

The people that object to this are the ones who realise that all that money spent on little Tarquin's education hasn't bought him the unfair advantages to which they felt entitled.
That's pump mate, as an ex-public school boy and a student i know it doesn't matter how much extra tutition you get, if you don't want to learn you won't learn. True those of us at independent schools get more lesson and personal tutoring time but its still up to you to take advantage of it. Also i have a big problem with those people who believe that everyone at independent schools are upper class twits called 'tarquin' or 'rupert' most of us are normal blokes and girls no silver spoon in sight, if you actually went to a private school you might find this out rather than living in your own proletarian bigoted world.
Rant over.
 
#9
clownbasher said:
So what?

The fact is, a set of grades - say 3B's or something - is worth more form a sh1tty comp where it's all off your own bat than 3B's from a public school where you have had everything money can buy. Simple as that. Research has also shown that of students with the same grades, the ones from the less privileged backgrounds outperform those from "good" schools.

The people that object to this are the ones who realise that all that money spent on little Tarquin's education hasn't bought him the unfair advantages to which they felt entitled.
Not too sure about that, CB. Can you put up some references for your claim?
 
#10
Consider Oxbridge's annual intake: approximately 55% state students, 45% private. The state sector educates over 90% of all students; assuming that intelligence is distributed equally, this percentage should be mirrored in the intake. But it isn't. Year after year private school pupils get a vastly inflated proportion of place, and a large percentage of successful state school entrants are educated in (generally affluent) grammar schools.

Still don't believe money doesn't factor? I say that the real discrimination is against state school pupils.
 
#11
petermtm said:
Consider Oxbridge's annual intake: approximately 55% state students, 45% private. The state sector educates over 90% of all students; assuming that intelligence is distributed equally, this percentage should be mirrored in the intake. But it isn't. Year after year private school pupils get a vastly inflated proportion of place, and a large percentage of successful state school entrants are educated in (generally affluent) grammar schools.

Still don't believe money doesn't factor? I say that the real discrimination is against state school pupils.
What you're forgetting is that roughly 90% of privately educated kids go on to university, whereas the proportion from the state sector as a whole is probably around 30% (figures based roughly on the fact that about 40% of all kids go to University). Around 10% of the population is privately educated. Therefore the percentage of the population who are privately educated & go on to Uni is about 9%, and the proportion of the population who are publically educated and go on to Uni is about 27%, so the ratio is nearer 3:1 state:private in higher education in total, so 11:9 in Oxbridge is not as bad a ratio as you have painted it.

Now, remember that many middle-class families will not have the big house or 2nd car so that they can send their kid to a private school if he/she is clever, since the state system is preventing them from achieving their best. The issue is not money buying a better education, it's the fact that the state fails to provide a good education, and that people are prepared to scrimp & save to help their kids. That's what's not fair! Bring the failing state sector UP TO SCRATCH, don't discriminate against the private sector.
 
#12
As a state school boy who has gone through University and is still going through University (glutton for punishment!), no matter what the Government try to push, the cold hard facts are that the vast majority of state school kids have neither the desire or the passion to go to University and obtain a degree. All this crape by the Government to try and get the vast majority of kids to go to University is another socialist dream, it will never happen.

True the vast majority of places, in my experience, come from pupils who had private education and are being forced/coerced by Mater & Pater to get the degree and get some value from all that money spent.

Oh and a fact here is the Universities love overseas students as stated earlier. One of my trainees from a Commonwealth country, who is an undergraduate, costs the MoD £6K more than a UK citizen!
 
#13
I have been baited......!

The fact that a family sends it's kids to a private/public school is not always based on the fact that they have shed loads of cash, and call their children ridiculous names like "Tarquin" or "Portia". A large majority of my friends at public school came from reasonable backgrounds, where their parents sacrificed a lot to send their kids to independant schools. My old man could not afford it - I had a scholarship, and a summer job to help pay.

The quality of the education is not just judged by the grades you get at A-level or GCSE, but by all the "value added" aspects of going to such a school. These include having better teacher - pupil ratios, more class streaming according to subject ability, better facilities, more tutorials, etc. This all contributes to those who attend such schools being much more rounded, and indeed much more confident and able to deal with the rigour of going to a more demanding university, or indeed, not going to university at all, and doing something remarkable, and different with their lives.

