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Could a unified University of London challenge Oxbridge?

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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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    oh my days, people on this thread are silly. LSE> oxbridge for the social sciences, imperial>oxford for the physical sciences, UCL is just an all round great school, 40% of Oxbridge is their brand name. There is no need for a unified university of london, if you bother to look at any reputable world rankings, i.e not the guardian, then you'd see this.
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    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    Stupid question. Imperial is below Oxbridge on long-term average research ratings and that is before you take into account Nobel Prizes, for example. They could never match the standard of undergraduate studies at Oxbridge. LSE is stuffed with foreign students who can't even speak English and whilst the 'average' research rating at LSE is marginally higher than at Oxford, Oxford has around twice as many academics assessed. Oxbridge Economists command higher average salaries and are significantly brighter, those at LSE are, whether you like it or not, a bunch of Oxbridge rejects who can't even write an essay and who know are doing an easy degree because they can't do a real one.
    Do you do economics at Oxford or Cambridge? If you don't, stfu, if you do, unlucky on their admissions for recruiting you.
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    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    i've been thinking about this for a while, and thought I'd ask on here. Does anyone think that if (LSE, UCL, Imperial) merged to form one institution they could challenge Oxbridge. in terms of research quality/quality of undergrad teaching and global reputation since each school alone are seen as making up the top 5 UK universities and this way they could focus solely on the aspect where they excel. So Imperial (Sciences and Maths) LSE(social sciences) and UCL could offer the humanties (English, History,etc..

    It obviously wouldn't be able to compete in terms of prestige and history, but does anyone think that It could challenge on other grounds and be an actual peer to Oxford and Cambridge, unlike now where they are in their own universe.
    Each of them does rival Oxbridge in certain spheres. What benefit would uniting them bring? It might also be worth pointing out that UCL rivals Imperial and LSE for certain subjects, such as medicine and law respectively. How would a merger of these departments work? Restructuring and conglomerating these three universities would be a very difficult procedure; it's not a simple case of sticking them together.

    More importantly, the only reason Oxford and Cambridge are seen as so far removed from other universities by most people is purely on the basis that other people think the same. It's self-perpetuating. Yeah, they're the best for the majority of subjects, but the lead is marginal in many cases. The yawning chasm most people perceive is fictitious.
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    (Original post by hockeyjoe)
    oh my days, people on this thread are silly. LSE> oxbridge for the social sciences, imperial>oxford for the physical sciences, UCL is just an all round great school, 40% of Oxbridge is their brand name. There is no need for a unified university of london, if you bother to look at any reputable world rankings, i.e not the guardian, then you'd see this.
    What are you talking about? LSE is not universally better than Oxford for the social sciences.. Oxford PPE or Law blows any form of social science at LSE out of the proverbial water. Imperial- You may have a point. UCL is not 'great' at everything, so I'd rethink that one. Where did you get the figure 40% from guessing its just arbitary? Oxbridge do not rely on their brand name, I would almost say that this accusation is more fitting for LSE, where I've been told undergraduate teaching is terrible and I know many people who are underwhelmed there. Oxbridge offer tutorials with top notch academics and are home to some of the greatest academics, same can also be said for LSE,etc.

    LSE fares terribly in international ranking, so your point only stands for UCL and Imperial.

    I'm not even a Oxbridge fanboy, but it riles me when people try and argue that they leave on their 'brand name'/
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    Perhaps if the UoL universities merged, and then cut all the departments that were duplicated whilst keeping their world-class institutions, it would pose a significant challenge to Oxbridge. Otherwise the overall quality would just be the average of all the existing institutions.

    Three things we have to distinguish - 1) The quality of applicants 2) The quality of research 3) The quality of teaching.

    Oxbridge works because it has all three; it's prestige supplies it with 1) and 2), and its long-term endowments gives it the ability to provide 3), which is of course helped by the presence of good researchers.

    I believe to build the same kind of base would take a while, but is definitely possible if they trimmed all the fat/excess departments and cut down their student numbers. Which of course isn't going to happen.
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    (Original post by hockeyjoe)
    oh my days, people on this thread are silly. LSE> oxbridge for the social sciences, imperial>oxford for the physical sciences, UCL is just an all round great school, 40% of Oxbridge is their brand name. There is no need for a unified university of london, if you bother to look at any reputable world rankings, i.e not the guardian, then you'd see this.
    That's the thing, LSE might be better than Oxbridge in some social sciences because they specialise in it but they have a non-existent physical and biological science department so they can't compare there. I'll take your word for it that Imperial and UCL may be better in some aspects of the sciences than Oxford or Cambridge but Oxbridge's humanities and arts are better than Imperial's.

    Basically, they are not better than Oxford or Cambridge individually because they are quite specialised whereas them two are very good overall but together, perhaps the London Unis will surpass them.

    Referring to the highlighted part, you can't say outright that each INDIVIDUALLY surpasses Oxbridge due to the reason above.
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    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    You are right in certain respects, LSE does fare very badly in international rankings and you are right about PPE. Oxbridge undergraduate degrees blow all the others out of the water, but the picture is somewhat more level when it comes to research. LSE and Imperial are both about branding one has to say.

