Oxford hopefuls again left in limbo until January

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The date on which Oxford hopefuls will learn the result of their interview has again been pushed back into January.

Results have traditionally been sent out in mid-December. However, last year the university trialled a January release date. The trial was deemed a success by the university and the changed date will be continued.

The University cited the need for all applicants to receive a decision on the same date as a motivating factor for the shift. Prior to 2012, release dates varied depending on college and subject. The University Admissions Committee told the Oxford Student that other considerations included “the timing of final interviews relative to the Christmas closure dates in college” and the difficulty of obtaining “feedback from teachers in schools and colleges” when schools are closed for Christmas.

Not all are happy with the continuation of the changes. Ben Jones, a History fresher at Keble College was assisting with interviews and spoke with several applicants. “I think some people found it frustrating, which was increased when they felt they had done particularly badly in interviews… it is a really long wait considering they’ve made the decisions already”.

Ben Waters, a first year lawyer, discovered that interviewees believed that not knowing was likely to make Christmas even worse than a rejection. He worried that the postponement meant that candidates felt they’d be unable to enjoy the holiday.

Another interviewee, Sophie Taylor, who applied for experimental psychology at St Hilda’s, was indifferent. She told the Oxford Student “I think I’d prefer to hear sooner after my interview, but I can also understand why they’re released after Christmas, so I guess it hasn’t really affected me much”.

Others applauded the move for all applicants to find out their results on the same date. Joel Hide, a fresher at Keble, said that it was important to formalise the process, saying that when he applied he was “was glad I knew when I’d find out rather than uncertainty about the date”. He also commended the change toward “standardising the process across colleges and subjects”.

All undergraduate students applying to Oxford University in 2013 will be informed of the outcome of their interview on Wednesday the 8th of January 2014.