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A UK charity, The Sutton Trust, has urged universities to take in students with grades which are two levels below the usual entry requirements, arguing that some students are capable of doing well at university, but have low scholastic attainments because of environmental circumstances: being poor, being at a bad school, and having to look after sick relatives.

At this point you may imagine that I am lining you up to tell you, once again, that intelligence tests were expressly designed to identify true ability, and that their use has led to the better detection of such bright, but adventitiously disadvantaged youngsters. Not so. No testing of ability is involved.

It seems that many UK universities have such “contextual” programs, but the University of Bristol features prominently in this debate so I will use it as an example. It describes its Contextual Offers requirements thus: being in the bottom 40% of schools in terms of attainments or progression to higher education; or living in a postcode area with low progression to higher education; or having completed a University of Bristol outreach program; or having spent more than 3 months in local authority care. All of these are misfortunes, but none of them include any measures of cognitive ability.

As is my usual habit, at this point I give you due warning that you may wish to stop reading here. However, a very striking claim is made: that such students do just as well as students admitted in the usual way, based on scholastic attainments. Worth a look? I thought so.

https://www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Admissions-in-Context-Final_V2.pdf

The Sutton Trust research measured scholastic attainments using the best 3 A Level results. That in fact underplays the attainments of the best candidates, who do 4 or 5 A levels, and sometimes another half A level. This will have an impact on their calculations about the differences between normal and contextual admissions at the most prestigious universities, which are most able to demand the highest academic attainments. The authors then calculate what the entrance requirements were likely to have been, using an approximation, since they did not have actual data. Further, I cannot find any evidence that they know which degree courses were followed by candidates. Some disciplines are more demanding than others, and command correspondingly higher premiums in the occupational market place.
Anyway, on page 28 of their publication they lay out their case for these offers not being associated with poor outcomes. They say:

But is there any evidence that universities who appear to be more likely to contextualise are also more likely to see higher dropout rates, lower degree completion rates and lower percentages of students getting firsts or 2:1s? We find little evidence of this, at least using the two potential measures of contextualisation described above.

Figure 4.5 presents correlation coefficients showing the relationship between the degree of contextualisation evident from Figures 4.3 and 4.4 with average degree outcomes for students on these courses. If contextualisation were adversely affecting degree outcomes, then we would expect to see a negative correlation between the percentage of courses on which universities appear to offer lower entry grades to students from low participation neighbourhoods and dropout rates, and a positive correlation with degree completion and degree class. By contrast, we would expect to see a positive correlation between the difference in A-level grades of students from low participation neighbourhoods and the standard offer and dropout rates, and a negative correlation between this gap and degree completion and degree class results.
Sutton Trust contextualized offers

It is not easy to make sense of these correlations, other than to observe that they are rather small, particularly with only 25 data points. None of these correlations are remotely significant in the statistical sense. The bigger problem is to understand what they mean.

Administrative data from 25 universities who admit some student on this “contextual” basis has been looked at, even though we do not know what percentage of students were so admitted. It seems likely to be a small percentage, say about 3% of the whole student body. These students would be worth studying as a group, if one could identify them. I imagined, hearing the bold statements during radio interviews, that such a comparison between normal admissions students and “contextual” admissions students had been carried out, and I could see the results of a t test comparison. Instead, assumptions have been drawn from a chain of prior assumptions, as shown in Table 4.1 which shows very little impact from all these “contextual” factors, except perhaps the “free school meals” low income measure. There is little difference between the implied groups, which leaves me bewildered about why they are considered important factors for contextual admission in the first place. Their whole argument hinges on the assumption that children from poor families will be, in intellectual terms, no different from children from wealthier families. The possibility that families who do not require free meals are brighter does not figure in these discussions.

In my view the results provide no grounds for saying that one should discard scholastic attainment as a way of regulating entry to university. On the contrary, this publication asserts but does not prove that being poor is an indicator of undetected ability. If so, why not use the tests designed to identify such talents?

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Academia, Political Correctness 
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  1. dearieme says:

    “Worth a look? I thought so.” Crimethink.

    I’d love to see someone attempt to argue against the proposition that the best way to find promising rough diamonds might be to use, at age 17 or so, the technique that used to be used at 11 or so. It would cost tuppence-ha’penny, so why not do it?

    As for which degrees the rough diamonds attempt – if their main problem is lousy schools/teaching, then they’d be well advised to avoid structured subjects. It’s pretty difficult to study university Chemistry, say, if you haven’t mastered school chemistry. But what the hell, Archie; let ‘em try the maths tripos at Cambridge, eh? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. After all, it’s not remotely as intimidating as it was in the late 19th century.

    Maybe one will turn out to be a Ramanujan. Except that a Ramanujan would have murdered A-level pure maths, applied maths, more maths, even more maths, statistics, computer science, and anything else within reach, irrespective of the shortcomings of his school.

    It’s interesting that no intellectually serious attempt has been made to study the effectiveness of this procedure. Why might that be?

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    They talk the Jeffersonian lingo about the point of democratic education (or one of the points) being to sift out talent. But that's not the point of Current Year education, even at the highest level. Of course, they know they need to educate a certain number of brilliant minds to keep civilization running. But they also think there's plenty of room at the top for seat fillers.

