A state-school pupil who was invited to Oxford University for an interview for a place to read law decided against going along – and wrote her own letter of rejection to the university. In it, she said Oxford “did not quite meet the standard” of other universities.
I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application…
I realise you may be disappointed by this decision but you were in competition with many fantastic universities and following your interview I am afraid you do not quite meet the standard of the universities I will be considering.
I encourage you to try again for my LLM but re-applicants are at a disadvantage and you are unlikely to succeed unless you become a more progressive university.
See below for guidelines for re-application.
I hope you will be successful in finding other capable candidates and I wish you every success in your future as a university.
Thank you for your interest in me.
1) Whilst you may believe your decision to hold interviews in grand formal settings is inspiring, it allows public school applicants to flourish in the environment they are accustomed to and intimidates state school applicants, distorting the true academic potential of both.
2) Whilst you may believe your traditions and rituals are impressive, they reflect badly on your university. As an institution that preaches academic excellence, teaching your students to blindly and illogically do whatever they are told reveals significant flaws in your education system. Frankly. I feel humiliated for both you and your students.
3) During my time at Magdalen College the obvious gap between minorities and white middle-class students was embarrassing. Whilst I realise you are trying to address these problems within your university, the gap between elitism and discrimination is a narrow one and one that you still do not appear to have adequately addressed.
4) Perhaps offer a glass of water in your interviews next time: it is rude to torture guests.
A spokeswoman from the university said the letter was “a witty way to communicate her withdrawal,” adding: “The irony is, though, that six out of the seven people offered law places at Magdalen were state-educated.”