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IMPERIAL -High prestige but low student stisfaction level ???

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    Well, youre meant to understand it too of course.

    You learn maths by reading proofs (and thinking about what theyre doing, and why) and solving problems. Thats not going to change based on the university you go to. At Oxbridge there will be more one-on-one tuition because of the tutorials, but the structure of the course is still going to be studying proofs and doing problem sheets.
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    (Original post by poohat)
    Well, youre meant to understand it too of course.

    You learn maths by reading proofs (and thinking about what theyre doing, and why) and solving problems. Thats not going to change based on the university you go to. At Oxbridge there will be more one-on-one tuition because of the tutorials, but the structure of the course is still going to be studying proofs and doing problem sheets.
    People don't understand it, they learn it to pass the exam. Even DFranklin didn't 'get' most of his 3rd year at Cambridge. It's intricate theory taken at baby steps (the opposite of BMO/STEP; easy theory taken a 1000 miles). Hence it's ideal for rote learning. More importantly, it's pointless for the practicalities of employment and life in general. People need training for real work, not fumbling about with proofs they'll never see again.
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    If you didnt want to learn maths than you shouldnt have done a maths degree. It sounds like you just picked the wrong degree and would have been happier studying a more applied subject instead. Thats not Imperial's fault; they are trying to teach mathematics, not accounting. It wouldnt have been any different at Oxbridge; most math degrees are structured in a similar way, with the same core subjects and approach to learning.

    Most things you study at university arent relevant to 9-5 office jobs - the majority of students end up getting jobs which are unrelated to their undergraduate degree, apart from in a few vocational subjects like law/medicine/engineering. However quite a few people who do math degrees at places like Imperial will go on to become mathematicians (or similar) and will build on what they learned, while being paid.

    Besides, Imperial offers quite a few applied courses as part of the degree (statistics, physics, etc), its not like everything is pure theory
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    (Original post by poohat)
    If you didnt want to learn maths than you shouldnt have done a maths degree. It sounds like you just picked the wrong degree and would have been happier studying a more applied subject instead. Thats not Imperial's fault; they are trying to teach mathematics, not accounting. It wouldnt have been any different at Oxbridge; most math degrees are structured in a similar way, with the same core subjects and approach to learning.

    Most things you study at university arent relevant to 9-5 office jobs - the majority of students end up getting jobs which are unrelated to their undergraduate degree, apart from in a few vocational subjects like law/medicine/engineering. However quite a few people who do math degrees at places like Imperial will go on to become mathematicians (or similar) and will build on what they learned, while being paid.

    Besides, Imperial offers quite a few applied courses as part of the degree (statistics, physics, etc), its not like everything is pure theory
    I don't think it's necessarily a question of applied versus theory - actually a lot of applied courses/modules involve more rote learning.

    A lot of university physics courses have a module called 'Problem solving' or something similar, which is basically the equivalent of STEP but for first year undergrad content instead of A Level. From anecdotal experience the correlation between the marks on that and other modules aren't that high. I wonder if the people who do well on that module would make better employees/physicists?
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    (Original post by poohat)
    Most things you study at university arent relevant to 9-5 office jobs - the majority of students end up getting jobs which are unrelated to their undergraduate degree, apart from in a few vocational subjects like law/medicine/engineering.
    Therefore most degrees are a waste of time and a money spinner for the higher powers. At best, for those who do get good jobs, it's still a scam and a hoop to put up with until they get a good job. The system is a joke.

    £9k a year to rote learn garbage one will never use? How the hell did this 'degree trend' ever get into fashion? Because logically, it sounds hilarious. It's propaganda and stigma. Few want to be a plumber or electrician and do an honest day's work now, people are brainwashed into thinking pen-pushing is the way forward.
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    Therefore most degrees are a waste of time and a money spinner for the higher powers. At best, for those who do get good jobs, it's still a scam and a hoop to put up with until they get a good job. The system is a joke.