    If lifting diamonds out of the rough were the goal, they'd actually try. You know, with I.Q. tests and the like. Other countries do it.

    This "context" business is about sticking their preferred sort of people in slots, and keeping other people out.
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  2. hyperbola says:

    The Sutton Trust seems to be a sort of “political commissar” outfit that is loaded with Goldman Sachs types amongst many other (jewish) globalists.

    The mistake is thinking that such groups produce anything with rigour – their role is to produce propaganda for moves to control still more of society. Imagine, for example, this kind of mole as the chancellor of Cambridge University.

    Sainsbury, Lord David

    Lord Sainsbury has given over £9 million to the Labour Party since 1996: nearly three times the total amount received in membership subscriptions each year. He was ennobled in 1997 and made Minister for Science in 1998. In addition to a 13 percent stake in Sainsburys PLC, now administered through a blind trust, he has both business and charitable interests in GM foods. He also benefits from income from trusts held in the British virgin Islands.

    After Sainsbury’s connections with Israel were exposed in Egypt; the Egyptians began their boycott, which resulted in shutting all the Sainsbury branches in Egypt. Lord David Sainsbury of Turville, who at present is the Minister for Science, visited Shenkar College, near Tel Aviv, to promote Anglo-Israeli Research and Development. He also spoke at the dinner of the Britain Israel Chamber of Commerce [B-ICC]……

    https://www.radioislam.org/islam/english/jewishp/britain/paymast.htm

    Read More
    • Replies: @hyperbola
    And keep in mind that James Sainsbury (Trustee of the Sutton Trust) also appears on this list.

    An Incomplete List of Jeffrey Epstein's Close Friends
    http://spikethenews.blogspot.com.es/2015/03/an-incomplete-list-of-jeffrey-epstein.html

    EPSTEIN'S BLACK BOOK - NAMES LISTED
    Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book contains the names of people who could be described as being a mixture of the Feudal Elite, Robber Barons, Zionists, Nazis and members of the security services.

    ..... James Sainsbury
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  3. hyperbola says:
    @hyperbola
    The Sutton Trust seems to be a sort of "political commissar" outfit that is loaded with Goldman Sachs types amongst many other (jewish) globalists.

    The mistake is thinking that such groups produce anything with rigour - their role is to produce propaganda for moves to control still more of society. Imagine, for example, this kind of mole as the chancellor of Cambridge University.


    Sainsbury, Lord David

    Lord Sainsbury has given over £9 million to the Labour Party since 1996: nearly three times the total amount received in membership subscriptions each year. He was ennobled in 1997 and made Minister for Science in 1998. In addition to a 13 percent stake in Sainsburys PLC, now administered through a blind trust, he has both business and charitable interests in GM foods. He also benefits from income from trusts held in the British virgin Islands.

    After Sainsbury's connections with Israel were exposed in Egypt; the Egyptians began their boycott, which resulted in shutting all the Sainsbury branches in Egypt. Lord David Sainsbury of Turville, who at present is the Minister for Science, visited Shenkar College, near Tel Aviv, to promote Anglo-Israeli Research and Development. He also spoke at the dinner of the Britain Israel Chamber of Commerce [B-ICC]......

    https://www.radioislam.org/islam/english/jewishp/britain/paymast.htm

    And keep in mind that James Sainsbury (Trustee of the Sutton Trust) also appears on this list.

    An Incomplete List of Jeffrey Epstein’s Close Friends

    http://spikethenews.blogspot.com.es/2015/03/an-incomplete-list-of-jeffrey-epstein.html

    EPSTEIN’S BLACK BOOK – NAMES LISTED
    Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book contains the names of people who could be described as being a mixture of the Feudal Elite, Robber Barons, Zionists, Nazis and members of the security services.

    ….. James Sainsbury

    Read More
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  4. Meh. If UK universities are the same as US schools in the sense of expanding to offer “coursework” that better fits the definition of “a hobby,” then why would we expect crappy performance to emerge?

    As I understand it, in the USA the number of people studying engineering, math, etc. has remained largely the same even as college enrollment skyrocketed due to the addition of degree work in hobbies like Photography, fluff like Women’s Studies and a bizarre notion of paper qualification for jobs that have nothing to do with coursework, for example music performance or literature writing.

    In this context, all Universities are doing is responding to incentives. Each potential student comes with a mean dollar amount of college loan/credit, much like a person with a high Credit Score is cultivated by sellers of high end goods.

    To the University, each student is simply a conduit through which the school can grasp tens of thousands of dollars offered through Federal, state and private lenders. It’s patently obvious that this underpins the “Everyone should go to college” trope.

    If the Universities admit students who would be unable to master difficult coursework, offer easy coursework and simply speed up the printer that produces their shiny new credentials.

    That this process is utterly destroying the value of what the schools “sell” seems lost on them, given they’re in a feeding frenzy of student loan consumption.

