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This book investigates university admissions in the UK and USA, with a particular focus on the most selective and elite universities in the two countries. Based on a hundred interviews with some of the key stakeholders in university admissions, and statistics from both primary and secondary sources, the book explains the values, processes and practices that judge some individuals as worthy of getting an education at those universities and deny admission to other applicants. By juxtaposing the UK and US systems the book invites readers from both sides of the Atlantic to see the familiar as strange and to reflect on the underlying values behind the selection of students. It illustrates how particular discussions of meritocracy affect individuals and relate to the history and social climate of each nation.
Anna Zimdars is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Social Change, University of Manchester, UK. Her work on university admissions has been covered widely in the media including The Sunday Times,BBC Radio 4, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and Times Higher Education.