More Gwent pupils can get to Oxbridge - Torfaen MP

More Gwent pupils can get to Oxbridge - Torfaen MP

More Gwent pupils can get to Oxbridge - Torfaen MP

First published in News

SCHOOLS and colleges can increase the number of students going to Oxbridge by working together to stretch and support their most able students, according to a report by the MP for Torfaen.

The report by Paul Murphy MP - the Oxbridge Ambassador for Wales- also says that raising standards and boosting self-esteem are key to increasing the number of Welsh students going to Oxford and Cambridge.

The Welsh Government said today it would create a “national network of partnership hubs” for more able and talented pupils to allow schools and colleges to share expertise and work directly with the UK’s leading universities.

Mr Murphy was the first from his working class family in Torfaen to go to university and read modern history at Oriel College in Oxford.

He was appointed Oxbridge Ambassador last year to examine the reasons behind the decline in Welsh applications and admissions to Oxbridge.

Figures show that only 19.5 per cent of Welsh applications to the two universities were successful, compared to 25 per cent for England and Northern Ireland in 2011-12.

Mr Murphy said: “My education at Oxford University was a life-changing experience, and I want this opportunity to be available to many more Welsh students in the future.

“Welsh Government, through schools, colleges, and teachers, needs to drive up student attainment, both at GCSE but more critically at AS-level and A-level.

“Such an approach will not only advantage academic Welsh students in applications to Oxford and Cambridge, but, perhaps more importantly, ensure that they are well prepared to apply to other competitive-for-entry academic HE institutions.”

The proposed hubs are to provide a framework for national activity and ensure all students can access mock interview sessions and other enrichment activities.

They will also facilitate a programme of engagement for Welsh alumni of Oxford and Cambridge and other leading universities.

If necessary, video conferencing could also be used to reach students in more rural areas of Wales.

Both Oxford and Cambridge Universities endorsed the report.

Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, added: “There are many outstanding students in Wales and this report has shown that, if they are to reach Cambridge and Oxford in greater number, we must collectively ensure that they are appropriately encouraged, supported and most of all stretched in the sixth form.”

Comments (10)

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12:08pm Wed 18 Jun 14

K Selway says...

As usual it's the 'blow your own trumpet first' statement.

'He was appointed Oxbridge Ambassador last year'.

These people are unbelievable! Torfaen council have just staged a farce of a consultation process so they can sell off the land occupied by Llantarnam School and proceeded to thumb their snouts at ALL the parents teachers and pupils who have invested their time effort. The shoddy and shabby treatment dished out has sunk to levels not dreamt of. Torfaen is now in line for a two tier system of education and this apology for a public servant comes out with this!!! Education in Wales is a BIG JOKE! Any pupil who does well in this system will have done so IN SPITE OF these clowns and NOT BECAUSE of them! But so long as the bins are collected ...who cares about education!
As usual it's the 'blow your own trumpet first' statement. 'He was appointed Oxbridge Ambassador last year'. These people are unbelievable! Torfaen council have just staged a farce of a consultation process so they can sell off the land occupied by Llantarnam School and proceeded to thumb their snouts at ALL the parents teachers and pupils who have invested their time effort. The shoddy and shabby treatment dished out has sunk to levels not dreamt of. Torfaen is now in line for a two tier system of education and this apology for a public servant comes out with this!!! Education in Wales is a BIG JOKE! Any pupil who does well in this system will have done so IN SPITE OF these clowns and NOT BECAUSE of them! But so long as the bins are collected ...who cares about education! K Selway
  • Score: -14

12:51pm Wed 18 Jun 14

KarloMarko says...

Well he could alway pay back some of his overclaimed expenses....that would fund a new Merton college "boiler".... or six. And a visiting chair in accounting.
Well he could alway pay back some of his overclaimed expenses....that would fund a new Merton college "boiler".... or six. And a visiting chair in accounting. KarloMarko
  • Score: -3

1:07pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Crazydad says...

SCHOOLS and colleges can increase the number of students going to Oxbridge by working together to stretch and support their most able students is a fine statement to made by those who can afford to send their children to such places. Those children of those who are on mid to low income will still be in the situation of an us (those who cant afford) and them (those who can and feel they should have) culture.
This is something that will never change.
SCHOOLS and colleges can increase the number of students going to Oxbridge by working together to stretch and support their most able students is a fine statement to made by those who can afford to send their children to such places. Those children of those who are on mid to low income will still be in the situation of an us (those who cant afford) and them (those who can and feel they should have) culture. This is something that will never change. Crazydad
  • Score: 4

1:43pm Wed 18 Jun 14

roseseabourne@aol.com says...