    Read More
    • Agree: Realist, Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @Sollipsist
    It's called "accessibility" - not very different from a designated ramp and parking space at the mall. We're supposed to think that society is kinder when it comes up with ways to get handicapped people to overpay for things of questionable value.
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  5. anon says: • Disclaimer

    “But is there any evidence that universities who appear to be more likely to contextualise are also more likely to see higher dropout rates, lower degree completion rates and lower percentages of students getting firsts or 2:1s? We find little evidence of this, at least using the two potential measures of contextualisation described above.”

    Those are arbitary benchmarks set by human and can easily be changed without problems. See what Cal State Unis are doing,

    https://edsource.org/2016/cal-state-system-pushes-students-to-graduate-in-four-years-improve-low-completion-rates/567770

    “In recent years, less than 9 percent of first-time freshman at Sacramento State have graduated in four years and only 46 percent within six years, according to statewide statistics that put the campus near the bottom in the system. … Now, the California State University trustees are scheduled to adopt plans in September that would aim to dramatically boost those rates by 2025. For the system, the trustees are discussing preliminary targets as high as 35 percent for freshmen graduating in four years and as high as 70 percent by six years. Even higher targets are under consideration for transfer students.”

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-csu-remedial-courses-20150918-story.html

    “It can be easy to raise graduation rates, if that’s the only goal: Just lower the standards.”

    Then it can be declared that it was a total success.

    Read More
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  6. The discussion seems to be in the context of university studies for poor youth being paid for by the government or other sources of financing.

    Clearly if there is a shortage of bright young lads and lasses in a particular field of endeavor, then that field will itself find ways of filling the vacancies, for example by on the job training. Back in the 80s for example, many unquaified people went on 3-month courses to learn computer programming, and then made very lucrative careers by carrying on developing themselves in that new field.

    The problem is that if the proposed career is one where the trust of the public is needed, such as medicine, civil engineering, or piloting aircraft, or even hairdressing, which can involve handling dangerous chemicals, knowing about allergies, and so on, then one has to have some way of testing for competency such as passing exams and demonstrating theoretical knowledge as well as practical ability, because the person is expected not just to do routine tasks like prescribing cough medicine for a cough in an otherwise healthy person, but also to be able to recognize and deal with much more complex situations and threats when they come along, as they surely will.

    If there is an argument here at all, it seems to be that the cut off point is too young, and that young people who are not doing well academically at 18 are likely to catch up with their more successful contemporaries by the age of 25, if the differences are ignored. This seems unlikely, but perhaps professional soccer teams should take on a few apprentices who are no good at football as teenagers due to being fat, slow, and short-sighted to see if they catch up later on with a regime of daily exercise and ball-kicking.

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  7. guest says:

    Isn’t this just the upside-down version of picking students based on their parents being “legacies,” having good breeding, coming from the “right sort of people,” etc.? Underprivilege and privilege are both “contexts.”

    At least in the Bad Old Days, as now, there’s some correlation between privilege and merit. Kids from crappy “contexts” may or may not be diamonds in the rough, but there’s certainly a correlation between lack of merit and underprivilege. It’s no kind of guide to picking worthy minds.

    Read More
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  8. guest says:
    @dearieme
    "Worth a look? I thought so." Crimethink.

    I'd love to see someone attempt to argue against the proposition that the best way to find promising rough diamonds might be to use, at age 17 or so, the technique that used to be used at 11 or so. It would cost tuppence-ha'penny, so why not do it?

    As for which degrees the rough diamonds attempt - if their main problem is lousy schools/teaching, then they'd be well advised to avoid structured subjects. It's pretty difficult to study university Chemistry, say, if you haven't mastered school chemistry. But what the hell, Archie; let 'em try the maths tripos at Cambridge, eh? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. After all, it's not remotely as intimidating as it was in the late 19th century.

    Maybe one will turn out to be a Ramanujan. Except that a Ramanujan would have murdered A-level pure maths, applied maths, more maths, even more maths, statistics, computer science, and anything else within reach, irrespective of the shortcomings of his school.

    It's interesting that no intellectually serious attempt has been made to study the effectiveness of this procedure. Why might that be?

    They talk the Jeffersonian lingo about the point of democratic education (or one of the points) being to sift out talent. But that’s not the point of Current Year education, even at the highest level. Of course, they know they need to educate a certain number of brilliant minds to keep civilization running. But they also think there’s plenty of room at the top for seat fillers.

    If lifting diamonds out of the rough were the goal, they’d actually try. You know, with I.Q. tests and the like. Other countries do it.

    This “context” business is about sticking their preferred sort of people in slots, and keeping other people out.

    Read More
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  9. Meh, I’ll believe it is real when the OxBridge schools lower their standards. This is nothing more than a veneer to giving non-native UK persons a form of affirmative action.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jim jones
    It is standard procedure for politicians to complain about the lack of blacks at Oxbridge:

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2010/feb/03/oxbridge-black-ethnic-minority-mix
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  10. jim jones says:
    @The Alarmist
    Meh, I'll believe it is real when the OxBridge schools lower their standards. This is nothing more than a veneer to giving non-native UK persons a form of affirmative action.

