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The bumper thread of University League Tables discussion - includes an info post

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by buderius)
    Anyways, here is my attemt and you are welcome to correct me:
    1st tier (super elite): Oxford and Cambridge
    2nd tier (elite): UCL, LSE, King's and Imperial
    3d tier (very good reputation): Warwick, Edinburgh, Durham, Nottingham and some others.
    4th tier (good reputation): Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle and some others.
    5th tier (average reputation): Most of the 'new universities'
    Whilst I agree with your general point,I don't belive it's even possible to rank them in groups. You're really just doing it based on perceived prestige. Prestige is a subjective and abstract concept. A university rated by one person might not be as highly rated by another.

    KCL being a prime example (as seen in two posts already). I see that you're from Germany. Perhaps you're being influenced too much by its London status. It is not of a comparable standard to . It is still a very good Russell Group university, probably no "worse" than a Nottingham or Bristol, having its good and bad departments but, generally speaking, capable of offering a high quality of education and research. But it's nowt special either.

    I see no reason why Edinburgh should be a tier above Glasgow (I'm assuming Glasgow will be in your third tier. But this is just an assumption). If you're placing, say, Sheffield or Leeds in the third tier, I see no reason why Newcastle, for example, shouldn't be in there.

    I'd like to see you try and justify that!

    The vast majority of the Russell Group (and a number of 1994 Group universites) of of a comparable standard. Outside Oxford and Cambridge (and possilby LSE and Imperial) the difference between them is negligible.

    Even when it comes to LSE, Imperial and UCL I believe the provincial universities are still capable of giving them a run for their money. Durham in geography, physics, law, classics and archaeology for example. Warwick in economics, maths and law.

    (Original post by IKnowSoMuch!!)
    Also, St. Andrews could be seen as belonging in the 2nd tier, and certainly Warwick.
    Mmmm....no :p: Try and justify why St Andrews should be there but not Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol..."even" Glasgow or Manchester.

    It's an excellent university, yes, but no better than many of those mentioned. Just because it's ranked highly in the league tables for a handful of years recently.....
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    (Original post by River85)


    Mmmm....no :p: Try and justify why St Andrews should be there but not Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol..."even" Glasgow or Manchester.

    It's an excellent university, yes, but no better than many of those mentioned. Just because it's ranked highly in the league tables for a handful of years recently.....
    Mmm yeah I suppose so actually - but Warwick generally can now be viewed alongside UCL.
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    Again, this is partly to do with TSR's users being very young and having a concept of reputation that goes back just a few years. St Andrews is a prime example of this- it doesn't matter if for research or teaching others scored higher, if they turnover much more money or are much better represented in academia or graduate schemes- all it takes is a few top 5s in a league table and people are banging on about it being 'tiers' above Liverpool, Nottingham etc. I've seen absolutely nothing that St Andrews does that Aberdeen doesn't, save for being much more fashionable amongst the upper middle class in the last decade or so and thus much harder to get an offer. They have virtually identical marking schemes and exams that are almost word-for-word the same in places. I've never heard of St Andrews graduates getting jobs over others like Liverpool or Aberdeen either purely on name alone (again, if someone can provide statistics otherwise I'll withdraw that statement), yet on TSR the league table and prestige fanboys arrive and proclaim that UCL, Durham, Warwick, St Andrews, Exeter are 'better' than Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, KCL etc. Five-ten years ago you'd get a different answer, and in five-ten years time when some of you might still be in education that might not be the case either, so arguing over what some schoolkids reckon is held in higher esteem among other schoolkids that have never been to university let alone tried to use their degree is pointless.

