In my final year, I took a terrifying chance. Ever generous to students and young writers, Seamus Heaney offered to meet students for half-hour one-to-one tutorials, discussing poetry and the craft of how to write.
In a recent article , the New York Daily News reported that 11 of President Obama's innermost circle were educated at Oxford University... Nestled at the core of the Whitehouse and the Pentagon and wielding the power to influence policy worldwide, they are evidence of one thing: a degree from Oxford or Cambridge commands attention on an international scale.
Every year, it gets tougher - students become smarter, the competition, stiffer and the expectations, higher. Nevertheless, there are a few constructive guidelines that aspiring applicants should consider if they have dreams of studying in two of Britain's greatest universities.
Oxford is a place where people are paid to research, and write about a vast array of subjects, most of which are united in their irrelevance to society. A tutor of mine has spent the last few years on a grammar of ancient Greek - pointless not least because the zenith of Greek grammar-writing was reached in the 19th Century. But one recent piece of research might even have topped my tutor's efforts...
When the Oxford Union, or indeed any other organisation with a major platform such as the BBC, attempts to give airtime to rather odious right-wing views, there is predictably an almost entirely manufactured outcry. In these circumstances Unite against Fascism normally complains about giving attention to extremists, and this occasion has been no different.
The internet and the growth of online media platforms have changed the game. Private pasts cannot be obliterated and university scandals erased. Those involved in the latest union controversy may find when they come to search for those stressful careers their future employers are not so keen to offer them jobs.
With rising tuition fees, Universities culling degree courses and soaring young unemployment, the future looks bleak. There is a great deal of negativity associated with employment opportunities at the moment. So what are your options? And how can you succeed?
Not all students who go to Oxbridge are from the most affluent parts of the South-East, but if things continue as they are then the only accent you will ever hear on the Oxbridge quads will be that generic South-Eastern brogue that can be pinpointed to somewhere around about Guildford.
As May is International Zombie Awareness Month, I offer my bloodied hand to guide you through the five things you need to know to survive a zombie apocalypse... armed only with some of Oxford University Press's finest online products and a ferocious temper. Are you ready? Let's go!
Having gone to a comprehensive school in an area of considerable social depravation I can speak for talented teachers who were specially selected for their ability to maintain control and to enthuse their students with imaginative and inspired ideas.
In an ideal world, we would be able to alleviate the all humans from poverty. The sad truth is however, that we, as individuals and nation states, have limited resources. Oxford Union voted that we should indeed help the Burundians before the British. But such a conclusion is naïve and idealistic.
The role and political repercussions of human ego, emotions and sensibilities in state conduct and international relations are, less transient and more pervasive than it is often acknowledged. This paper analyses the concept of state emotionality and briefly discusses the theory of " Symbiotic Realism, " as a more comprehensive framework for interstate relations in our modern, connected and interdependent world that takes into account the role of emotionality in state behavior.
This is a good book by trustworthy Shakespeareans. Not especially reader-friendly in style but quite comprehensive, well-grounded, objective and informed. The individual myths, structured into moderate-length essays (thus you do not have to read them in order), can be excellent for discussions in the classroom or lecture-room.
I appreciate that getting into Oxbridge is extremely competitive and is a 'feat' in its own right, but it really doesn't matter whether Oxford is better than Cambridge and it shouldn't matter whether we go to one or the other or indeed any other university - at least not to the extent that it defines our identity and that is all people see.
It is a worrying fact that even though we live in an era that supposedly mocks the class wars that have previously categorised British history, there is still discrimination among one of our most important institutions; education.
Look at our student unions today, and you'll see them morphing into propaganda tools for careerists and figures like Sneade, riddled with internal manoeuvring and corruption, British far left colluding with Islamist far right to censor and suppress. If they want our trust, it should take more than vaudevillian speechmaking and e-voting codes.