    It is standard procedure for politicians to complain about the lack of blacks at Oxbridge:

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2010/feb/03/oxbridge-black-ethnic-minority-mix

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    Yeah, too many goddam English people at an English university. What's more too many goddam English people still running the country.
    , @Che Guava
    It is standard procedure for the Warden, i mean Guardian, to whine about anything.

    If you want the classic example from the last week, read the chinless Owen Jones scolding Kevin Spacey for 'coming out' at the same time as being accused of near-rape.

    That place (the Warden, sorry, Guardian) is so full of lies, I dream of making a 'Watch' site, but not enough time.

    Any day, many lies.

    It is also connecting to Mr. Thompson's article, Wardenistas would 100% supporting stupid students.

    Was reading somethimg where there was a report on debating in USA universities.

    Not that Japanese universities are strong on debating. The art is to saying nothing.

    From my reading, there are two bodies in the USA, supposed to be the peak for university debating, both are to awarding top honours to imbecilic show ponys who were not only refusing to address the topic, but avoiding it entirely.

    Then, someone who was wanting to set up an alternative with reasoned debating was barred from it!

    I was watching a little of those 'debates', sure does not portend well for the USA.
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  11. TG says:

    I teach in a major university, and I am starting to see the consequences of ignoring the GRE exam for entrance to graduate school. It’s not pretty.

    NBA teams require a minimum leap test before they will even consider someone as a player. Sure, for those that can leap a certain amount, the leap test correlates poorly with playing ability, but if you don’t have the basic power required, you aren’t going to make it. There may be one in a million people who can’t pass the vertical leap test, but still have enough other skills to make it at the pro level, but the teams can’t afford to try out a million players to get that one ‘diamond in the rough’.

    So what happens when universities admit students to graduate school who have very low (or nonexistent) GRE scores? I’ll tell you. What we get are people who excel… at gaming the system. They file grievances. They threaten to say that you insulted them if you don’t give them a pass. They use ‘reflective therapy’ – you explain something, they nod their heads and say ‘oh I get it’ and then repeat your words back to you – but tested later, it’s clear that they understand nothing. Their advisor basically writes their thesis for them. On defense, they just read the captions on the power point slides. Probably they will use their PhD as street cred to get a job as assistant dean of student life or something. So maybe we are training them correctly! Only it’s not scholarship any more.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Not only that: When they graduate with a masters in some MA or MS BS major (no, I did not mean bachelor of science there), they get additional points toward preference in Federal hiring so they can take their rightful place in the MOG.
    , @res

    I teach in a major university, and I am starting to see the consequences of ignoring the GRE exam for entrance to graduate school.
     
    I was unaware of this at the graduate level. Could you elaborate, please? Is this happening for many universities and areas of study? What are the alternative criteria? Is this for all spots in a program or is it being used only for meeting quotas?

    I am especially curious about this given that much of the research supporting this move (after a quick web search) seems to ignore selection bias. For example: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-biomedical-schools-gre.html
    Do these people really not understand that if you are currently using a GRE-based system for admissions that means the low GRE scorers admitted are likely to have some exceptional other qualifications?! Granted, that might simply be being of the "correct" color, but I am guessing the researchers correct for that since it probably helps give the results they want (i.e. GRE scores don't matter).

    Requiring GPA and other test score thresholds instead at least seems somewhat sensible: http://www.graduateguide.com/Graduate_programs_may_ignore_applicant_GRE_scores__800229547.html
    Is this not what you are seeing?
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  12. @TG
    I teach in a major university, and I am starting to see the consequences of ignoring the GRE exam for entrance to graduate school. It's not pretty.

    NBA teams require a minimum leap test before they will even consider someone as a player. Sure, for those that can leap a certain amount, the leap test correlates poorly with playing ability, but if you don't have the basic power required, you aren't going to make it. There may be one in a million people who can't pass the vertical leap test, but still have enough other skills to make it at the pro level, but the teams can't afford to try out a million players to get that one 'diamond in the rough'.

    So what happens when universities admit students to graduate school who have very low (or nonexistent) GRE scores? I'll tell you. What we get are people who excel... at gaming the system. They file grievances. They threaten to say that you insulted them if you don't give them a pass. They use 'reflective therapy' - you explain something, they nod their heads and say 'oh I get it' and then repeat your words back to you - but tested later, it's clear that they understand nothing. Their advisor basically writes their thesis for them. On defense, they just read the captions on the power point slides. Probably they will use their PhD as street cred to get a job as assistant dean of student life or something. So maybe we are training them correctly! Only it's not scholarship any more.

    Not only that: When they graduate with a masters in some MA or MS BS major (no, I did not mean bachelor of science there), they get additional points toward preference in Federal hiring so they can take their rightful place in the MOG.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    Probably they will use their PhD as street cred to get a job as assistant dean of student life or something. So maybe we are training them correctly! Only it’s not scholarship any more.
     
