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ERIC Number: EJ887031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
Fairness and Undergraduate Admission: A Qualitative Exploration of Admissions Choices at the University of Oxford
Zimdars, Anna
Oxford Review of Education, v36 n3 p307-323 Jun 2010
The article investigates unequal admissions patterns at the University of Oxford. Statistical work shows differences in admission rates by social class, ethnicity, gender, qualification status and secondary schooling. In-depth interviews with admissions tutors, college and university officials and observations of eight admissions meetings provide insights into the processes behind those admissions patterns. Results illustrate that adjustment of applicants' performance in the light of their schooling can account for the statistical observation of a lower chance of admission for private school applicants compared with their state school counterparts. The advantage in admissions chances enjoyed by post-qualification applicants appears to be related to the lower risk they pose with regards to their attainment. Little direct evidence is found, however, to explain inequalities in admission rates by social class, ethnicity and gender. A tentative suggestion is made that homophilic tendencies among selectors might account for these unequal admissions rates. It is recommended that future research should use different methods, such as experiments or detailed observations, to gain a better viewpoint on these proposed mechanisms. The article concludes by considering implications for policy and the social stratification literature. (Contains 1 table and 7 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)