Prof Sez Toff Image Just Doesn’t Fitz

The Master of Fitz slammed politically correct politicians for damaging Cambridge’s reputation.

The Master of Fitz has slammed the popular perception of Cambridge as an elitist institution.

Professor Robert Lethbridge has laid into ‘the Brideshead Revisited, toff image of Oxford and Cambridge, which some uninformed people find a lazy target.’

The pissed-off prof countered criticisms of privilege and elitism by pointing out that Cambridge could not ‘try any harder to reach out to applicants from every background in this country and every kind of school.’ Cambridge currently spends over £2.7 million on outreach programmes each year, while each college runs its own access programmes.

Lethbridge’s comments come after news emerged in April that state-school teachers were not encouraging their brightest students to apply to Oxbridge because they felt it was too elitist.

Prof Lethbridge singled out politicians as some of the worst offenders, pointing out that political parties have a ‘particular prevalence for choosing statistics which suggest social immobility and inherited privilege’ at Oxbridge.

The displeased Don claimed that ‘every politician’s statement on this subject over the last 10 years has been shown to be factually incorrect’. Last year both Nick Clegg and David Cameron criticised the UK’s top universities for failing to accept young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Fitz MasterMaster-Baiting: Prof Lethbridge has blasted the ‘toff’ perception of Cambridge

Fitz student Noreen Masud agreed with the Master’s sentiments, although she admitted he could have phrased them better.

She said, quoting Lethbridge’s comments to the Daily Telegraph, ‘”We find it polemically interesting to retail the idiosyncratic dimensions of what our top universities are about. It is the country house, aristocratic image of the nineteenth century” – what in God’s name does that mean?

‘But frankly I think he’s right”, she added. “Politicians scapegoat Oxbridge to distract from the failings of the 5-18 education system.

‘A teacher at my comprehensive specifically discouraged me from applying, suggesting Glasgow as an alternative. No amount of outreach on Oxbridge’s part is going to neutralise that sort of input from a student’s school.’

  • Bobby Lethbrige

    Fitz beat Johns at rugby, football, cricket and mixed netball!

    • Johnian

      The fact that you consider beating Johns such an achievement that you keep on going on about says it all.

      • everyone

        the fact that you suck ass says it all

      • That everyone…

        …hates John's?

    • San Juan

      Crystal Palace beat Manchester United at football too this year.

  • Bobby Lethbridge

    Fitz beat John's at rugby

    • redblokeington

      who is fitz?

  • Oxbridge hypocrisy

    Mmm what about hard working poor students from developing countries? What's Cambridge doing about that other keeping them out with fees starting from 20k a year and throwing one or two token scholarships, which inevitably go to rich middle class students studying in 'international schools' which charge almost as much as British public schools.

    • Burnie

      TBF the fees are high for other universities.

      Plus I think Cambridge give awesome bursaries as it is.

      • That's not an excuse

        Most european universities don't make distinctions between home and overseas. Besides the fees were very high for everyone everywhere 50 years ago. Didn't matter if your pap was a chimney-sweep or duke. The point is that all the arguments for outreach are blatantly against this practice of placing further fee barriers (to subsidise home students!) on the people from the poorest countries in the world.

        • no.

          Er, factually inaccurate. Going to university was free when my dad went, AND you got grants.
          Also, this has nothing to do with Oxbridge. All British universities charge home and overseas fees.
          I understand you've got a beef against this, and it might be a good beef, but it's not a relevant one.

          • Actually

            Presumably your father was educated post-war, when Government funding of higher education more or less began. Before then one have to receive a scholarship to study here without fees.

            • Learn to count

              50 years ago =1962 = post war

            • Hope you're

              not a historian.

        • Admiral Ackbar

          This, I feel, is something to be taken up with the government and its higher education funding policies (good luck with that!) not the universities themselves.

          • Besides

            But Cambridge uses it's OWN income (from investment, rent, etc.) to subsidise home students when making profit from overseas students. That at least is a University issue.

    • erm

      Erm…It's a British university.

      • So?

        It used to be a male only upper class institution. Somehow people thought that was unfair.

        • Britishbutnotracist.

          I think there's a difference between classes and people coming from a different country. I, personally am a fan of the nation state as a boundary.

          • Year right.

            I doubt you would be if you came from a poor nation. Nation state boundaries are there to protect privilege.

    • Daily Mail

      Just explain why our taxes should go on educating random people from around the world instead of equally able British kids.