    Does it matter? As long as crap universities are funded by tuition fees paid by the student clientele, why should anyone worry if the service is rotten? No one seems to care that most of the food sold in supermarkets is more or less unhealthy, that the entertainment/pornography/media industries are transforming a once great Western civilization into a decadent, debased and demoralizing waste land, so why worry about the crap universities. All that the taxpayer should care about crap universities is that he is not paying a penny towards their operation.
    , @res
    I assume that sort of credentialism is what is driving things like this. How long can our societies support such inefficiency in government? Especially since the incompetents have to move up the hierarchy given that their groups are underrepresented at the higher levels as well.

    P.S. I had trouble working out MOG. I assume you mean Machinery of Government? https://www.acronymattic.com/MOG.html
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  13. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    There are those who may think that universities should serve as an intellectual filter ensuring that only those of the highest ability become credentialed for employment in knowledge-based occupations. However, universities are now very largely funded by students themselves. Therefore, the relationship between the universities and their student clientele is no longer a matter to be decided solely or even in large part in accordance with the public interest: rather, it is the relationship between a service provider and its clients operating in a competitive free market. For that reason, one can expect that many, and perhaps most, universities will continue to seek increased revenue by going further down market in terms of the intellectual capability of their clientele. I see nothing wrong with that. What should be of concern, however, is the impact of this tendency on the other functions of the university; namely, to provide a favorable environment for both the education of the intellectually able, and the conduct of publicly funded research, both of which are prerequisites to national competitiveness in an increasingly competitive global economy. Insofar as the provision of mass, post-secondary education impairs the other traditional functions of the university, one would expect the problem to resolve itself through a process of institutional differentiation. Such differentiation might be hastened by private-sector creation of unabashedly elitist institutions, a development that would be facilitated by the emergence of independent, privately run examination boards that would credential graduates of any institution. This would make way for many initiatives in higher education unburdened by the need to create a degree-granting university.

    Read More
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  14. res says:
    @TG
    I teach in a major university, and I am starting to see the consequences of ignoring the GRE exam for entrance to graduate school. It's not pretty.

    NBA teams require a minimum leap test before they will even consider someone as a player. Sure, for those that can leap a certain amount, the leap test correlates poorly with playing ability, but if you don't have the basic power required, you aren't going to make it. There may be one in a million people who can't pass the vertical leap test, but still have enough other skills to make it at the pro level, but the teams can't afford to try out a million players to get that one 'diamond in the rough'.

    So what happens when universities admit students to graduate school who have very low (or nonexistent) GRE scores? I'll tell you. What we get are people who excel... at gaming the system. They file grievances. They threaten to say that you insulted them if you don't give them a pass. They use 'reflective therapy' - you explain something, they nod their heads and say 'oh I get it' and then repeat your words back to you - but tested later, it's clear that they understand nothing. Their advisor basically writes their thesis for them. On defense, they just read the captions on the power point slides. Probably they will use their PhD as street cred to get a job as assistant dean of student life or something. So maybe we are training them correctly! Only it's not scholarship any more.

    I teach in a major university, and I am starting to see the consequences of ignoring the GRE exam for entrance to graduate school.

    I was unaware of this at the graduate level. Could you elaborate, please? Is this happening for many universities and areas of study? What are the alternative criteria? Is this for all spots in a program or is it being used only for meeting quotas?

    I am especially curious about this given that much of the research supporting this move (after a quick web search) seems to ignore selection bias. For example: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-biomedical-schools-gre.html
    Do these people really not understand that if you are currently using a GRE-based system for admissions that means the low GRE scorers admitted are likely to have some exceptional other qualifications?! Granted, that might simply be being of the “correct” color, but I am guessing the researchers correct for that since it probably helps give the results they want (i.e. GRE scores don’t matter).

    Requiring GPA and other test score thresholds instead at least seems somewhat sensible: http://www.graduateguide.com/Graduate_programs_may_ignore_applicant_GRE_scores__800229547.html
    Is this not what you are seeing?

    Read More
    • Replies: @TG
    http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2017/08/biomedical-phd-program-major-research-university-drops-gre-requirement-admission
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  15. this is effectively american style affirmative action.

    brtish govt got taken over :( by the same people who is in power in the usa.

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  16. @dc.sunsets
    Meh. If UK universities are the same as US schools in the sense of expanding to offer "coursework" that better fits the definition of "a hobby," then why would we expect crappy performance to emerge?

    As I understand it, in the USA the number of people studying engineering, math, etc. has remained largely the same even as college enrollment skyrocketed due to the addition of degree work in hobbies like Photography, fluff like Women's Studies and a bizarre notion of paper qualification for jobs that have nothing to do with coursework, for example music performance or literature writing.

    In this context, all Universities are doing is responding to incentives. Each potential student comes with a mean dollar amount of college loan/credit, much like a person with a high Credit Score is cultivated by sellers of high end goods.

    To the University, each student is simply a conduit through which the school can grasp tens of thousands of dollars offered through Federal, state and private lenders. It's patently obvious that this underpins the "Everyone should go to college" trope.

    If the Universities admit students who would be unable to master difficult coursework, offer easy coursework and simply speed up the printer that produces their shiny new credentials.

    That this process is utterly destroying the value of what the schools "sell" seems lost on them, given they're in a feeding frenzy of student loan consumption.

