Eight leading private schools send more pupils to Oxford and Cambridge than three-quarters of all state secondary schools.
These eight schools include some of the most expensive fee-paying independent schools in the country, including Westminster and Eton.
The eight schools sent 1, 310 pupils to Oxbridge fro 2015 to 2017,
Compared to 2,894 state schools which sent just 1, 220 pupils.
Now you might think this is simply due to the better standard of candidates in private schools leading to more applications to Oxford and Cambridge, however the statics below suggest Oxford and Cambridge and Russel Group universities bias their acceptances in favour of Independent schools and selective (grammar) schools and against comprehensives and the post-compulsory sector…..
The statistics above show that…
Only 34% of applications to Oxbridge are made from private schools, but 42% of offers are made to privately schooled pupils
32% of applications to Oxbridge are made from comprehensive schools, but only 25% of offers are made to comprehensively schooled children.
This means you are significantly more likely to get an offer if you apply from a private school compared to a comprehensive school. A similar ‘offer bias’ is found for Russel Group universities.
Why might this be the case?
It could be that the standards of applications are better from Independent Schools (and selective schools), in fact this is quite likely given that such institutions are university factories, unlike comprehensive.
However, it might also just be pure class-bias, especially with the case of Oxbridge, where interviews and old-school tie connections might be significant enough to make the difference, given the relatively small numbers of applicants.
Possibly the best overall theory which explains this is ‘cultural capital‘ theory?
New media refers to “those digital media that are interactive, incorporate two-way communication and involve some form of computing,” (R. Logan Understanding New Media.)
According to Professor Lev Manovich, examples of new media include:
virtual worlds and virtual reality,
New Media is something most of use and largely take for granted today. The best known specific examples of new media are probably Google, Wikipedia, Amazon and social media applications such as Facebook.
New media is (obviously?) a relative term, and has been used since the 1990s to distinguish interactive media technologies based on computing from ‘old media’ forms – namely print media such as newspapers, radio and television, which were traditionally consisted of one way broadcasts to mass populations.
New Media really started to emerge in the 1990s with mass adoption of computer technologies, and really took off in the mid 2000s with the mass adoption of mobile technologies, especially smart phones.
The distinction between old and new media is somewhat artificial, as ‘old media’ technologies have today reinvented themselves so they are now also forms of ‘new media: newspapers are online and allow comments, and radio and T.V. are similar online and allow for greater levels of interactivity with the audience.
New Media are digital, interactive, hypertextual, networked, virtual and simulated. These are the six key characteristics which distinguish New Media from old media.
New Media are Digital, interactive, hypertextual, globally networked, virtual and sometimes based on simulation.
This post provides further information and elaboration on these six key features of New Media.
With the growth of digital technology in the 1990s, the vast majority of information is now converted, stored and transmitted as binary code (a series of 1s and 0s.). Qualitative information has today become ‘digitalised’.
Digitalisation what allows so much information to be stored in compact hard disks or micro memory cards and it is also what allows for the near instantaneous transmission of information via cable and satellite.
Digitalisation has also resulted in ‘technological convergence’, or the convergence of different forms of information (text, audio and visual) into one single ‘system’ – most web sites today offer a fusion of text and audio-visual information, and our mobile devices allow us to perform a variety of functions – not only reading text and watching/ listening to videos, but also searching for information, sending messages, shopping and using GPS functions.
Analogue is the opposite of digital.It is stored in physical form and examples include print newspapers, records, and old films and T.V. programmes stored on tape.
‘Old media’ tended to be very much a ‘one way’ affair, with audiences on the receiving end of broadcasts, for the most part able to do little else that just passively watch media content.
New Media however is much more of a two way affair and it allows consumers and users to get more involved. It is much more of a two way form of communication than old media.
Increased interactivity can be seen in simple acts such as liking a Facebook post or commenting on news piece or blog. However some users get much more involved and create their own blogs and videos and actively upload their own content as ‘prosumers’.
