Friday, May 24, 2024

Oxbridge entrants from Thurrock: Still third worst in the country

THE NUMBER OF Thurrock students taking up a place at Oxford or Cambridge University is the third worst in the country, a survey revealed.

In 2011-12, 23 students applied for the two universities; six were accepted but only two took the offer up.

When it was announced that only two had gone up the previous year, there was a sizeable reaction from the Thurrock education community that action would be taken but whatever action took place looks like it has had no effective results.

This compares with other areas: Essex: 126; Southend: 15; Barnet: 111; Havering: 11; Newham: 10; Tower Hamlets: 15 and Barking and Dagenham: 5.

For many, the educational shake-up being brought in by education secretary, Michael Gove, cannot come quick enough as Thurrock has been described as the ultimate “race to the bottom” where reams of students come out of school with 23 GCSEs, most dominated by coursework and on “peripheral” subjects.


  1. Seriously? Two thirds of Thurrock Students offered places turned them down? Or did the other 4 just defer entry and take a gap year? Because if so the figures aren’t as bad as they sound…

  2. Isnt this statistic a little elitist? Why do we only benchmark the figures for Oxford & Cambridge, there are MANY perfectly good universities offering the same degree I for one have seen my children ALL prosper from degrees sought eleswhere.

  3. well said chickenfeed1 they always seem to stick Oxbridge as the marker, just because someone goes to one of those two Universities dies not make them any better than any other graduate

    In fact I will go one further and say that degrees are no longer the yard stick they used to be in business, I have worked with many an ex graduate that had degrees in different subjects but were less than useless at the day to day basics of the job, they also seem to have very little commonsense.

  4. The two out of 6 could be because they would have been offered places on condition they got something like 2 As and one A* at A level and may have missed such a challenging target – or just that they chose to do something else for a variety of reasons. I understand that both the students last year were ex Grays Convent pupils. Yes there are other good universities but these are definitely two of the best, and with their system of colleges, offer a supportive learning environment like no other. The article is quite right in flagging up this disgrace and its cause – the focus of some Thurrock secondary schools on dubious diplomas that are “equivalent to” GCSEs and easier less academic subjects in general to boost their own league table ratings. The Thurrock English Bacc results say it all: 10% against a national 18% . People use deprivation as an excuse but London boroughs like Newham and Barking have much better results. Thurrock Council are too complacent on this and too happy to accept so called equivalent qualifications, sometimes without even acknowledging that alternative qualifications are being counted.

  5. I think using oxbridge applications as a criteria for whether, or not, an area is doing well educationally speaking, is pointless. My boy is at university, it’s not oxbridge, so does that devalue his education or his achievements so far? I would imagine that Oxbridge is still perceived as elitist (nothing against that at all, by the way) which would put off some kids from working class backgrounds (such as my boy).
    Also, what about the kids that decided uni wasn’t for them and went straight into work? It seems that doesn’t count for much anymore. There are loads of valid reasons why well educated, clever kids don’t go to Oxbridge so I, for one, will disregard this pointless survey.


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