      • Tax argument fails

        In which case Cambridge should prioritise admission to upper class families as they pay disproportionate amount of tax. The tax argument fails. Why should you educate working class children when there are equally able upper class kids? I thought the whole point of outreach is to remove inequality. Children in developing countries have the greatest amount of inequality.

        • Bubble-burster

          Drivel. The whole population is taxed, in accordance (primarily) with income, to provide the population with desired services.

          This is not really about how much tax is paid by individuals, but about the rationale for taxation at all.

          • Orphans?

            Most ophans don't pay tax. I guess we should exclude them.

            • Muddle buster

              Balderdash. Either you didn't read what I wrote or you didn't understand it.

              At each election we seem remarkably consistently to return candidates broadly in favour of being nice to orphans. They are acknowledged to be a part of the society for whose collective benefit taxes are levied and spent, so are not in any sense (relative to this argument) a special case.

              • Busted

                Nope, you still can't see the fundamental principles.

                Are we nice to orphans ONLY because the population has some intuitive sympathy for them. Or is there a better, more fundamental reason why people should care for others- that the right thing to do is give everyone a fair chance?

                The principle behind tax payer argument is that paying taxes means some right to receive some service. This is false as the biggest payers of taxes don't benefit from a lot of the 'services provided'. It isn't a collective means people voluntarily to pay for something. It is force. The richest are being forced to pay more and receive less. The justification for this force, is that on redistribution there will be greater utility, and the the privileged have a moral imperative to assist the less privileged.

                Society had this debate when they gave voting rights to working people- why should they get an equal vote when they don't pay equal tax?- or so was the argument. The landowners, who could vote, could have easily said the government and taxation was a means for just them to purchase services collectively. However it soon dawned that working class people had feelings too. That their welfare must also be protected. That there was a moral imperative.

                Sadly the moral imperative doesn't stop at arbitrarily assigned borders.

            • Count Olaf

              Man, fuck orphans.

          • I love you

            and the word "drivel"

            • Carly Rae Jepsen

              Call me, baby.

          • Still

            But even still it doesn't justifying having fees which are above the cost of the course to subsidise home students further.

          • But

            Isn't the rational of progressive taxation to take more from the privileged to give to less privileged to compensate for unfair advantages and to level the field?

            • Best thinker yet

              Yes, but until taxation is levied internationally the rationale for this redistribution and mechanism for its implementation is constrained a national scale.

              The way to foster an academic culture in developing countries is to promote and support the development of their own universities, not to try to educate their populations in Britain. Cambridge does this – I know of several fellows' links with newish universities in the developing world that don't even feature on the global academic map.

              • Still

                But no one is asking for international taxation, which would be even better. But just because that isn't done doesn't mean we should further hinder the poorest of the poor by putting up more barriers, such as fees greater than course costs!

                I am not exactly sure how Cambridge supports development of foreign universities. I would guess it is more symbolic and rather shallow.

              • Really?

                Who said anything about 'educating their populations in Britain'.

                Surely all this post is asking is that Cambridge is equitable in the way it treats students from a developing nations who have a desire to study here?

                " I know of several fellows' links with newish universities in the developing world that don't even feature on the global academic map"

                Improving academic culture is a long term aim. What about the unprivileged of the present?

                As an aside, I wonder if these same fellows would gladly send their children to these institutes ( even when their children have grades to attend Oxbridge!). I have difficulty imagining that.

                Outreach in UK wouldn't be satisfactory if Cambridge put impossible burdens on some high performing students, excusing it saying the fellows were collaborating – during their spare time of course-with the former polytechnics, in the hope one day, these other universities, who take in these high achieving barred students, will improve?

                If that isn't genuine, what is?

                Even still, the best way of foreign universities to improve isn't via half-hearted symbolic collaboration with Cambridge fellows, who are probably too busy with other work.

                Rather foreign universities will improve if foreign universities have a good supply of individuals who have international qualifications with international standing and have links with international academic community to hire from.

      • Not just taxes.

        Given that the University uses it's own income- from land and rent- to fund UK and EU students, more so than through govt. funds from taxes, it is abhorrent that it should block students of the poorest countries with fees that are over and beyond the course costs, to subsidise home and EU students even futher. If that's not hypocrisy for an institution promoting equality and inclusion, I don't know what is.