New Media seem to have fostered a more participatory culture, with more people involved and the roles between consumer and producer of media content becoming ever more blurred!
Hypertext, or ‘links’ are a common feature of new media, which allows users more freedom of choice over how they navigate the different sources of information available to them.
In more technical terms, links in web sites offer non-sequential connections between all kinds of data facilitated by the computer.
Optimists tend to see this feature as allowing for more individualised lifestyle choices, giving users the chance to act more independently, and to make the most of the opportunities new media markets make available to them.
Digital Media has also facilitated cultural globalisation – we now interact much more globally and via virtual networks of people rather than locally.
These networks allow for ‘collective intelligence’ to increase – they allow us to pool our resources much more easily and to draw on a wider range of talents and sources of information (depending on our needs) than ever before.
NB one question to ask about networks is what the main hubs are, through which information flows. This has implications for power.
New Media presents to us a very different reality from face to face to ‘lived reality’ – for most of us this means a very fast paced flow of information with numerous products and people screaming for our attention.
However, this situation has only existed since the mid 2000s, and it must be remembered that New Media reality is virtual reality.
This is especially true when it comes to social media siteswhich give users the opportunity to present themselves in any way they see fit, and while most users don’t go full Cat Fish, most people choose to present only one aspect of themselves.
Simulation goes a step beyond the ‘virtual’ nature of New Media as usual. Simulation is most obviously experienced computer games which provide an immersive experience for users into a “virtual life” that is simulated through digital technology.
These virtual worlds are synthetic creations that ultimately rely on algorithms which set the parameters through which events in the gaming environment unfold.
Examples today include not only online RPG games, but also driving and flight simulations.
Adapted from Martin Lister et al – New Media: A critical Introduction (Second Edition).
Young adults have become increasingly dependent on financial support from their parents to finance their first house purchases.
Those without access to parental support (i.e. those with poorer parents) are less likely to be able to get on the property ladder.
This is according to the latest research from the Resolution Foundation with examines the impact on parental wealth on home ownership, exploring the relationship between parental support and the ability of young adults today to purchase their first property.
Some of the key findings of the report were as follows:
The children of wealthier parents are much more likely to become homeowners themselves: from the mid 2000s, children with parents with property wealth were three times as likely to become homeowners as those without property wealth.
The children of wealthier parents become homeowners at an earlier age than those of less wealthy parents.
The report also found that:
This relationship continues to hold even once someone’s salary, their education, where they live and whether they are in a couple or not are all taken into account.
The relationship between parental wealth and their children’s homeownership has risen over time.
The significance of these statistics:
This is bleak reading for anyone interested in economic equality, because this trend suggests that what’s occurring here is the reproduction of class inequality.
The findings of this report will probably come as no surprise to anyone, it just seems to be confirming what is really damn obvious!
This report is probably a good example of a document that’s been produced because of a value-agenda (so the choice of topic is not value free!) and yet the research is probably ‘objective’ in the sense that it’s difficult to bias these figures…. finances tend to be ‘hard statistics’ and it’s difficult for researchers to skew them, even if they want a certain outcome!
The table below compares earnings at age 29 of female graduates compared to non graduates for different subject areas.
As you can see, female economics graduates earn 150% more than non graduates, with medicine not far behind and most of the rest of the STEM subject graduates earning 100% more.
Meanwhile at the other end of the scale social care and create arts degree graduates only earn about 20-25% more than non-graduates, making these degrees a lot less valuable in terms of purely financial returns.
The significance of these statistics
Fair enough I guess that medicine yields a decent return, I don’t think there’s much scope to criticise that, and given the innovation within science and engineering, the fact that these degrees result in 100% higher earnings at age 29 isn’t surprising either.
