Tutors video admissions process

first_imgOxford University has opened up its admissions process more than ever before with a series of video diaries charting the experience of tutors during the interview process. Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, commented, “We want to be as open and transparent about the process as possible, and show prospective applicants what it’s like for those making decisions about who to admit.” However, the video diaries have been greeted cautiously by some. There is speculation amongst current students that if the programme is expanded to include interviews, applicants may be placed under further pressure in the already stressful process.Sam Robberts, a first year historian at Corpus Christi, commented, “The idea of filming is good in principle. But the [interview] process is one designed to test a student’s ability and talent, not their nerves in front of a panel. Going before a camera would only add to the pressure, against the interests of the individual student, who must surely come first.”The eye-view video diaries form part of a larger effort to make the admissions process less intimidating for potential applicants, including a podcast series entitled ‘PodOxford’. OUSU is supportive of the University’s plans, commenting, “These are fantastic resources offering advice straight from tutors about how to do your best in an Oxford interview.”The video diaries have been filmed by Helen Swift, tutor in French at St Hilda’s, and Byron Byrne, an Engineering tutor at St Catz. Each discusses what their role within the application process is and what it is like for them. Swift commented the admissions period is “all consuming”, adding, “There comes a point just after the end of term where you basically surrender everything else in your life and give yourself over to admissions.”The undergraduate admissions office claims that the videos will help to increase transparency in the application process, showing “how hard [tutors] work, how rigorous the process is, and how consuming and exciting it can be for tutors as well as prospective students.”Interviews have long been the cause of anxiety for prospective Oxford candidates. It is hoped that projects such as these video diaries and PodOxford will quell the fears many applicants have.With yet another record number of applicants this year, competition for places at Oxford is more competitive than ever before. Courses such as Economics and Management and Medicine have successful application rates of just 9% and 13% respectively.Around 10,000 students come to Oxford during December’s interview period. If successful, the video diary programme will be expanded next year.CORRECTION:It was previously stated in this article that Oxford University was filming prospective student interviews. This is in fact untrue – tutors are being filmed throughout the admissions process but no individual candidates are being filmed or discussed. Cherwell would like to apologise to Oxford’s Admissions Office and to its readers for any confusion this may have caused.last_img

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