      • Perhaps

        Because the british people believe (or should believe) in fairness and (should) want to try to help level the field by assisting students with potential from disadvantaged backgrounds, be it overseas or not.

    • Logic Friend

      You're suggesting Oxbridge take on responsibility for the barriers put in place by the existence of global poverty?

      Great idea, why don't we put them to work on meeting the U.N.'s millenium development goals too? And why aren't they doing more to convince China to stop artificially depressing the value of the Yuan? And now that you mention it, these territory disputes over rights to exploit the natural resources of the Arctic regions are pretty tricky, where is Oxbridge in all this?

      Oh, wait.

      It's not all about fucking Oxbridge.

      • Poor Logic

        Then why should Oxbridge take responsibility for barriers in place by local poverty? BTW international student fees SUBSIDIZES EU and Home fees. The point is if Oxbridge wishes to make the world (and the University a better place) by educating the best in the world then it should try to remove financial barries (such as 20 k fees which isn't due to global poverty) to poor student irrespective of arbitrary distinctions such as place of birth.

        • Poor Spelling

          'barries'?

        • Also poor…

          use of parentheses.

          'The point is if Oxbridge wishes to make the world by educating the best in the world then it should try to remove financial barries' is what that sentence would look like with the current parenthesesial situation.

          It is very flattering of you to say that Oxbridge makes the world.

          But… it doesn't.

          Sort out your brackets.

          • Sure

            Yeah I noticed I made a lot of typos. But don't you think it's great that tab has people to proof read it's comments section?

            • Sure

              There I go again: 'it's' should be 'its'. I shall be careful; now the Grammar Police are on the watch…

              • Grammar Police

                Nope, you were right first time. It's=It is, Its= belonging to it

                Now you know!

                • Sure

                  No, I meant the second 'it's' was wrong: 'proof read it's comments' should be 'proof read its comments'.

    • Poor-argument judge

      That's a separate issue. Oxbridge is funded to a significant extent by the British taxpayer (though less now than before), and so it's important that prospective "home" students of sufficient ability – essentially the children of those taxpayers – are not hampered by their backgrounds.

      Besides, do you think Cambridge and Oxford should poach all the best students from developing countries? Shouldn't their universities be given an opportunity to flourish?

      • Nope

        The tax argument fails, because then you would have to prioritise high income families over low income families. Overseas universities will flourish more if they bridge contacts with more established universities. Besides German Universities subsidizes everyone irrespective of nationality using tax payer's money, and they aren't doing too bad on the equality and economic front. The argument is if you believe in equality and fairness why place the biggest barriers on the poorest people in the world?

        • Try again

          Read the response to your fallacy above.

          The "poorest people in the world" don't go to school. This isn't about them. Countries with sufficiently robust state education systems capable of getting students into Oxbridge in competition with British state-educated students are doing well enough not to need further help (and will rely upon their bright, well-educated young people when building an academic community of their own).

          • huh?

            There are many developing countries capable of educating some of their students to compete with British students at the school level. It isn't going to harm them by allowing links with established universities.

            Just because the poorest of the poor can't be helped, doesn't mean it's okay to ignore those who can.

        • Really?

          You think that Germany isn't doing too badly economically based on the admissions processes of their universities? I think there might be other factors at work there…

    • Wow…

      Wow 9 dislikes. I see the latent BNP members read the tab too. Education is far too over-rated.

      • moron

        ^you.

      • POI

        Well the 'educated cantabs' opposed every progressive step vehemently, from the inclusion of Jews in the 19th century to the enrollment of women in the 20th century.

        • Dire comparison

          Discrimination within a society is very different to demarcating its boundaries.

          By extension of your argument, any mother believing in equality must treat all children equally to her own. Clearly nonsense (or at least unrealistic and impossible). What matters is that she treats her own children equally to each other.

          • Paternal..

            Even so, she will have SOME responsibility to help other children. But I'm not sure the state should be compared to a parent.

          • btw

            'Discrimination within a society is very different to demarcating its boundaries'

            No it's the same thing. The word 'society', in a traditional context, even meant upper class people- it definitely didn't mean working class people or slaves.

            Besides, women, minorities, homosexuals and working classes historically when discriminated against weren't included historically in that special club or group of human beings, give it whatever name, for whom justice and fairness was considered proper.

            Redefining the boundaries is exactly what removing unfair dicrimination is about

    • What's that?

      An old Ugandan shilling, you say? Come on in, welcome to Cambridge University!