HOWEVER, I have a problem with economics graduates earning so much more. It’s very unlikely that these people are earning so much money because of the social good they are doing. It’s probably more likely that they’re sucking money upwards to the already rich working for corporations and hedge funds, or doing crude econometric (read ‘guess work’) analysis for large institutions like the World Bank. They’re reward is probably making the rich richer, or at least keeping them rich.
Meanwhile down at the bottom, I’m not so sure whether the low return on the caring degrees shows how little we value this qualitative side of life, rather than the fact that degrees in such subjects maybe can’t teach you that much?!? I mean with caring, how much is there that you can’t learn on the job, honestly, or just learn at level 3.
Don’t get me wrong though, I think caring professions are very much underpaid.
As to creative arts… I’m not sure whether these are undervalued, difficult for me to say with any level of objectivity, although if these stats are anything to go by, it shows us that ‘society’ doesn’t value art very highly!
NB – The figures for men are a little different, check out the above study if yer interested!
This is YET MORE evidence of how private schools seem to play a crucial role in the reproduction of class inequality. The chain seems to be:
Go to a private school and get hot-housed
Get into a Russel Group university
Get a better paid job.
It also shows that we need to keep researching exactly how private schools confer advantages on children from rich backgrounds and on just exactly how material and cultural capital combine to get these kids better jobs as adults.
The above stats show all earners, including those who failed their GCSEs, so we’re not really comparing like with like when we compare highest and lowest SES categories, because so many people from the lowest SES category fail to get 5 A*-C grades at GCSE, which means they are much less likely to go to HE, which has a significant negative impact on their earnings at age 29.
With these stats we are going back to a cohort which sat their GCSEs over 10 years ago, so they are already dated, although in fairness, this is unavoidable with a longitudinal analysis such as this.
*Given that only 7% of UK children go to private school, and that most have to pay fees, attendance at private school strongly suggests that this is the top tenth decile of students by ‘social class’ background, so the top half of the top fifth.
At age 29 male graduates earn £13K more per year than those with 5*-Cs without a degree while women earn £10K per annum more.
Look at another way, this means that a degree should pay for itself after just four years if you’re a woman, and three years if your a man…
I calculated these figures based on research into the impact of degrees on future earnings at the age of 29 conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
If you look at the wages earned by HE graduates compared to people who got 5 A*-Cs at age 29, then female HE graduates earn £10K more per year before tax, while men earn £13K more per year, again after tax.
If we reduce this difference a little to take account of taxation, then we get the figures above: a degree pays back in earnings after just 3 years for men and 4 years for women, at least once they reach the age of 29.
All of this assumes tuition fess are £9K a year for 3 years, and doesn’t take into account the opportunity cost of HE students not having earned anywhere near as much for 3 years while studying compared to non HE students.
Having said that, I think it’s fair enough to take a long term view, and look at things 6-7 years or so after graduating… a degree is a long term investment after all.
My tax calculations are also approximate.
NB – the above figures are averages, and there are considerable variations on this depending on the subject you choose to study, and other factors such as your class background. For more info on the study, you might also like this post!
The two authors are (respectively) a volunteer priest and one volunteer vicar in their local parishes, and this voluntarism ticks the postmodernism box straight away – no doubt being a volunteer enables them to ‘dip into’ their religions and be involved without any of the more unpleasant commitments associated with going ‘full clergy’.
To be honest I haven’t read it, but I caught a review of it by two people who had on Radio four on Sunday morning. (FINALY I get some payback for all the religious content I’m not normally interested in on a Sunday morning!).
I’ve a had a quick browse of it and it basically provides tips on how to ‘lead a good, happy life’ and reflections on some of life’s ‘deeper questions’ and ‘moral issues’ – and the advice comes from people of many faiths, and no faith, which is kind of blurring the boundaries between the sacred and the profane.
You might describe the book as well suited for our pick and mix approach to religion today, and it certainly seem to be ‘anti institutional’ yet ‘pro-spirituality’, at least judging by the brief extract below…
Anyway, just a quick update….. seems like a relevant piece of contemporary evidence for aspects of the beliefs in society course!