    For what it's worth, my experience has been that employers go out of their way to go to Oxford, Cambridge and some graduates of some courses elsewhere. They might also 'target' big places near London or perhaps even in Edinburgh, given its position as Europes second or third main financial centre. Targetting usually just means sending a guy up with a stall and some flyers though, and Scotland's largest graduate fair isn't actually in a university- rather it's at the SECC and ran by three universities, so I doubt it'd appear on any 'targetting' stats. Anyway, as reputation goes, the next chunk below Oxford/Cambridge and your economics graduates at LSE, are, for the overwhelming majority of graduate jobs, the same. This tends to upset prospective UCL or Bristol students, who won't have any of this idea that they'll get a tick in the box before interview exactly the same as Liverpool or Queen's Belfast, even if one is fifth in a table and one 35th. But from what I've seen, that's the way it works- even the employers looking for graduates of a 'redbrick' (I can only guess they have no idea what it means) band all of them in together and then go on the interview. These places all teach hundreds of degrees, have thousands of staff, a high proportion of the top students in their area, and turn over hundreds of millions of pounds because those with the money back them- the idea that some are in 'tiers' above others is a fantasy.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    Again, this is partly to do with TSR's users being very young and having a concept of reputation that goes back just a few years. St Andrews is a prime example of this- it doesn't matter if for research or teaching others scored higher, if they turnover much more money or are much better represented in academia or graduate schemes- all it takes is a few top 5s in a league table and people are banging on about it being 'tiers' above Liverpool, Nottingham etc. I've seen absolutely nothing that St Andrews does that Aberdeen doesn't, save for being much more fashionable amongst the upper middle class in the last decade or so and thus much harder to get an offer. They have virtually identical marking schemes and exams that are almost word-for-word the same in places. I've never heard of St Andrews graduates getting jobs over others like Liverpool or Aberdeen either purely on name alone (again, if someone can provide statistics otherwise I'll withdraw that statement), yet on TSR the league table and prestige fanboys arrive and proclaim that UCL, Durham, Warwick, St Andrews, Exeter are 'better' than Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, KCL etc. Five-ten years ago you'd get a different answer, and in five-ten years time when some of you might still be in education that might not be the case either, so arguing over what some schoolkids reckon is held in higher esteem among other schoolkids that have never been to university let alone tried to use their degree is pointless.
    .
    One thing you don't seem to realise it that alot of people actually care about how hard it is to get into their university and are proud of that fact. This is where prestige comes from (its why Harvard and Oxford are so prestigious). It may not matter to you (because we all know you are so brilliant) but it does to others.

    An Oxford History grad should be more proud than a Aberdeen history grad because he has won a place at a far better and more competitive uni and has thus achieved more and had more money spent on his education whilst there.

    Always a pleasure
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    (Original post by AfghanistanBananistan)
    One thing you don't seem to realise it that alot of people actually care about how hard it is to get into their university and are proud of that fact. This is where prestige comes from (its why Harvard and Oxford are so prestigious). It may not matter to you (because we all know you are so brilliant) but it does to others.

    An Oxford History grad should be more proud than a Aberdeen history grad because he has won a place at a far better and more competitive uni and has thus achieved more and had more money spent on his education whilst there.

    Always a pleasure
    Yes but employers (and indeed anyone with any sense) is more interested in the end product than someone who at 18 did well in some exams and an interview or two.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Yes but employers (and indeed anyone with any sense) is more interested in the end product than someone who at 18 did well in some exams and an interview or two.
    Yes, but you miss the point. Going to a better uni gives you a better end product as well as the prestige of going there. Surely they give you a better education. Oxbridge spends far more educating its students then any other UK uni (esp with the tutorial system) and has the best academics and its students should end up better than others. Why would Oxford bother if that was not the case. It is just like privately schooled children are recognised as having a better education because of the attention they get and the higher calibre of students around them (hence the reason people pay for it).

    I have read in a few top unis advice sheets to employers looking to employ their grads (esp business schools). They say that the uni has already done the first step in recruitment for them. This is because the uni only selects the most capable people and simply by going there suggests you have real intellect and the potential to succeed (and admissions officers are experts in finding potential).

    This is why it annoys me when people say that a 2:1 in history from Oxford Brookes is equal to a 2:1 in history from Oxford, even though the latter has spent 5x more on your education, you arrived with far better academics and had access to real experts. To say that a high 2:1 Oxford history student with straight A*'s at GCSE and A level has suddenly become as smart as their 6th form counterpart who got BCC in their A-levels and all B's and C's at GCSE, even though the Oxford student had access to a better education while at uni is laughable.
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    (Original post by AfghanistanBananistan)
    Yes, but you miss the point. Going to a better uni gives you a better end product as well as the prestige of going there. Surely they give you a better education. Oxbridge spends far more educating its students then any other UK uni (esp with the tutorial system) and has the best academics and its students should end up better than others. Why would Oxford bother if that was not the case. It is just like privately schooled children are recognised as having a better education because of the attention they get and the higher calibre of students around them (hence the reason people pay for it).

    I have read in a few top unis advice sheets to employers looking to employ their grads (esp business schools). They say that the uni has already done the first step in recruitment for them. This is because the uni only selects the most capable people and simply by going there suggests you have real intellect and the potential to succeed (and admissions officers are experts in finding potential).

    This is why it annoys me when people say that a 2:1 in history from Oxford Brookes is equal to a 2:1 in history from Oxford, even though the latter has spent 5x more on your education, you arrived with far better academics and had access to real experts. To say that a high 2:1 Oxford history student with straight A*'s at GCSE and A level has suddenly become as smart as their 6th form counterpart who got BCC in their A-levels and all B's and C's at GCSE, even though the Oxford student had access to a better education while at uni is laughable.
    Define 'better uni'. Define prestige, then explain why it matters, and who it matters to that actually counts.
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    (Original post by AfghanistanBananistan)
    This is why it annoys me when people say that a 2:1 in history from Oxford Brookes is equal to a 2:1 in history from Oxford.
    Who has said that then?

