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Oxford is constantly in the media. Every time you open a newspaper there will be some story or other about Oxford and often, especially if the story is about admissions, it will be negative and include several misinterpretations of the facts. So these pages are designed to dispel some of those myths and to give you a view of Oxford from the inside.


f you come to Oxford and look hard enough, you’ll see traces of the stereotypes which the media love to emphasise. Although there are students who choose to wear boaters and do their best to live up to a ridiculous eighteenth century image of what an Oxford student should be, that’s not what regular life in Oxford is like unless you actively seek it out. And, although you might not believe in now, by the time you’ve settled in, you may well find that some of Oxford’s ongoing traditions, such as rowing, punting and wearing gowns aren’t so bad after all.


I


It is true that there are lots of privately educated students here but the overwhelming majority of them are actually very normal and nice and come from normal and nice families. In fact, of the students currently coming to Oxford with household incomes under £25k over 30% are from private schools. You’ll find that many of the people you meet who went to private schools were only able to because they received a big bursary or scholarship that paid the fees.


3 Oxford discriminates against people in the admis- sions process.


This simply isn’t true – Oxford tutors are looking for aca- demic potential. The tutors who interview you may well end up teaching you and will not discriminate for or against applicants on the basis of their background, gender or any other factors.


4 No one does anything in


Oxford except work. Oxford’s workload is heavier than that of most other uni- versities, but typically it’s sleep that gets squeezed rather than having fun. There are a few students who spend all their time working, but the vast majority of undergradu- ates manage to balance their academic commitments with an active social life.


5 Oxford isn’t for people like me.


Contrary to established ‘wis- dom’, Oxford students really are a fairly normal bunch of people. If you come here, you’ll make talented and interesting friends, but that’s true at other universities too. People who are the first from their school to come to Oxford get in every year and settle in just fine along with everyone else.


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