    It’s called “accessibility” – not very different from a designated ramp and parking space at the mall. We’re supposed to think that society is kinder when it comes up with ways to get handicapped people to overpay for things of questionable value.

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  17. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @The Alarmist
    Not only that: When they graduate with a masters in some MA or MS BS major (no, I did not mean bachelor of science there), they get additional points toward preference in Federal hiring so they can take their rightful place in the MOG.

    Probably they will use their PhD as street cred to get a job as assistant dean of student life or something. So maybe we are training them correctly! Only it’s not scholarship any more.

    Does it matter? As long as crap universities are funded by tuition fees paid by the student clientele, why should anyone worry if the service is rotten? No one seems to care that most of the food sold in supermarkets is more or less unhealthy, that the entertainment/pornography/media industries are transforming a once great Western civilization into a decadent, debased and demoralizing waste land, so why worry about the crap universities. All that the taxpayer should care about crap universities is that he is not paying a penny towards their operation.

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  18. res says:
    @The Alarmist
    Not only that: When they graduate with a masters in some MA or MS BS major (no, I did not mean bachelor of science there), they get additional points toward preference in Federal hiring so they can take their rightful place in the MOG.

    I assume that sort of credentialism is what is driving things like this. How long can our societies support such inefficiency in government? Especially since the incompetents have to move up the hierarchy given that their groups are underrepresented at the higher levels as well.

    P.S. I had trouble working out MOG. I assume you mean Machinery of Government? https://www.acronymattic.com/MOG.html

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    http://www.vdare.com/tag/minority-occupation-government
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  19. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @jim jones
    It is standard procedure for politicians to complain about the lack of blacks at Oxbridge:

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2010/feb/03/oxbridge-black-ethnic-minority-mix

    Yeah, too many goddam English people at an English university. What’s more too many goddam English people still running the country.

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  20. Che Guava says:

    Mr. Thompson,

    It is a good article to me, have experienced some when overseas, nothing like now!

    Jared Kushner: 666 Fifth Ave., Damien Omen. Nobody is seeming to noticing the opportunity!

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  21. Isn’t this just more blank-slate utopianism? Or is it financial cynicism on the part of Universities who are faced with declining enrolment. I don’t know about the system in Britain, but in Canada all those low-performing admissions would come not only paying tuition, but also with provincial grants to the University. A “charitiable” act can thus be nicely tied to self-interest.

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  22. Che Guava says:
    @jim jones
    It is standard procedure for politicians to complain about the lack of blacks at Oxbridge:

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2010/feb/03/oxbridge-black-ethnic-minority-mix

    It is standard procedure for the Warden, i mean Guardian, to whine about anything.

    If you want the classic example from the last week, read the chinless Owen Jones scolding Kevin Spacey for ‘coming out’ at the same time as being accused of near-rape.

    That place (the Warden, sorry, Guardian) is so full of lies, I dream of making a ‘Watch’ site, but not enough time.

    Any day, many lies.

    It is also connecting to Mr. Thompson’s article, Wardenistas would 100% supporting stupid students.

    Was reading somethimg where there was a report on debating in USA universities.

    Not that Japanese universities are strong on debating. The art is to saying nothing.

    From my reading, there are two bodies in the USA, supposed to be the peak for university debating, both are to awarding top honours to imbecilic show ponys who were not only refusing to address the topic, but avoiding it entirely.

    Then, someone who was wanting to set up an alternative with reasoned debating was barred from it!

    I was watching a little of those ‘debates’, sure does not portend well for the USA.

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  23. TG says:
    @res

    I teach in a major university, and I am starting to see the consequences of ignoring the GRE exam for entrance to graduate school.
     
    I was unaware of this at the graduate level. Could you elaborate, please? Is this happening for many universities and areas of study? What are the alternative criteria? Is this for all spots in a program or is it being used only for meeting quotas?

    I am especially curious about this given that much of the research supporting this move (after a quick web search) seems to ignore selection bias. For example: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-biomedical-schools-gre.html
    Do these people really not understand that if you are currently using a GRE-based system for admissions that means the low GRE scorers admitted are likely to have some exceptional other qualifications?! Granted, that might simply be being of the "correct" color, but I am guessing the researchers correct for that since it probably helps give the results they want (i.e. GRE scores don't matter).

    Requiring GPA and other test score thresholds instead at least seems somewhat sensible: http://www.graduateguide.com/Graduate_programs_may_ignore_applicant_GRE_scores__800229547.html
    Is this not what you are seeing?
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    • Replies: @res
    Thanks. Wow.

    Disparate impact lives. From the policy PDF: https://medicine.umich.edu/medschool/sites/medicine.umich.edu.medschool/files/assets/PIBS_GRE_POLICY_2018.pdf


    2. Evidence of inherent bias in GRE scores. GRE scores are significantly skewed to the disadvantage of women, students from underrepresented minority groups in STEM, and students of lower socioeconomic status.
     
    Which linked to this Nature article (more like an opinion piece AFAICT): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByKdR_9EWVQYLVJKNHNUUXZqaDg/view
    Sample quote: "Less diversity in STEM graduate programmes means slower progress in tackling today’s scientific and technical challenges." I wonder how they determined that?