    £9k a year to rote learn garbage one will never use? How the hell did this 'degree trend' ever get into fashion? Because logically, it sounds hilarious. It's propaganda and stigma. Few want to be a plumber or electrician and do an honest day's work now, people are brainwashed into thinking pen-pushing is the way forward.
    I'm starting to agree on what you're saying, but there has to be reason why the "degree trend" ever get into fashion...

    As I mentioned before, one of the reasons is gaining the transferrable skills that are very important in our careers in the future. It is true that a lot of things that are taught are unnecessary, but in the case of engineering, a lot of things taught in there are necessary for the job -- so it must depend on the course.

    But the argument to that is there must be another way - a cheaper way: I guess the system is not good. Although if you look at it, the good jobs require a degree, so I guess you just gotta play with the system and be wise. Then again, there are alternative ways to get a good high-paying jobs (climbing up the ladder or having good connections), but I think going to uni is the best path for it (plus, it's going to be fun - at least, that's how I view it).
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    (Original post by Alpha-Omega)
    I'm starting to agree on what you're saying, but there has to be reason why the "degree trend" ever get into fashion...

    As I mentioned before, one of the reasons is gaining the transferrable skills that are very important in our careers in the future. It is true that a lot of things that are taught are unnecessary, but in the case of engineering, a lot of things taught in there are necessary for the job -- so it must depend on the course.
    Those skills were already learnt and/or can be learnt online for free. Work needs good literary skills, decent numeracy and motivation; so uni is a waste. People self teach at uni anyway, the fees, living etc are simply a leach. Agreed with engineering. Engineering, Medicine and Law I can see the logic. The rest; no.

    (Original post by Alpha-Omega)
    But the argument to that is there must be another way - a cheaper way: I guess the system is not good. Although if you look at it, the good jobs require a degree, so I guess you just gotta play with the system and be wise. Then again, there are alternative ways to get a good high-paying jobs (climbing up the ladder or having good connections), but I think going to uni is the best path for it (plus, it's going to be fun - at least, that's how I view it).
    They 'require' a degree these days because everyone has one. The role itself doesn't need any degree; people never use their degree! The '2.1 in any degree from any uni' shows what a farce the system is. It's a scam.

    Engineering, Medicine, Law, Architect - I see the logic. The others are BS.
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    But universities arent there to teach you how to get a job. I mean in some sense the university administration want to make their degrees appeal to students and that means emphasising the transferable skills aspects, but ultimately the point of a maths degree is to teach you mathematics. If you go to university to study a subject then the assumption is that you are interested in that subject and want to learn about it, and the responsibility of the lecturers is to help you learn. If you are going to university purely for career reasons then thats fine I guess, but in that case you need to stop complaining that you are being forced to learn maths as part of a maths degree. Noone forced you to put mathematics down on your UCAS form; if you wanted something that translated directly into a 9-5 office job then you should have studied something like engineering or accounting instead (and its not like you couldnt have transferred halfway through if you hated it that much).

    Imperial are quite good at promoting the career side of things anyway, with (eg) a wide range of campus presentations from employers, group projects at undergraduate that give you experience working in teams, a good brand name to put on your CV, etc. So if you come out unemployable, I dont think that is Imperial's fault.

    I do agree its a bad thing that society forces people to go to university just to get a degree they dont want, so that they can get a job afterwards. And society should definitely offer more vocational choices instead, for people who dont want to go into academia but still want a skilled job. But none of that has anything to do with how mathematics is taught at university; it isnt meant to be a vocational degree, and the students who are there because they enjoy mathematics wouldnt want it to become one.
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    The environment here is very work-focused and stressed out even in 1st year, and it gets harder and harder as you go up the years. Although I love this place and wouldn't go anywhere else I can understand why a lot of people heavily dislike studying here.

    The prestige of the university comes from factors such as its world-leading research output and high-calibre graduates. Student satisfaction level has little to do with all that.
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    (Original post by innerhollow)
    The environment here is very work-focused and stressed out even in 1st year, and it gets harder and harder as you go up the years. Although I love this place and wouldn't go anywhere else I can understand why a lot of people heavily dislike studying here.

