The Elusive Search for the Best and the Brightest

  • Ted TapperEmail author
  • David Palfreyman
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 34)


It is no surprise that collegiate control of the undergraduate admissions process is integral to Oxford’s collegial tradition. To be an undergraduate at Oxford and Cambridge is to be a junior member of the University, which also entails membership of a college, which in addition for most students means residence in college. For all the pre-eminence of their research records the ancient collegiate Universities are still famous as undergraduate teaching institutions, and it is the selection of their undergraduates that continues to generate the keenest public, especially media, interest and on occasions to provoke the fiercest political controversy. Moreover, while both the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge exhibit periodic anguish at the apparent neglect of their graduate students, this is nothing compared to the time and energy they have devoted to the selection of their undergraduates. It is an issue that has been mulled over in great depth by the colleges, the inter-collegiate bodies and both Universities.


Entrance Examination Social Equity Admission Process College Entrance Examination Collegial Tradition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OtterbourneUK
  2. 2.Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, New CollegeOxfordUK

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