    Now that college has become the new high school I guess the PhD is on its way to becoming the new BS.

    Recap of the town hall they had: https://misciwriters.com/2017/08/15/pibs-gre-town-hall-meeting-recap/

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  24. res says:
    @TG
    http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2017/08/biomedical-phd-program-major-research-university-drops-gre-requirement-admission

    Thanks. Wow.

    Disparate impact lives. From the policy PDF: https://medicine.umich.edu/medschool/sites/medicine.umich.edu.medschool/files/assets/PIBS_GRE_POLICY_2018.pdf

    2. Evidence of inherent bias in GRE scores. GRE scores are significantly skewed to the disadvantage of women, students from underrepresented minority groups in STEM, and students of lower socioeconomic status.

    Which linked to this Nature article (more like an opinion piece AFAICT): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByKdR_9EWVQYLVJKNHNUUXZqaDg/view
    Sample quote: “Less diversity in STEM graduate programmes means slower progress in tackling today’s scientific and technical challenges.” I wonder how they determined that?

    Now that college has become the new high school I guess the PhD is on its way to becoming the new BS.

    Recap of the town hall they had: https://misciwriters.com/2017/08/15/pibs-gre-town-hall-meeting-recap/

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  25. The university is toast. This Marxist ideology that everyone can learn and be anything they want has now taken over all education. If the student doesn’t succeed it’s because of racism, the institution, or bad teaching. When I was in undergraduate school the science faculty tried flunking as many majors out as possible. This weeding out as it was called would not be allowed today. In fact, now we have the opposite extreme.

    This entire report is nothing but an attempt at a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s over; civilization will collapses under this idiocy and I see nothing to stop it. It only takes an educated person a few minutes listening to the likes of Obama types to realize these people are not well read, educated, or gifted in anyway. This will be the new norm. Once these people get in they are like an eternal disease: they can’t be removed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "The university is toast."
     
    Hardly. The university is boot-camp for the slaves to the New Corporatocracy. To be anything in our new societies, which are now dominated by SJW Marxists at nearly all levels of major corporations and Federal, State, and local governmental bureaucracies, you need to have a degree, which should not be confused with evidence of actual knowledge of anything other than party-line pablum.
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  26. dux.ie says:

    Are the Sutton report authors intentionally blinded to available data that showed persistence completion and early departed with respect to the students entry grades? For example,

    “Profiles of STEM Students: Persisters, Joiners, Changers and Departers” http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/R1622-profiles-of-stem-students-2017-04.pdf

    “Data came from 27,516 students2 who enrolled as first-time students in the fall term between 2000 and 2005 (six cohort years) at 25 (USA) four-year institutions.”

    The measures in the study were ACT test score with values from lowest 1 to highest 36.

    (ACTMath,ACTSci) scores of (22,23) are deemed ‘college ready’.

    The study provided profiles of persisted STEM majors, those who had mean entry cores (ACTMath,ACTSci) of (26,25) for STEM-Bio, and (28,26) for STEM-Quant.

    The mean scores for STEM-Bio and STEM-Quant early departeds were (21.9,22.2) and (24.5,23.9), and they tended to have mean (ACTEng,ACTRead) scores of (23,23) and (23,24) respectively and they were unlikely to be successful in non-STEM courses as well, hence they dropped out of the institutions. No doubt the non-STEM also had similar characteristics. Yet the Sutton report suggested accepting below cutoff scores students. Were they on average setting up those students to fail? Or do those universities have a “no student left behind” policy? In USA this could be check for outlier positive deviations (max 2.73 SD) from the GradRate with the common assessment CLAplus across universities for uni seniors,

    GradRate = +0.124027*CLASenior -86.0292;
    # n=67; Rsq=0.4384; p=1.05e-09

    Few Students Left Behind
    zscore ExpRate GradRate SeniorScore
    1.79 45.94 63.0 1064 Uni 3
    1.81 55.73 73.0 1143 Uni 2
    2.73 42.96 69.0 1040 Uni 1

    “””However, the results of the current study indicated that the students who departed their STEM SMC had measured interests that were very similar to the measured interests of the students who had persisted in or joined the same STEM SMC. Where they differed from their peers was in their levels of precollege academic achievement. Many of the STEM students who departed may have realized that they were struggling in the major of their choice, but they also realized that they were not interested in other majors offered at their institutions despite having the academic ability to succeed in a variety of those majors.”””

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Thanks for this interesting set of results.
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  27. @res
    I assume that sort of credentialism is what is driving things like this. How long can our societies support such inefficiency in government? Especially since the incompetents have to move up the hierarchy given that their groups are underrepresented at the higher levels as well.

    P.S. I had trouble working out MOG. I assume you mean Machinery of Government? https://www.acronymattic.com/MOG.html
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  28. @dux.ie
    Are the Sutton report authors intentionally blinded to available data that showed persistence completion and early departed with respect to the students entry grades? For example,

    "Profiles of STEM Students: Persisters, Joiners, Changers and Departers" http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/R1622-profiles-of-stem-students-2017-04.pdf

    "Data came from 27,516 students2 who enrolled as first-time students in the fall term between 2000 and 2005 (six cohort years) at 25 (USA) four-year institutions."

