How do you teach philosophy at Oxford

Oxford University: Education Elite or Social Elite?

Every year Oxford conquers the top of the international rankings of top universities. It is the oldest English-speaking university in the world. The exact date of its foundation is not known, but it is said that there were classes in monastery schools in the Oxford area as early as the 11th century. By the 14th century, Oxford was already enjoying a privileged position over all other educational institutions in the world at that time. A position that the university has retained to this day.

Defense of your own opinion

A degree from Oxford University opens many doors in life. To be accepted there seems hopeless to many, because the competition is tough and the application process is long and complicated. After a written application, the applicant will be invited to an interview. Andrew Kahn, Professor of Slavonic Studies at Oxford, explains: "In general, we are interested in applicants who can demonstrate the ability to learn. We want to know whether these young people are able to present and defend their opinions and whether they are leading a discussion can."

The professors personally select their students from thousands of applicants. There were around 12,500 applications for the 2005/2006 academic year. About a quarter of these applicants were officially enrolled in a solemn ceremony in Latin in October 2005.

A comparison of tuition fees at the elite universities

The structure of this centuries-old university is rather unusual. It consists of 39 colleges, the oldest of which dates from the 12th century and the most modern of which was founded in the 1960s. They form the core of a student's academic and social life. The most important part of the course are the tutorials, in which the professor or lecturer teaches a group of two, at most three, and often only one, students for an hour. Andrew Kahn: "The system of tutorials depends very much on the relationship between the professor or lecturer and his students. At Oxford we hope that it is not the teachers, but the students themselves who do most of the speaking in the classroom."

While the tuition fees at elite American universities are around 30,000 euros per year, the academic year in Oxford costs around 4,500 euros. Each college is responsible for its own costs and infrastructure. Each college has its own sports teams and clubs. It is not uncommon for competitions to take place between the various colleges. The best-known examples of this are the competitions of the rowing teams. Nevertheless, the university's academic success comes first.

Spend two hours with a famous philosopher

The students are taught by leading experts in their field. Libraries, laboratories and museums are at their disposal. For most, studying and living in Oxford is a unique experience. Oxford student Richard Price enthuses, "I love it here! I'm absolutely blown away. It's great to have access to really great academics. You can spend two hours with a famous philosopher and talk about his work and I will always aware of my happiness. "

Richard Price is studying philosophy and is about to get his doctorate. Studying philosophy is usually not a guarantee of a carefree future, but with a degree from Oxford, all options are open to you.

Equal opportunities for everyone or the formation of a social elite?

The University of Oxford is repeatedly accused of discriminating against candidates from state schools and of giving preference to graduates from private schools. The problem lies in the British education system, says John O'Leary, editor of the Times, responsible for the annual university ranking: "It is certainly true that the University of Oxford has more private school graduates the best graduation results can be achieved in these schools. "

The social elite, the upper social class, want to stay among themselves when it comes to education, is an often voiced accusation. Professor Andrew Kahn rejects this accusation: "I think the image that Oxford had until a few years ago is slowly fading. At that time, students were seen as descendants of the privileged upper class, not very intellectual but with good connections. That no longer corresponds to that Truth. The public these days has a much better understanding of the type of institution that Oxford is. It is an educational elite, not a social elite. "