Oxbridge applicants try to outLeft each other

Oxbridge applicants try to outLeft each other

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. There has been surge of middle-class youngsters who were very politically engagedCredit:Press Association She said: “Picking a definitive issue can show passion. And it’s fine to have strong political opinions.”But students have to show they can argue their case. Radical slogans are no substitute for reasoned arguments.” jeremy corbyn “It is very common for anyone with different views to be shouted down. So I understand the temptation to conform and to conform loudly.”I’m very interested in politics but I also made the mistake in my draft personal statement of being long on outrage and short on argument.”center_img ‘Creeping inflexibility’But interviewers report a creeping inflexibility among applicants keen to show off their political credentials.Ms Williams, whose firm provides guidance and support for students applying to Oxford and Cambridge, said: “I recently asked a candidate who wanted to study politics what books he had read by Conservative thinkers, only to get the response, ‘I don’t read anything by Tories.'”That is shockingly shortsighted. You won’t impress an Oxbridge interviewer by closing down dialogue with an unsubstantiated viewpoint.”The Cecil Rhodes effectMs Williams said the recent controversies over the Rhodes statue and the Benin bronzes at Cambridge had increased awareness of political activism at both universities.Her views were backed up by one sixth-former and Cambridge hopeful, who said: “There is enormous pressure among my peer group to be Left-wing and unquestioningly Left-wing. Her warnings follow a series of protests at universities. Earlier this year Oxford students campaigned for the removal of the statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes because of his controversial views over race.Others have protested over tuition fees or transgender rights. Sixth formers applying to university may be limiting their chances by vying to show off radical credentials, in a move described by admissions tutors as “out-Lefting” each other.Candidates are increasingly writing or expressing statements such as “Boris is a monster”, “All Tories are vile” and “Jeremy Corbyn speaks for me” to appear as radical as possible.But Rebecca Williams, head of the admissions consultancy Oxbridge Applications, said while there was nothing wrong in having strong views, candidates had to be able to back them up.last_img

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