    The measures in the study were ACT test score with values from lowest 1 to highest 36.

    (ACTMath,ACTSci) scores of (22,23) are deemed 'college ready'.

    The study provided profiles of persisted STEM majors, those who had mean entry cores (ACTMath,ACTSci) of (26,25) for STEM-Bio, and (28,26) for STEM-Quant.

    The mean scores for STEM-Bio and STEM-Quant early departeds were (21.9,22.2) and (24.5,23.9), and they tended to have mean (ACTEng,ACTRead) scores of (23,23) and (23,24) respectively and they were unlikely to be successful in non-STEM courses as well, hence they dropped out of the institutions. No doubt the non-STEM also had similar characteristics. Yet the Sutton report suggested accepting below cutoff scores students. Were they on average setting up those students to fail? Or do those universities have a "no student left behind" policy? In USA this could be check for outlier positive deviations (max 2.73 SD) from the GradRate with the common assessment CLAplus across universities for uni seniors,

    GradRate = +0.124027*CLASenior -86.0292;
    # n=67; Rsq=0.4384; p=1.05e-09

    Few Students Left Behind
    zscore ExpRate GradRate SeniorScore
    1.79 45.94 63.0 1064 Uni 3
    1.81 55.73 73.0 1143 Uni 2
    2.73 42.96 69.0 1040 Uni 1

    """However, the results of the current study indicated that the students who departed their STEM SMC had measured interests that were very similar to the measured interests of the students who had persisted in or joined the same STEM SMC. Where they differed from their peers was in their levels of precollege academic achievement. Many of the STEM students who departed may have realized that they were struggling in the major of their choice, but they also realized that they were not interested in other majors offered at their institutions despite having the academic ability to succeed in a variety of those majors."""

    Thanks for this interesting set of results.

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  29. Why mess: there are people who have earned a spot from similar backgrounds and the toads here are a waste of time and resources.

    I will say if they get themselves together, give them a chance, but not until they show something, rather than offer alibis.

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  30. @niteranger
    The university is toast. This Marxist ideology that everyone can learn and be anything they want has now taken over all education. If the student doesn't succeed it's because of racism, the institution, or bad teaching. When I was in undergraduate school the science faculty tried flunking as many majors out as possible. This weeding out as it was called would not be allowed today. In fact, now we have the opposite extreme.

    This entire report is nothing but an attempt at a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's over; civilization will collapses under this idiocy and I see nothing to stop it. It only takes an educated person a few minutes listening to the likes of Obama types to realize these people are not well read, educated, or gifted in anyway. This will be the new norm. Once these people get in they are like an eternal disease: they can't be removed.

    “The university is toast.”

    Hardly. The university is boot-camp for the slaves to the New Corporatocracy. To be anything in our new societies, which are now dominated by SJW Marxists at nearly all levels of major corporations and Federal, State, and local governmental bureaucracies, you need to have a degree, which should not be confused with evidence of actual knowledge of anything other than party-line pablum.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    To be anything in our new societies, which are now dominated by SJW Marxists at nearly all levels of major corporations and Federal, State, and local governmental bureaucracies, you need to have a degree
     
    Not quite sure how your assessment relates to the following headline, but the fact that university education is increasingly seen to be a waste of both time and money must be a trend of some significance.

    White People Overwhelmingly Think College Is A Waste Of Time
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  31. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @The Alarmist

    "The university is toast."
     
    Hardly. The university is boot-camp for the slaves to the New Corporatocracy. To be anything in our new societies, which are now dominated by SJW Marxists at nearly all levels of major corporations and Federal, State, and local governmental bureaucracies, you need to have a degree, which should not be confused with evidence of actual knowledge of anything other than party-line pablum.

    To be anything in our new societies, which are now dominated by SJW Marxists at nearly all levels of major corporations and Federal, State, and local governmental bureaucracies, you need to have a degree

    Not quite sure how your assessment relates to the following headline, but the fact that university education is increasingly seen to be a waste of both time and money must be a trend of some significance.

    White People Overwhelmingly Think College Is A Waste Of Time

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  32. EH says:

    It seems that many UK universities have such “contextual” programs, but the University of Bristol features prominently in this debate so I will use it as an example. It describes its Contextual Offers requirements thus: being in the bottom 40% of schools in terms of attainments or progression to higher education; or living in a postcode area with low progression to higher education; or having completed a University of Bristol outreach program; or having spent more than 3 months in local authority care.

    doesn’t seem to square with:

    “…we do not know what percentage of students were so admitted. It seems likely to be a small percentage, say about 3% of the whole student body.”

    The bottom 40% of schools is a huge number by itself, I’ll bet a lot of postcodes are added to that, and if the Sutton Trust’s recommendation of a two-grade bump in application standing is applied (does that really mean 2.0 is given the same standing as 4.0?), I’d think the portion of students in the listed schools and areas could be up to a third of the incoming students. It’s very suspicious that they don’t reveal this number. In fact, this is pretty clearly an advocacy paper with a thin pretense of objectivity.

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