Functionalism is the only perspective which has traditionally argued that religion is a source of value consensus, all other perspectives disagree with this in one way or another, but not all believe that religion is necessarily a cause of overt conflict in the world.
Marx believed that religion prevents revolution (or violent conflict) by pacifying people, through acting as the ‘opium of the masses’ and making think inequality is Gods will and that suffering in this life is a virtue. The message is to put up with suffering now and seek your reward in heaven.
However, in Marxist theory, the masses will eventually see through the mask of oppression and rise up bringing about a revolution and a communist society free of religion.
Religion can be a source of conflict because it is autonomous from the economic base.
For example, religious leaders in Latin America took the side of peasant against the elite. However, attempts at social reform were ultimately repressed.
U.K. universities typically charge £9250 year for most Higher Education degree courses, which means a total cost of £27 750 for a standard, three year degree. But is it worth it?
This post summarises the findings of a recent quantitative study conduct by the Department for Education and the Institute for Fiscal studies which examines the impact of having a degree on early career salaries (up until 29 years old), taking into account a whole range of background factors such as prior attainment at GCSE, social class background, and gender as well as the type of university and subject studied.
What is the impact of going to university on future earnings?
Overall, at age 29 the average woman who attended HE earns > 50% more than the average woman (with five A*-C GCSEs) who did not.
For men the gap is 25%, which is still significant.
Class background and prior attainment still explain more than HALF the difference
HOWEVER, a lot of the above difference in future earnings is explained by differences prior to university – and once we take into account higher prior attainment and class background,
There’s actually quite a difference here between men and women – female graduates earn 28% more than non-graduates, while male graduates earn only 8% more. So class background seems to affect men more than women?!? It sees that factors such as cultural capital may still matter!
Russel Group graduates do a lot better!
The type of institution has a large affect on future salary gains – those attending Russel Group universities can look forward to much higher salaries compared to those attending post 1992 institutions.
Overall, significant salary gains are enjoyed by 85% of students (99% of women, 67% of men)
Subject studied matters!
Future incomes vary greatly by subject studied. Men studying creative arts, English or philosophy actually end up with lower earnings on average at age 29 than those who did not go to university. However, studying medicine or economics increases male earnings by more than 20%.
For women, there are no subjects that have negative returns, and studying economics/ medicine increases their earnings age 29 by around 60%.
Looked at from a purely financial perspective, in 2018 it still makes financial sense for most people to do a degree, but some gain more out their degrees than others.
But there are some quite complex correlations between future earnings, subject studied, gender, and so on, and the final two graphics above do an excellent job of showing how these variables interact.
Based purely on the stats, if you’re a lad with ‘low GCSE’ attainment going to a bottom-end university, it’s probably not worth you doing a degree.
For most other graduates, earning 20% more, that’s £6K extra on a £30K salary, roughly, so after tax, your degree would have more or less paid for itself by your late 20s, early 30s. Sooner, if you’re doing economics or medicine!
Having said that, there are other benefits to going to university besides widening your job prospects and improving your future salary – such as the knowledge, the friends and the lolz, and of course these might well be priceless.
And Very Finally a word of the advice for the uncertain….
If you’re not sure whether you should do a degree or not, or if you’re uncertain about what subject you should do, don’t let your parents or your college pressurise you into applying to university NOW. You can always apply with a ‘gap year’, or just not apply and apply next year or the year after… starting on the wrong course and dropping out is a very expensive (£9.25K) mistake to make, and you’ll probably gain little from it other than stress.
So if you’re uncertain, just chilax, even if the people around you are going mental at you about applying. I took a year out after my A-levels, and had a great time being unemployed and reading philosophy before applying for my degree in American Studies and Anthropology – two great subjects I never would have applied for while at school.
This post was written for educational purposes. And the above advice does not actually constitute advice, ask a so called professional if yer uncertain about yer future.