    The prestige of the university comes from factors such as its world-leading research output and high-calibre graduates. Student satisfaction level has little to do with all that.
    Is Imperial really that boring?

    I still haven't got an offer (wherein the chance of happening is probably low),
    but in case I get one, I might choose another uni with lower ranking over it due
    to the bad rumours I've been hearing about it.

    It's true that it's important to put a lot of time in studying, but, in my opinion,
    there has to be a balance between relaxing/having fun and working/studying -
    otherwise, you'd just get very depressed to the point that studying becomes forced and exhausting.

    Some people would say that it's up to the student if he/she's going to have fun,
    but the environment that person is in and the people around him definitely plays
    a role in that too.... a large one, since most people make friends with the people
    around him/her.

    Is it really that bad?
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    I'm not at Imperial and have never been but I do know student satisfaction is clearly a load of rubbish.
    I'm at Newcastle and chemistry has shockingly bad student satisfaction compared to other subjects here and our teaching is brilliant, the social life here is class, the grad employment figures seem realistic enough from what I know and we have brand new teaching labs...you couldn't ask for anything more!
    I suppose it's a case of finding a Uni that suits you and ignoring league table numbers?
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    I found this review on WhatUni, it might go some way in explaining the low satisfaction levels :rofl:

    http://www.whatuni.com/degrees/showR...d=21687&z=3813

    Imperial is a cracking university, nevertheless.
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    (Original post by localfox1000)
    I found this review on WhatUni, it might go some way in explaining the low satisfaction levels :rofl:

    http://www.whatuni.com/degrees/showR...d=21687&z=3813

    Imperial is a cracking university, nevertheless.
    It's a rubbish University. The vibe and social life are horrible and it doesn't have the academic buzz of Oxbridge. Oxbridge for the prestige or Leeds/Manc/Newc etc for a good degree with girls and parties on top.

    Imperial really is a mess.
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    It's a rubbish University. The vibe and social life are horrible and it doesn't have the academic buzz of Oxbridge. Oxbridge for the prestige or Leeds/Manc/Newc etc for a good degree with girls and parties on top.

    Imperial really is a mess.
    In our culture, the value of social life and vibe are placed very high, a little too high in my opinion. At the end of the day, universities should be first judged on education standards and the 'academic buzz'( these are the things that attract the big employers, and this is usually one of the reasons the brightest/most hard working pupils go to Imperial in the first place). Also, there are fewer universities which will give you a better theoretical education than Imperial. They push students rigorously who really have to earn their degree.

    The universities you mentioned are obviously good but, given the chance, i would choose Imperial.
    Also, Imperial is in London so there is no excuse for those who complain about social life.
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    (Original post by localfox1000)
    Also, Imperial is in London so there is no excuse for those who complain about social life.
    Spoken like somebody who hasn't been to university, with due respect. A clueless 18 year old at Imperial makes friends with the dorks on his course and has little money to boot. They don't suddenly explore London alone, make a bunch of random cool friends from nowhere, then go to Chinawhite and Cafe de Paris with the 'cool crowd'. It really doesn't work like that. You may as well say to tramps, "Come on, you're in London, loads of opportunities to be a millionaire!".
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    Spoken like somebody who hasn't been to university, with due respect. A clueless 18 year old at Imperial makes friends with the dorks on his course and has little money to boot. They don't suddenly explore London alone, make a bunch of random cool friends from nowhere, then go to Chinawhite and Cafe de Paris with the 'cool crowd'. It really doesn't work like that. You may as well say to tramps, "Come on, you're in London, loads of opportunities to be a millionaire!".
    This is a very extreme analysis of what i was trying to say but I understand your basic point that despite being in London, your social circle is likely to consist of people who you are forced to spend most of your time with, that is your classmates and if they are dorks then...yeah. However, there is tons of **** to do in London, even for dorks!

