Oxford and Cambridge are officially the two best universities in the UK according to The Times and The Guardian however this article is going to expose many of the misconceptions and also highlight some of the positives and negatives that are connected to Oxbridge.
If you have Oxbridge on your CV, regardless of the subject, future employers are likely to be impressed. Some courses have a very high entrance rate, for example for Archaeology and Anthropology, 40% of candidates get in. This is not to say the course is easy either to get into or to study, but there are many different paths to Oxbridge of varying difficulty. Examples of the hardest courses are PPE and Economics & Management at Oxford and SPS at Cambridge.
Bright students will enjoy being academically stretched by the challenging education Oxbridge has to offer. They will also enjoy being surrounded by other very intelligent and hard-working students.
There are numerous societies relating to every possible hobby from politics to sport to films.
You will make connections for life. Many Oxbridge graduates go on to win Nobel Prizes, work for investment banks and are generally very successful.
There is no room for slackers, it is hard work and you may be set up to an essay a week.
Neither Oxford nor Cambridge has a massive nightlife.
One very common misconception is that Oxford and Cambridge offer the best education, this is simply not true! Firstly for a truly well-rounded education you should consider Yale, Harvard or one of the other incredible American universities. As an example, the best place to study English at the moment is Durham (see The Times).
Another misconception is that Oxbridge is not open to state-school students. This is clearly untrue. Not only do the majority of students at Oxford come from state-school, but students from non fee-paying schools tend to be allowed in with weaker grades than private school kids, as chances are their education has been significantly inferior.
You can read our student reviews of Oxford and Cambridge to find out more: Cambridge Reviews | Oxford Reviews.
Added: 13th January 2008
Last Updated: 18th June 2008