The cryptic questions requested through tutors all the way through Oxbridge interviews have lengthy been surrounded by way of an air of puzzle.
there is, after all, the legendary story of a coach throwing a rugby ball as scholars walk into the interview: in the event that they stuck it they were given a place and in the event that they threw it again they got a scholarship.
However this will likely all grow to be a thing of the previous as dons says interviews may now be permanently performed over Zoom.
Generally, applicants are invited to stay in a single day at the Oxbridge college they applied to while they’re interviewed by means of other tutors.
But for the second one year in a row, interviews at Oxford and Cambridge –which might be in most cases held during December – have taken position virtually.
Both universities mentioned they determined earlier this yr that they would hang interviews on-line because of the ongoing “uncertainty” of the pandemic.
They wired that the virtual interview format in 2020 ran easily and that feedback was sure, with Cambridge noting that many students appeared “more relaxed” than when they were noticed in individual.
Some lecturers now consider interviews could stay on-line completely.
“It begs an interesting question approximately whether we can ever go back to in-person interviews,” one Oxford don mentioned.
“it kind of feels to paintings pretty much and we’ve got at all times done it for international students. It definitely saves a lot of money feeding candidates and the schools get an additional week of conference business, which keeps the bursars satisfied.”
the educational source, who is familiar with admissions, mentioned that a few dons think the switch to virtual interviews has “labored out rather well”.
“Some subjects are pronouncing that is great and it is surely more environment friendly. The 17-yr-olds are from a generation that is so used to Zoom, it’s going to be that that is the way in which of the longer term,” he said.
“It could also be better for them than being dragged to Oxford and pondering if they need to put on a go well with or not. For a few it’s a very traumatic experience to hang round and stay up for an interview.”
Opting For a spot to be interviewed
Each universities insisted that no applicants were deprived by means of the verdict to transport online, with students advised they could choose the place to be interviewed.
as an example, it might be at home, in class or at a discern’s position of work and someone from a low-income family with out get right of entry to to the suitable tool used to be sent a pill from their potential faculty.
In 2020, Cambridge College told digital interviewees who could not manage to pay for a pill to stability a phone on tin cans.
The school said that if a student is needed to show their figuring out and does not have get entry to to a laptop or tablet with a “shared reveal” choice, they may simply steadiness a phone on one or tin cans so as to movie their paintings.
the telephone may however be placed on a stack of books, pointed downwards to movie a student as they work out maths or technology questions by way of pen and paper.
Procedure is running easily
A spokesman for Cambridge School said: “Virtual interviews, within the major, ran smoothly final 12 months and interviewers said that many candidates appeared to be more comfortable than when observed in individual.”
A spokesman for Oxford University stated they made up our minds earlier this 12 months that it could be in “everyone’s interests” to hold interviews online once more in 2021.
“Overall, the feedback from final 12 months’s process was once that the remote structure worked well and we’re assured that the similar can be the case this 12 months,” they mentioned.
Both universities say no choice has been made on whether or not interviews will likely be online next 12 months, however that the verdict will take into account the “lessons discovered” from the earlier years.