    • What the fuck

      I Don't think cambridge is an international development charity. Cambridge doesn't have unlimited money to pay for people to do free degrees. If they did I'm sure everyone would be delighted. High grad fees especially for overseas students help to subsidise the education of uk students…especially poor students. Basically you're completely unrealistic.

      • Yeah WTF!

        Well German Universities fund everyone on equal basis. So does the best universities accross the Atlantic: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, all of the ivy league treat all students equally and give financial equally to everyone, and they have much better access record than Oxbridge. But still if the point of outreach is to make life fairer why not take it to the logical conclusion?

        • no.

          Ur, yeah, and no one poor in the US can afford to go to uni, whereas because of our loans system poor people can here.
          Which is also WHAT THE ARTICLE WAS ABOUT, *not* international fees.

        • http://admissions.college.harvard.edu/financial_aid/cost.html True Story.

          Harvard does treat everyone equally, that because they charge $54,496 a year.

          • Go Harvard

            Yeah but you don't have pay anything till parental income is £30,000+. And even then it's on a sliding scale. In fact Harvard is cheaper than Cambridge for UK students even if your parents earn around £60,000 pounds a year.

            That Cambride wishes to subsidise ALL home students students, including the 40+% privately educated irrespective background wealth is probably a stupid.

            • Grammar Police

              As far as we're aware, there's no such thing as 'a stupid'.

              • Go Harvard

                Grammar Police: You missed a mistake: 'irrespective background …' should be 'irrespective of background'. Tab not paying enough?

                • Grammar Police

                  If you have an issue, please write to the IGPCC.

          • Misleading

            Misleading since Harvard gives subtantial aid on the basis of financial need- not nationality.

            " All financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need, and Harvard meets each family's demonstrated need. About 70 percent of Harvard undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.

            The financial aid policies for foreign citizens are exactly the same as those for U.S. citizens. All aid is need-based, and admissions decisions are made without regard to whether an applicant has applied for financial assistance."

        • Sorry?

          Harvard, Princeton and Yale have a better access record than Cambridge? Really?

        • The Greek Economy

          Germans giving out free money is great! :D

    • Sure sure sure

      As a British public university, I don't think it is that hypocritical to start by trying to improve domestic equality before attempting to sort out equality in the whole world.

      • Why?

        ?

      • Sure

        It used to be a male only upper class institution. It should have sorted out inequality among male upper classes. Only when all of them were equal should it start anything ridiculous such as outreach.

        • Logic judge

          I hope for your sake you're not a Cantab, cause you'll get nowhere this exam season with logic like that.

          • Misnomer

            Logic Judge, has no sense of Logic it seems.

    • Hypocrisy? no.

      Try getting all the chemicals, lathes, and medical equipment on less. Education costs. Full-bloody-stop.

    • no.

      I don't think you understood the point of the article.
      The point was that politicians and the public and the media criticise Oxbridge specifically for not letting in students from poorer backgrounds FROM THE UK, and not taking access seriously enough.
      I'm sure you're right about international students, but that's not the issue here.

      • Nope

        But the point made is that it is hypocritical to remove inequality in on place when doing the very opposite somewhere else.

        • no.

          Oh I so agree. Laws to improve social mobility? HYPOCRITICAL when nothing is being done against the problems in Africa.

          • Go to Basics

            But why is social mobility useful aim? If the premise isn't to improve human lives, I don't understand it.

            • no.

              And you really don't think social mobility improves human lives?

              • The elepahnt

                Of course I think social mobility improves human lives! I think people seem to forget that's what's important- improving human lives, irrespective of arbitrary distinctions; and the University is obviously blinkered in it's ethical aims ,if it uses overseas students purely as revenue generator, at the cost of putting one more barrier- and by gosh there are many barriers-on hard working high achieving poor students in developing countries, in order to subsidize home and EU students further, of whom many, at least 40%, come from the wealthiest of backgrounds in the world.

                To be clear I think outreach is good, but all this talk of inclusiveness etc., etc., in my mind is jarring when I see the callousness of Cambridge overseas student policy.

                • no.

                  Right, but my point is that this is not the issue. This article is not about outreach in general, or even Oxbridge improving people's lives.
                  Rather, the article was about how Cambridge is viewed in the UK, by the people of the UK.
                  Possibly, having decided that we are not elitist/are elitist in terms of British universities in general, we also want to look at international policy. But that is NOT what this article is talking about. The debate is whether Oxbridge is elitist by UK standards. And it's not "hypocritical" to have a debate about this and not mention internationals, because we can still be aware that international policy is an issue. Why don't you write an article for the tab about it? Seriously.

