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Oxford 'risking its reputation' by taking in wealthy foreigners

[ 2013-08-27 11:17] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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 Oxford University risks undermining its reputation by accepting wealthy foreign students with poor grades for “purely commercial reasons”, an internal report warns.

Oxford University risks undermining its reputation by accepting wealthy foreign students with poor grades for “purely commercial reasons”, an internal report warns.

The “associate students”, who generally have lower average grades than a typical Oxford undergraduate, pay as much as £13,000 a term and can stay for up to a year.

Although the students are not officially part of the university, senior figures said they “pose severe reputational risk” because their academic standards are “often low”.

The report said that colleges, which are independent of the university and are free to set their own admissions policies, granted them admission for “purely commercial” reasons. The inquiry, prompted by concerns about the number of associate students and their links with Oxford, was held by a working group chaired by Prof Paul Slack, a former pro-vice-chancellor at Oxford.

Its findings were published two weeks after universities were accused of using foreign students as “cash cows” by charging them as much as £35,000 a year for a degree. British students are currently charged a maximum of £9,000.

As many as 300 associate students are admitted to Oxford each year, usually through a third-party organisation which then makes a payment to the college.

The Washington International Studies Council (WISC), which claims to be the largest overseas study programme at Oxford, charges $20,900 (£13,430) for a 13-week term.

About £4,000 of that total is paid to the Oxford college, and students can attend for up to a year. WISC offers the candidates, who are mostly American students, entry to Trinity College, Christ Church, New College and Magdalen.

Associate students do not have to demonstrate academic standards as high as students admitted through the standard intake.

The website states that the students are degree candidates of their home college and not of Oxford.

However, it says the students are “taught the same way and to the same standard by Oxford tutors”.

The students can refer to being educated at Oxford on their CVs.

In a report published recently by the central university, senior Oxford figures said they feared it would be “difficult for the uninformed reader to detect … that there is any significant difference in the experience of its students coming to Oxford for a limited period time from that of a full-time matriculated undergraduate”.

Official figures showed colleges continued to recruit many candidates.

In the academic year 2010-11, Christ Church admitted 48 associate students, receiving more than £50,000 in fees.

St Catherine’s, which is not included in the WISC programme, took in 33.

Referring to the programme, the report said: “Although there is some assessment of their GPA [Grade Point Average] scores before they are admitted by each college, the transaction seems to be one of a purely commercial kind.”

Despite the central university’s apparent dislike of the programme, the report said it had received more than £1 million in library fees since 2009 from associate students wanting admission to the Bodleian.

(Source: Telegraph.co.uk)







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