Aspiration is an enormous barrier within our education system and I applaud Paul Murphy MP for trying to raise the aspiration of our young people but as you can see from the negative comments above it is also a major blockage with the parents and adults. We should be encouraging our youngsters to aim high and achieve their goals. We have had a number of Oxford and Cambridge graduates from the Torfaen area over the years but as Mr Paul Murphy MP states only 19.5% are making it. Encourage our youngsters to aim high and welcome this initiative don't just kick the politicians all the time Give some credit.
Aspiration is an enormous barrier within our education system and I applaud Paul Murphy MP for trying to raise the aspiration of our young people but as you can see from the negative comments above it is also a major blockage with the parents and adults. We should be encouraging our youngsters to aim high and achieve their goals. We have had a number of Oxford and Cambridge graduates from the Torfaen area over the years but as Mr Paul Murphy MP states only 19.5% are making it. Encourage our youngsters to aim high and welcome this initiative don't just kick the politicians all the time Give some credit. roseseabourne@aol.com
  • Score: 16

2:06pm Wed 18 Jun 14

KarloMarko says...

What is wrong, and what is the now "fortress" barrier to aspiration, is that almost every sphere of public life, including Murphy's so called "Labour Party", is now clogged up with the clones of Oxbridge. Very often from a indenitik public school background/family. Until that conveyor belt is smashed into the ground all Murphy's windbagger is cant. He might also address how academically sub standard the university sector is in most of S.Wales where the bulk of his constituents go for their brickwork.
What is wrong, and what is the now "fortress" barrier to aspiration, is that almost every sphere of public life, including Murphy's so called "Labour Party", is now clogged up with the clones of Oxbridge. Very often from a indenitik public school background/family. Until that conveyor belt is smashed into the ground all Murphy's windbagger is cant. He might also address how academically sub standard the university sector is in most of S.Wales where the bulk of his constituents go for their brickwork. KarloMarko
  • Score: -2

3:47pm Wed 18 Jun 14

K Selway says...

It isn't aspiration that's the barrier Ms Seabourne ..it's the likes of you 'the I'm allright Jacks both at Fairwater AND Croesy who couldn't be bothered to stand united against the SHODDY MORALLY BANKRUPT treatment that has just been dished out to the pupils of both schools that will now merger. Not a single one of you could see the bigger picture here preferring instead to look after your own position and interests. All for a lick of paint and a new name. YOU SICKEN ME!!! I hope this decision comes back to bite you. DONT YOU DARE ACCUSE PUPILS OF HAVING NO ASPIRATIONS!!! Wonder if you're after a My Big Ego ' honour' too. Over my dead body will my daughter attend a school that someone like you is a governor of1
It isn't aspiration that's the barrier Ms Seabourne ..it's the likes of you 'the I'm allright Jacks both at Fairwater AND Croesy who couldn't be bothered to stand united against the SHODDY MORALLY BANKRUPT treatment that has just been dished out to the pupils of both schools that will now merger. Not a single one of you could see the bigger picture here preferring instead to look after your own position and interests. All for a lick of paint and a new name. YOU SICKEN ME!!! I hope this decision comes back to bite you. DONT YOU DARE ACCUSE PUPILS OF HAVING NO ASPIRATIONS!!! Wonder if you're after a My Big Ego ' honour' too. Over my dead body will my daughter attend a school that someone like you is a governor of1 K Selway
  • Score: -30

6:57pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Crossbenchtory says...

The best place to start, if one wishes to have a higher number of successful applicants to Oxbridge from Wales, is to actually provide our children with something that, at the very least, approximates a decent education.

The abolition of Grammar Schools, begun by Harold Wilson's Labour Government in the 1960's, has indeed achieved it's aim of creating equality in education, the problem is that the equality is based on the lowest common denominator.

Plummeting educational standards in Wales since devolution have proved that the 3rd rate bunch of intellectual masterbators we fondly refer to as the WAG have absolutely no idea what they are doing regarding education (or, the evidence would suggest, any other devolved area).