                  • Indifference

                    But all the talk regarding inclusiveness, making sure the admissions policy is fair, ensuring the best possible selection, is ALWAYS in this university regarding UK students through outreach. I've never seen anyone bothering about OTHER unprivileged people, perhaps more unprivileged. This INDIFFERENCE at the sight of blatant unfairness makes these people talking about inclusion hypocrites- it can't be about principle because principle doesn't have national borders. It is almost as if Cambridge cares about outreach because of political pressure, and because those in Cambridge care only for those in their own self-defined social groups.

                    Btw I've approached the student newspapers and CUSU regarding this issue a few times. None of them winked an eye. Not even when they doubled International fees for pre-clinical medicine this year. Tab didn't even report it!

    • The Colonel

      Well, the Gates scholarships are probably £210 million more than any other University is doing..

      • yeah syre

        £210 is probably the entire endowment, which was given by Mr Bill Gates. Besides most of Gates is reserved for the students from the developing country that is the USA. The Ivy league is much fairer.

    • do you get it?

      you're wrong.

    • Untitled

      Well, they do not pay income tax, so they aren't entitled to home fees I guess.
      That's between them and their government.

      • ThisIsUseless

        & I hate all of you

    • Ben

      Great comment, all the thumbs down reflect just how backward, insular and nation-focused so many Cantabs are. About time we recognised the potential of Cambridge to give a world class education to the people that deserve it most who may not otherwise ever have the chance to have their potential realised.

  • erm

    I agree with Lethbridge. Glad someone important is finally being vocal about this!

  • George CliftonBizzle

    the only reason i applied here was coz of the black prostitutes!!

  • Kojo

    ima fuck bare man up coz i'm actually sonny bill's twin brother

    • TPJ judge

      you make my bread and butter look so much better.

  • St Johns

    we're all twats!!

    • Samuel Oscar March

      So am I!

    • Johnian

      We're really just misunderstood – we act all twattish cos we'd frankly rather be at Oxford

      • This

        is some really, really poor quality banter.

        • Not as bad as

          that.

  • Johnian

    It's bloody obvious there aren't any of us at Fitz.
    After the absolute bomb Father spent on school, I just walked into my place (at a real college)

    • Trinity

      This is sarcasm (for any Daily Mail journalists reading this)

      • Johnian

        Bloody good shout. Top intellect. Wish we had chaps as smart as you.

      • Not sure

        But given St John's and Trinity have disproportionate number of privately educated students when compared with other colleges, I am not sure it is just sarcasm. I think I read, 60%+ in both colleges are privately educated.

        • comp school

          maybe that reflects what a shite job the govt is doing in improving quality of comp schools… i'd love to see if Cleggy and Cameron have enough faith to send their kids to one of the state funded schools that they have obv done so much to improve -_- (excluding the standard north london 'comps')

          calling for cabinet members to send all their kids to academies!

          • Nostalgic

            Schools are a waste of time anyway. I forgot most of what I learnt. And everything useful I learnt myself. I long for the days when Cambridge students matriculated at 16 or younger.

            • Thomas More

              I started at Oxford when I was fourteen. Although the age of admission has changed, Oxford has done a noble job of continuing to admit people with mental ages of fourteen or less, and it appears their examinations are still pitched sufficiently low to allow people of such meagre intellectual capacity to pass.

        • That went down well

          • Nautical Judge

            Like the Titanic. Mind you, your comment seems to have been a bit of a Costa Concordia…

    • 00yen

      i heard they're recruiting secret agents of love at johns…you know what i mean – ting a ling

  • bob

    h

  • Leeeeeroy Jennnkins

    BOBBBBBBBYYYYYYYYY LETTTTHHHHHHHHHHHHBRIDDDDDDDDDDGE!!!!!!!!

  • Cambridge student

    While agreeing that Cambridge is a largely meritocratic institution that does genuinely attempt to find the best and brightest, it is quite frankly irresponsible to deny that it does not fit an 'elitist image'. Of course those who argue this being the fault of Cambridge's architecture or ceremonies are misguided and clearly have not taken the time to see how welcoming the institution is to everybody. But, the contrasts in secondary education standards cannot be overlooked. Beyond the overwhelmingly high proportion of private and public school students in Cambridge, the majority of 'state school' students said to be at the university are of a grammar school, or other non-state school, educated background. There is a difference, and one that matters in terms of the quality of education received and attention and encouragement one is given. Whether the university professes it or not, its reputation as 'elite' is fixed due to the inequality of secondary education.