    I should have read through the thread, i didn't realize i was telling an Imperial grad what Imperial is like :facepalm:
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    Spoken like somebody who hasn't been to university, with due respect. A clueless 18 year old at Imperial makes friends with the dorks on his course and has little money to boot. They don't suddenly explore London alone, make a bunch of random cool friends from nowhere, then go to Chinawhite and Cafe de Paris with the 'cool crowd'. It really doesn't work like that. You may as well say to tramps, "Come on, you're in London, loads of opportunities to be a millionaire!".
    It depends though...

    If you already lived in London, then you can just meet up with your friends and
    go clubbing/hang out with on your free time - better if they study too at city.

    If that wasn't the case...

    Make friends at Imperial with people you like (I've been to different schools and
    there hasn't been a time when I haven't found a group of people I liked to hang
    out with), hang out, go clubbing, meet people at the club and make contacts,
    hang out with those people again, those people would introduce you to their friends,
    and so on...

    Also, if you truly don't gel with anyone in Imperial... then just do it yourself.
    There's a website called meetup.com wherein people of similar interests could meetup
    and do activities - the good thing is a lot of it are in London. Same thing as above,
    make contacts, hang out, get them to bring friends, get introduced, and keep the cycle going on...
    (although, you might have to spend some cash, but I don't think it's that much).

    I think this is what most people mean when they say, "It's London anyways."
    Although, none of this are gonna happen if you don't put in the effort - you're gonna have
    to proactively socialise/start conversation with new people (e.g. at club/fresher's week/meetup.com).

    The only problem I see is would you have the time to do those if you studied at
    Imperial with all the intense workload... after all, making friends is as important
    as maintaining friendship. Perhaps, making few, but close, friends is more beneficial here.

    Also, I agree on the financial side, I just looked at the accomodations and most are
    a lot more expensive than other unis I've looked at.
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    To gain something you have to lose something
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    (Original post by Alpha-Omega)
    Is Imperial really that boring?

    I still haven't got an offer (wherein the chance of happening is probably low),
    but in case I get one, I might choose another uni with lower ranking over it due
    to the bad rumours I've been hearing about it.

    It's true that it's important to put a lot of time in studying, but, in my opinion,
    there has to be a balance between relaxing/having fun and working/studying -
    otherwise, you'd just get very depressed to the point that studying becomes forced and exhausting.

    Some people would say that it's up to the student if he/she's going to have fun,
    but the environment that person is in and the people around him definitely plays
    a role in that too.... a large one, since most people make friends with the people
    around him/her.

    Is it really that bad?
    It does depend on what subject you're doing, the scientists generally seem to cope with their workload, whereas the engineers are often dead on their feet. For any subject though, it's not 100% work and the level of extracurricular involvement here is very high. I have time to do several different social and sporting activities. Societies are run very well and you're heavily encouraged to get involved in them.

    I would never discourage anyone from coming to Imperial, I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, but it is definitely a huge workload and it can get intensely stressful at times, particularly for the older students. What you'll find it that there are some weeks where you're getting on okay and others where you'll get some nasty deadlines (usually several) all drawing near and you'll end up sacrificing pretty much all your free time to meet them. I do think there can be a bit of an unhealthy culture of hard work at times, but from my experience students try to support each other to help cope with work. One very important thing to take heed of is that it is entirely your choice how much work you want to put in, so you have to learn to make judgement calls about how much time a given piece of work is really worth.

    Wait and see if you get an offer, and if you do, feel free to message me or any of the Imperial students on this site for questions. Bear in mind that no one can crystal ball your future though.
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    (Original post by localfox1000)
    I should have read through the thread, i didn't realize i was telling an Imperial grad what Imperial is like :facepalm:
    To be fair, I'm one person; I'm probably not even a typical Imperial grad. I respond to the logic of the argument, I'm not bothered if they went to uni or Imperial.
Updated: April 2, 2012
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