Thousand fewer UK students at Oxbridge 牛津劍橋招錄的英國學生人數大副減少

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如果問大家英國有哪些頂尖大學,想必有相當一部分人的回答中會包括牛津和劍橋大學。近十年來,在這兩所享有盛譽的學府讀書的英國本地學生人數有所減少,取而代之的是越來越多的國際人才。這個現象與海外學生的經濟條件有關聯嗎?這兩所學府的招生標準有哪些改變?本集內容關注牛津劍橋本地學生人數減少的原因。

Vocabulary:  education 詞彙: 教育

If you ask most people what the best universities in the UK are, they will probably answer Oxford or Cambridge. These elite educational establishments were founded 800 years ago; since then being offered a place has been seen as the pinnacle of academic life.

Despite these being the places to go to for high-achieving students, the number of undergraduate students from the UK attending Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) has dropped. Student figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency and from the universities show 7% fewer UK undergraduates at Oxford and 5% fewer at Cambridge compared with 2007-08.

Of course competition for places is intense,and British students compete with those from abroad. Overseas undergraduate student numbers rose by 51% at Oxford and 65% at Cambridge. Oxford says it recruits the “best talent from around the world”; and on postgraduate courses at Cambridge, there are now more overseas students than those from the UK.

The BBC’s education correspondent Sean Coughlan explains that in the UK “there have been calls for more places for disadvantaged youngsters as well as ethnic minority students and white working-class youngsters.” But despite an ambition to improve social mobility, the total number of UK students being awarded places at Oxbridge has gone down.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust social mobility charity, told the BBC that “Oxford and Cambridge attract many international students, but they must ensure that their student body is balanced… This means letting in UK and international students based on ability and not on ability to pay.” But an Oxford spokeswoman said “Sustaining excellence requires diversity, and our commitment to achieving this balance, and making Oxford more reflective of modern society includes reaching out to and selecting the best talent from all over the world.”

With overseas students from outside the EU paying higher fees for tuition, is the decline in places for British students inevitable? This is not known, but other prestigious British universities such as UCL and Exeter have seen numbers of UK student rise. One solution may be to expand and offer more places. But whatever happens, competition for an Oxbridge place will always remain high.

詞彙表

elite 精英的
being offered a place 被(大學)錄取
academic life 學術生涯
high-achieving 成績優秀的
undergraduate 本科的
intense 激烈的
compete with 與…競爭
recruit 招錄
talent 人才,有天分的人
postgraduate 研究生的
disadvantaged 貧困的,生活條件差的
social mobility 社會流動性
student body 全體學生
ability 才能,能力
excellence 優秀,卓越
diversity 多樣性,多元化
tuition 學費
prestigious 享有盛譽的

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What has happened to the number of overseas students attending Oxbridge universities?

2. Which types of people would benefit from social mobility in the education system?

3. True or false? Oxford University aims to get the best talent from the rest of the world?

4. According to the article, who pays the highest fees?

5. Which word used in the article means ‘impossible to prevent from happening’?

2.  請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. Helga seems to have a ________ for art and as had her latest painting displayed in a major gallery.

excellence             talent                ability                  prestigious

2. He is a _________ student and is expected to finish school with some very good grades.

high-achieved       high-achiever    high-achieving     highly-achieve

3. Unfortunately, piano ________ is expensive so it’s not available to everyone.

tuition                    competition       state school          ability

4. For a successful __________, you need to study hard, sleep well and not party too much!

academic lives      academy life      academic lifes      academic life

5. The athlete said it was the fierce __________ that resulted in her coming second in the race.

disadvantaged       competition       talent                    ability

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What has happened to the number of overseas students attending Oxbridge universities?
Overseas undergraduate students rose by 51% at Oxford and 65% at Cambridge.

2. Which types of people would benefit from social mobility in the education system?
Disadvantaged youngsters, as well as ethnic minority students and white working-class youngsters, would benefit from improving social mobility.

3. True or false? Oxford University aims to get the best talent from the rest of the world?
False. Oxford University aims to get the best talent from the all over the world, including the UK.

4. According to the article, who pays the highest fees?
Overseas students from outside the EU tend to pay higher fees for tuition at Oxbridge.

5. Which word used in the article means ‘impossible to prevent from happening’?
Inevitable. (“With overseas students from outside the EU paying higher fees for tuition, is the decline in places for British students inevitable?”)

2.  請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. Helga seems to have a talent for art and as had her latest painting displayed in a major gallery.

2. He is a high-achieving student and is expected to finish school with some very good grades.

3. Unfortunately, piano tuition is expensive so it’s not available to everyone.

4. For a successful academic life, you need to study hard, sleep well and not party too much!

5. The athlete said it was the fierce competition that resulted in her coming second in the race.