    • Article about Cava?

      But Grammar schools in themselves are a meritocracy, so that line of argument does not work

      • Wishful thinking

        Not really. Parents with degrees are plainly better placed to coach their children for the 11-plus.

        • Yes

          Precisely. The quality of secondary education a student received and the educational background of their parents is frequently found absent from the argument.

          • Student

            also what should be remembered is that certain subjects Cambridge offers natural favour private, public and grammar students over the majority of state run comprehensive students. Subjects such as theology and art history for example are seldom offered in comprehensive sixth forms.

            • Not really relevant

              one of the nice things about Cambridge is you often don't need the A level to do the tripos. History of art wants art and design A level (which is pretty standard – my own state comprehensive certainly offered it), and theology, law, classics, HSPS (or whatever they're calling themselves nowadays), philosophy etc. don't require any particular A levels.

              • Student

                Certainly, but do you not think that the fact that a candidate has done a Theology or History of Art A level may give them first a greater confidence to apply to that place and a better interview. In London only a small handful of comprehensive schools offer such courses, one being Camden School for Girls, hardly a typical state school. Anyway, the point is closely related to the initial one made, like it or not it is a fundamental inequality in secondary level education that makes Cambridge elitist, whatever spin you want to put on it. Quite frankly it is irresponsible to say otherwise. It's exterior may not fit Cambridge's stereotype and its atmosphere is certainly a very friendly one, but that does not mean, like the whole of the university, that it does not have a seemingly 'toffy' element to it.

                • Clarification

                  I'm not denying the broader problems; clearly our school system is flawed, and these flaws are inevitably inherited by Cambridge.

                  I just thought that this specific accusation, that the selection of subjects on offer automatically disadvantages comp students, was unfair considering that this is an area in which the university makes special provision. It also seemed to be straying in the direction of blaming Cambridge for problems over which it has no control.

                  For instance, it is hardly the university's fault that schools mostly don't teach Latin or Greek any more. It can, however, offer to teach Classics to students who have never had the opportunity to study either. This it does. Similarly, it cannot possibly be blamed for the "fundamental inequality in secondary education", but it can spend millions on access work and bursaries to give opportunities to students whose schools, like mine, were below par.

    • tl;

      dr

      • Stu Dint

        How's that attitude working out for you in your degree?

        • tl;

          good, cos I spend most of time on my degree, rather than on the Tab.

    • Oxbridge not elitist

      Oxbridge inherits any elitism it does have from the (flawed) education system. It's not Oxbridge's fault that kids from richer backgrounds get better grades.

  • No.

    chickenbalti

  • Common sense

    That must be a parody site, surely…

  • Cuthbert

    What's the difference between a meritocracy and elitism?
    Surely if you believe that people who are the best and do the best and are the most talented and intelligent deserve to be rewarded then you're an elitist?

    • Good question

      Not quite. One might say that a meritocracy is a very specific form of elitism in which it is specified that individuals in the "elite" are unable to choose or influence to whom the mantle passes.

      We generally use "elitism" to refer to some minority group which seizes and retains control for its future members.

      • cuthbert

        Isn't a meritocracy just a society where talented people are rewarded?
        Is it specified that talented people are not allowed to give the fruits of their labor to other people in a meritocracy?

        • Meritosceptic

          The problem with meritocracy is that it assumes 'talent' is randomly distributed throughout society, and that each individual makes the decision of whether or not to work hard. In reality whether you've grown up with parents that have emphasised the importance of doing well at school, read to you since you were a toddler, taken you to ballet and piano lessons and helped you with your homework or parents that have left you to watch tv, that after-school time is playing not working and that it doesn't matter if you don't do well at school because they didn't, means the starting lines aren't exactly equal.

    • Fitz

      I don't know what either of those words mean.

    • OK.

      Yeah but try not to lord over others. I think that's what's important. Some Cantabs have given Cambridge a bad name by being arrogant and dismissive of others based on superficial criteria such as what uni they went rather than any evaluation of actual merit. I've seen this happen, and it's not nice.

