Oxbridge wastes rejects' time

19th January 2001 at 00:00
OUR daughter has just joined the ranks of the "Oxbridge rejects". While she selects a more discerning institution, our concern is the waste of time and money for the thousands of rejected candidates due to the archaic selection system.

Hours are passed choosing an appropriate college, paying preliminary visits and attending an open day. The Universities and Colleges Admissions System form is not enough; a separate application form with a cheque is needed too. For many of the students called for interview, the format is unfamiliar and stressful. And yet, for most, this is time wasted.

Is it not time for Oxbridge to fully integrate into UCAS? Applications could b made to the university rather than to a college through the standard UCAS form.

Interviews could be conducted by the university, and only when conditional offers have been sent out would college selection begin. Colleges would be allocated students on the basis of student preference and the availability of places.

We know this takes away from colleges their historic freedom to completely select their own students but to encourage applications from as broad a field as possible and to select them as fairly as possible, the application system must be more open and transparent than at present.

Mary and Colin Scobie 5 Vicarage Close Bramford Ipswich

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