A series of "hubs" to coach teenagers how to pass an Oxbridge interview will achieve absolutely nothing when the interviewee concerned is academically below the required standard due to the, frankly, appalling excuse for what passes as education in Wales.
The best place to start, if one wishes to have a higher number of successful applicants to Oxbridge from Wales, is to actually provide our children with something that, at the very least, approximates a decent education. The abolition of Grammar Schools, begun by Harold Wilson's Labour Government in the 1960's, has indeed achieved it's aim of creating equality in education, the problem is that the equality is based on the lowest common denominator. Plummeting educational standards in Wales since devolution have proved that the 3rd rate bunch of intellectual masterbators we fondly refer to as the WAG have absolutely no idea what they are doing regarding education (or, the evidence would suggest, any other devolved area). A series of "hubs" to coach teenagers how to pass an Oxbridge interview will achieve absolutely nothing when the interviewee concerned is academically below the required standard due to the, frankly, appalling excuse for what passes as education in Wales. Crossbenchtory
  • Score: 3

6:02pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Limestonecowboy says...

roseseabourne@aol.co
m
wrote:
Aspiration is an enormous barrier within our education system and I applaud Paul Murphy MP for trying to raise the aspiration of our young people but as you can see from the negative comments above it is also a major blockage with the parents and adults. We should be encouraging our youngsters to aim high and achieve their goals. We have had a number of Oxford and Cambridge graduates from the Torfaen area over the years but as Mr Paul Murphy MP states only 19.5% are making it. Encourage our youngsters to aim high and welcome this initiative don't just kick the politicians all the time Give some credit.
Unfortunately as you can see from some of these comments the general feeling of apathy; this is reflected in the Newport town centre re-development ' doomed to failure' mentality. Aspire improve your life or else end up like some of the deadheads on this site.
[quote][p][bold]roseseabourne@aol.co m[/bold] wrote: Aspiration is an enormous barrier within our education system and I applaud Paul Murphy MP for trying to raise the aspiration of our young people but as you can see from the negative comments above it is also a major blockage with the parents and adults. We should be encouraging our youngsters to aim high and achieve their goals. We have had a number of Oxford and Cambridge graduates from the Torfaen area over the years but as Mr Paul Murphy MP states only 19.5% are making it. Encourage our youngsters to aim high and welcome this initiative don't just kick the politicians all the time Give some credit.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately as you can see from some of these comments the general feeling of apathy; this is reflected in the Newport town centre re-development ' doomed to failure' mentality. Aspire improve your life or else end up like some of the deadheads on this site. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 10

6:25pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Lisalu ;) says...

Hear Hear! For the comments made by K Selway. I have to agree with the comments regarding certain people and their ego trips being more important than the quality of education for our children.Totally on point! It's about time that the almost "incestous" council and school governing bodies were taken apart and rebuilt with decent honest people who have the welfare of the area and it's residents as their main priority!
Hear Hear! For the comments made by K Selway. I have to agree with the comments regarding certain people and their ego trips being more important than the quality of education for our children.Totally on point! It's about time that the almost "incestous" council and school governing bodies were taken apart and rebuilt with decent honest people who have the welfare of the area and it's residents as their main priority! Lisalu ;)
  • Score: -13

10:12am Fri 20 Jun 14

tonybrockett says...

The Grammar schools provided that link to Oxbridge for the Valley boys and girls. I failed my 11+ but managed, through Labour, and the CSE exam, to move to my local Grammar school, Pengam, for A levels and O level study. It was a brilliant experience and enabled me to go, the social mobility, to Teacher training college, instead leaving Graddfa straight into the pit or Army. Nothing wrong with those jobs, as my late Dad was a miner, and I later joined the Services.
It appears from research, that a few Labour MPs went through Grammar schools themselves, so why close them and deny the social mobility that they benefited from, to others? Yes, I wish more students could go to Oxbridge, but they are demanding of high standards, and rightly so. I am also glad the divisive 11+ is finished, but to get the high calibre of student, ability wise, as called for in this report, requires a revisit, perhaps to the ethos of the hated Grammar schools once found in the valleys.
As for the 19.5% quoted of Welsh students successfully applying to Oxbridge, as against 25% for England and NI, considering Wales has a smaller population in comparison, it is a good figure, but one that should be encouraged to expand.
The Grammar schools provided that link to Oxbridge for the Valley boys and girls. I failed my 11+ but managed, through Labour, and the CSE exam, to move to my local Grammar school, Pengam, for A levels and O level study. It was a brilliant experience and enabled me to go, the social mobility, to Teacher training college, instead leaving Graddfa straight into the pit or Army. Nothing wrong with those jobs, as my late Dad was a miner, and I later joined the Services. It appears from research, that a few Labour MPs went through Grammar schools themselves, so why close them and deny the social mobility that they benefited from, to others? Yes, I wish more students could go to Oxbridge, but they are demanding of high standards, and rightly so. I am also glad the divisive 11+ is finished, but to get the high calibre of student, ability wise, as called for in this report, requires a revisit, perhaps to the ethos of the hated Grammar schools once found in the valleys. As for the 19.5% quoted of Welsh students successfully applying to Oxbridge, as against 25% for England and NI, considering Wales has a smaller population in comparison, it is a good figure, but one that should be encouraged to expand. tonybrockett
  • Score: 3

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