      • Superior.

        The crap preceptions non-Cantabridgians have about Cambridge and therefore me just make me think they're jealous. And they probably are.

  • Peter File

    What's the difference between being an elitist and believing in a meritocracy?
    Surely if you believe that people who are more talented and intelligent and do things better than others should be rewarded, you're an elitist?

  • Fitz

    It's most famous alumni are the squirrels

    • David Starkey

      Calling Vince Cable a squirrel is an insult to squirrels.

      • great guy no. 1

        more like the gay squirrels

    • Fit'z

      *its

      • Starkey

        Don't forget the great lover of all races (or not), Fellow of Fitz, David Starkey. Wonders he has done for the elitist image.

  • Public School Boy

    Rah Rah Rah. Jamie Hepburn. Rah Rah Rah. Alex Rose. Rah Rah Rah Rah.

    • Rah

      RahRahRahul Rose

  • fitz bedder

    what a bunch of nobeds there are here at fitz 'gay' william – haha bant. what a bunch of super terrible blokes

    • Bloke

      Obv you used up all your good chat sitting in the corridor all day talking with the other staff.
      On the other hand you're probably a bitter Churchillian.

  • Johnsbridge Superlad

    Why would anybody want to go to Fitz? It looks like an 80s Leisure Centre that needs drastic renovation. It really smells too, like a steaming pile of horse turd. I went there for an open day and really did not like it for many, many reasons. I'm delighted to say that I got into Johnsbridge University and I am now a fully-fledged RedBoy. The RedBoys are great blokes with great chat and can chop loads of face, which is always good. The Fitz Vikings, on the other hand, are more like the Fitz Loserheads Mega anti-blokes. It's true, in my opinion, that nobody applies to Fitz; like Girton, Homerton, Newnham and Trinity they are full of non-clever, non-blokes and super slutes.

    • YourChatIsShit

      In other news, you're a twat.

    • Fitz Bedder

      Also, Fitz beat John's at rugby

    • Not

      funny. In the slightest.

  • Christ!

    How things have changed…
    "The number of admissions at Christ's in my year [1784] was only three: two of the men professed not to read, and I was ignorant of the first Proposition in Euclid."

  • Mate

    On the KR, we don't have beef… We have expensive Fillet Mignon.

  • yawn

    Oxbridge still doesn't try hard enough, and the pooling system means that those who didn't quite do that well in the interview (often the people who haven't had years of middle class dinner talk training so they can succeed at the interview) get clumped together in the outside, modern ones.

    These pooled colleges then go on to boast about how 'friendly' they are, and how nontraditional they are, which in turn just encourages posho kids to get sent to John's et al, perpetuating all the same stuff.

    And in response to that idiot moaning about international fees, how about we sort out more grants for British working class kids before we start dealing with education systems outside? Let them pay as high fees as possible.

    • c….

      Bastard. The nontraditional colleges are friendlier. Who want's to stay next to poshos and bigots?

      • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8649012.stm Gillian Duffy

        Bigots can be working class too you know…

        • c…

          Agreed.

    • neocolonialist

      "Let them (internationals) pay as high fees as possible."Why not just re-colonise them in the process.

      • That's just silly

        I think you're getting nationalism and imperialism mixed up there. Just because our current higher education system is focused on British students does not mean we are then immediately going to take over other countries. There is literally no corroboration there at all.

    • pooled to Trinity

      er…

  • Ian Bone

    We all know that the Universities of Cornbridge and Oxfam are schools for the ruling elite and nobody else.

  • Another way

    I guess another way of looking at Oxbridge Elitism isn't so much the backgrounds of the people who come here but what they become afterwards. It doesn't really matter if Admissions is fair and open minded in admitting people, if these people go back to society as the newly inducted toffs, who take on upper class values and are just as dismissive of working class people as the usual Toffs are.

    • Admiral Ackbar

      How is that the university's fault?

      Also, this only tells half the story. I'm a comprehensively educated student who lives next door to an Etonian. We are very good friends. If people stopped whinging about class boundaries and used university as an opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, everyone would be a lot happier.

  • Obvious

    You can't measure the success of access by the amount spent, it clearly doesn't work and so long as our entry requirements favour privately school people, educated in much smaller classes yet put on the same entry requirement par as state schoolers, then the damning entry statistics will persist.

  • PostExam Nothingness

    What's the point of anything?

    • None

      We're all equal in death.