Friday, 21 October 2016

Oxbridge interview in need of review

Louise Richardson, Oxford`s vice-chancellor, is right on two counts: her university does need to do more to attract the best, and "the best may not be those who look and sound like" her and her ilk (State school teachers still not pushing best pupils to Oxbridge,13/10/16). All the more reason, then, to scrap, or at least modify, "the notorious Oxford University interview", something which, by the institution`s own admission, is in need of demystification (The lightbulb moment:Oxford University issues questions to demystify interviews,12/10/16).
     How possibly can a mysterious interview do anything to widen Oxford`s attraction or access, or justify state school teachers having to give up yet more of their valuable time to drill their pupils "in Oxbridge interview techniques"?  It contains such "ambiguous", and "fun" questions where the answer is "typically the opposite" of what the interviewee expects, "real examples" are having to be released. The reason for this is clear: they hope it will reduce the candidates` fear of humiliation in the interview.
    Is it any wonder some teachers do not advise their brightest students to apply to Oxbridge? Being made to look and sound foolish in an interview is unlikely to build up either self-confidence prior to taking A-levels, or strengthen the essential faith and trust pupils need to have in their teachers. 


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