    If St Andrews is prestigious because of its high entry standards, does this mean it wasn't prestigious ten to fifteen years ago when its typical offers were far lower? Or that Durham went from prestigious to not so prestigious in the late 90s when its entry standards were comparable to the redbricks?

    Bit fickle....
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    (Original post by River85)
    x
    I've PMd AB, if he wants to discuss it with me there then I'd be happy to listen to his views. On one level, he's not wrong- the best universities are the hardest to get into, but I don't think the scale then slides downwards like that. Oxford has more staff in the history faculty than any other in the world, but part of the advantage of this is to allow more of them off on research leave. And, for anyone that's been in a history or politics seminar, it's not necessarily better that you have four students over eight. I have three students at Oxford assigned to me, but sometimes it's like getting blood out of a stone to get them to talk- a mate of mine actually put both of his four person tutorials together and gave them double the time to see if it would work better, and for him it did. I'm not convinced the quality of education is far better- I've now had first hand experience of the history courses at one of the best in the world, maybe one of the best dozen in the UK, and one of the weakest departments in terms of student standards- and the only really noticeable difference is at the bottom end. I've also seen Aberdeen's syllabus but I know little of their student standard. The quality is pretty close, as are the expectations, and if anything it's only the weaker tail of students that are more numerous but still in the minority that separate the rest from Oxford.

    If anything, one of the main criticisms aimed at LSE by their own students is access to senior staff- and it's still one of the hardest universities to get into with the highest costs for non-UK students. So again, the idea that there's a scale for more selective universities spending more money on you and getting a better education is something that I've yet to see evidence of. LSE get away with more PhD students teaching than virtually anywhere. I would agree that there's a gap between the top and bottom- but the next chunk after Oxford and Cambridge are a mixed bag to be honest- and that's not saying there aren't poorly designed courses and generally pretty rubbish students at Oxford either, because there's loads of them!

    Also, Durham, UCL and Warwick have plenty of ABB entry courses- they're still fairly common at lots of places. Without getting into problems with comparing different exam systems in UCAS points, it's enough to say that the better students at a good chunk of 30-40 universities will be comparable down to small details. Sure, there may be a few more at Durham with AAA and a few more on the ABB side at Cardiff, but the middle three quarters will be, and will go on to do, much the same thing. I'd take the first over the 2:1 from anywhere in that sort of range any day of the week. As was mentioned by ChemistBoy and someone else who went to St Andrews more recently- courses are modelled independently of entry requirements. A lecturer apparently gave his 2010 final year class the paper he himself sat fifteen years beforehand in maths- yet the entry has went from BCC to AAB in the same time- but the material and expectations to get a first is exactly the same. For many, getting into a good university will be their biggest achievement in life, and on TSR it seems like that's their most recent qualification, so a few more As is the only point of reference to go on, and thus they prestige not with how you do at university, but how fashionable the university is right now. In 20 years time it could be Cardiff that's turning away the AAA students in their droves while Bristol can't. It still won't matter.
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    As the topic. At which university in the world will i find the truly gifted people.

    The ones that are naturally intelligent and havent just studied their way to the top.

    I've got the impression that you find more of these people at the top colleges in the US since they tend do focus more on the applicants essay and extra curriculars than pure grades.

    What I'm basically asking is if it is equally likely to find these kinds of people in oxbridge as it is in the Ivies.
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    Obviously Oxbridge.
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    Why would lots of ECs make a person more intelligent?
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    Well it was Reading from 2006 to 2009, but I'm going to Imperial this September so the most gifted will be there then.
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    What do you mean by "gifted"?

    If you mean all round very talented, then I imagine it could well be the Ivies, if they consider extra-curriculars to a greater extent than Oxbridge.
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    London Met has an abundance of 'special' people.
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    (Original post by ritchie888)
    Well it was Reading from 2006 to 2009, but I'm going to Imperial this September so the most gifted will be there then.
    Haha, nice.
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    Central St Martins, IMO.
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    Gifted with what? I'm confused, most people who use the word 'gifted' to describe a person tend to be referring to a particular trait. Which trait are you thinking of OP?
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    (Original post by Leto)
    Why would lots of ECs make a person more intelligent?
    Because if you juggle having a life with doing well at uni, you're clearly more intelligent/gifted than someone who studies constantly and gets the same grades.
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    (Original post by Bramlow)
    London Met has an abundance of 'special' people.
    :rofl:

    But really, Oxbridge. :teeth: :teeth: :teeth:

    I would imagine Imperial to be up there as well.

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