It is liberal ideology that is ruining the state school system. We should have a state school system that streams it's pupils, and does allow people to excel, whether at sport, woodwork, or maths. The system should enourage competition amongst pupils, and stop the old "we'll all cross the finish line together because we are all winners here" attitude.

Nuff said, must do some work!
 
#14
Spanner and stoatman, I couldn't have put i better myself!
 
#15
clownbasher said:
So what?

The fact is, a set of grades - say 3B's or something - is worth more form a sh1tty comp where it's all off your own bat than 3B's from a public school where you have had everything money can buy. Simple as that. Research has also shown that of students with the same grades, the ones from the less privileged backgrounds outperform those from "good" schools.

The people that object to this are the ones who realise that all that money spent on little Tarquin's education hasn't bought him the unfair advantages to which they felt entitled.
Any grades from secondary education (and even A Levels) are dubious now, due to the sliding scale now employed to award grades. Say in the year 2000 10% of maths GCSE pupils scored over 85% and were awarded an A grade.
In the year 2002 however the top 10% only scored upto a maximum of 50% they still got A's.
Which year had the brighter and more capable pupils? I've worked in education for 5 years now and you do get what can only be described as underacheiving year groups, where on the whole there seems to be an almost 100% drop in academic ability, but is this any reason to empoly the prizes for all policy of New Labour?
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#16
Spanner said:
......

We should have a state school system that streams it's pupils, and does allow people to excel, whether at sport, woodwork, or maths. The system should enourage competition amongst pupils, and stop the old "we'll all cross the finish line together because we are all winners here" attitude.

Nuff said, must do some work!
An oppos two children went to a state school and on to the local 'Sixth Form Sports College.'
His missus was looking forward to seeing their daughter do well on the athletics field but was informed by the Headmistress that:
"We do not hold an annual sports day as it encourages competition, and pupils will get disheartened if they don't come first."

8O

Am I missing the point somewhere ?
 
#17
The fact that a family sends it's kids to a private/public school is not always based on the fact that they have shed loads of cash, and call their children ridiculous names like "Tarquin" or "Portia". A large majority of my friends at public school came from reasonable backgrounds, where their parents sacrificed a lot to send their kids to independant schools. My old man could not afford it - I had a scholarship, and a summer job to help pay.

The quality of the education is not just judged by the grades you get at A-level or GCSE, but by all the "value added" aspects of going to such a school. These include having better teacher - pupil ratios, more class streaming according to subject ability, better facilities, more tutorials, etc. This all contributes to those who attend such schools being much more rounded, and indeed much more confident and able to deal with the rigour of going to a more demanding university, or indeed, not going to university at all, and doing something remarkable, and different with their lives.

It is liberal ideology that is ruining the state school system. We should have a state school system that streams it's pupils, and does allow people to excel, whether at sport, woodwork, or maths. The system should enourage competition amongst pupils, and stop the old "we'll all cross the finish line together because we are all winners here" attitude.
Well said that man!
 
#18
I stand by the assertion that research has indicated that those who achieve good grades despite the sh1tness of the state system do better than those who have had excellent teaching / cramming / compulsory prep etc etc, and will do some Googling at lunchtime to try and find the evidence. It would seem common sense in any case.

I'm not really arguing for "positive discrimination" so much as supporting the idea that the grades don't tell the full story, seeing as they weren't achieved on a level playing field. The universities are or should be interested in who will do best and contribute most to their courses.

What I think we are all agreed on is that the state system should be much much better and is dragged down further by PC b#llsh#t.

You'd be very mistaken if you think I am some leftist in favour of comprehensive education and dragging everyone down to the same level of mediocrity.

The abolitiojn of the grammar schools was an umititigated disaster that has actually severely damaged the opportunities of kids with some intelligence and/or ambition from less affluent backgrounds.
 
#19
Agreed CB. And we all know that a lot of disruptive students are those who aren't challenged at school, whether academically, on the sports field, or in the arts. As far as I am concerned, the govt should paying for places for the best and brightest to be able to attend independant schools - oh, they scrapped the assisted places scheme.....
 
#20

Similar threads

Top