    The other point to mention is that a HUGE proportion of top academics at other universities have Oxbridge undergraduate or postgraduate degrees, I'd bet if degree origin was worked into the RAE you'd get a much more accurate picture of the true worth of institutions.

    Again, have a look at these History results and have a giggle:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...e-2008-history
    Since when did Imperial do History
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    (Original post by SunderX)
    Perhaps if the UoL universities merged, and then cut all the departments that were duplicated whilst keeping their world-class institutions, it would pose a significant challenge to Oxbridge. Otherwise the overall quality would just be the average of all the existing institutions.

    Three things we have to distinguish - 1) The quality of applicants 2) The quality of research 3) The quality of teaching.

    Oxbridge works because it has all three; it's prestige supplies it with 1) and 2), and its long-term endowments gives it the ability to provide 3), which is of course helped by the presence of good researchers.

    I believe to build the same kind of base would take a while, but is definitely possible if they trimmed all the fat/excess departments and cut down their student numbers. Which of course isn't going to happen.
    The problem being that the top departments across all three universities are not mutually exclusive. There are numerous significant overlaps. It's unclear how that would be dealt with in the event of a merger. I'd also imagine that even a merger would not eradicate weak areas. Perhaps that would be addressed in time, though certainly not through Malcolm Grant's cutthroat approach.
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    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    Imperial/UCL do not surpass Oxbridge on a long-term basis for research ratings. When you factor in where those academics got their degrees, you'll find that Oxbridge whips all the others.

    Again:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...e-2008-history

    Explain.

    As has been discussed on this thread, the Guardian is quite biased towards Oxbridge.

    Personally, I feel a unified UofL wouldn't make what they already have any better, instead it could cause the constituent 'colleges' to get worse as power is centralized and taken away firm professors that, quite arguably, nmoe what they're actually doing.

    UCL, KCL and LSE, along with others, are widely known to be world leaders in their respective fields. The style of teaching is so different between these institutions and Oxbridge that I think quantifying their comparison in a league table is almost infantile.
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    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    Imperial/UCL do not surpass Oxbridge on a long-term basis for research ratings. When you factor in where those academics got their degrees, you'll find that Oxbridge whips all the others.

    Again:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...e-2008-history

    Explain.
    I didn't count research, only looked at undergraduate studies

    Deep down I think Oxbridge (or more accurately Oxford) is awesome (so there's no need to tell me that!) and provided I meet my condition, I can't wait to study there but thinking about this rationally the London Universities have valuable qualities comparable to Oxbridge.
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    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    RAE is a very dubious measure. Do you really believe that Essex is better for Economics than Oxbridge ? I don't, it's rubbish. The undergraduate students could not hold a torch to their peers elsewhere and the postgraduate courses are just a money-making scam. I lived in Colchester for a while - it's bogus.

    You will also note that Oxford has submitted almost twice as many academics as LSE, I daresay that is VERY relevant, but feel free to distort statistics as those at LSE are famous for. Oxford Brookes beat Oxford a few years ago, the former put up 10 academics for assessment and the latter 110.

    For an illustration of what garbage the RAE is, Imperial College is top of the country for History by the same measure - I suggest you look at the column 'FTE Category A staff submitted' and you'll work out why:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...e-2008-history
    Fair point.

    I am NOT at LSE nor do I have an offer from LSE.

    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    Garbage if you refer to undergraduate studies, postgraduate and you might have a point.
    I was talking mainly about postgraduate hence why I referred to it specifically in my post. Here, LSE is definitely the best.

    As for undergraduate it depends what you want, you will learn more at Oxford E+M but LSE Economics has better prospects in terms of employment. Cambridge from what I have heard, has the best undergraduate course overall.
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    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    You have no basis regarding the Guardian. That said, it's a left-wing nutter rag. Again, how did Imperial and Liverpool top the tables for History ?
    I don't know, as far as I'm aware Imperial was geared towards the sciences so that's a bit of an anomaly. Plus, one case doesn't disprove a bias- that's like saying one 90 year old smoker means lighting up is good for you.

    Awway form the guardian, league tables tend to be very subjective.
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    (Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
    You have no basis regarding the Guardian. That said, it's a left-wing nutter rag. Again, how did Imperial and Liverpool top the tables for History ?
    I don't know, as far as I'm aware Imperial was geared towards the sciences so that's a bit of an anomaly. Plus, one case doesn't disprove a bias- that's like saying one 90 year old smoker means lighting up is good for you.

    Awway form the guardian, league tables tend to be very subjective anyway.
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    Academically it's not that big a deal to challenge Oxbridge. Especially in the postgrad stakes, where Oxbridge isn't really ahead of the other good universities in this country. However there's no way UoL could compete with the freaky customs of Oxford colleges and the great architecture of Oxford buildings. Oxbridge is like Hogwarts(?) School of Magic, and has centuries of mystique around it. And in the outside world it's perceived as good even if your Oxbridge degree is a barely-scraped third in the culinary arts (if they teach that.. whatever). Seriously though, for undergraduate courses, Oxbridge has a slight advantage but in the postgraduate courses and for research, it doesn't really have one apart from the snob factor. You actually have to live in the locality to study there. And more people live in London.

    EDIT: I considered both Oxford and Cambridge but decided it was negative returns on investment having to go and move there for my degree while at the same time not necessarily having the best resources for my field.
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    (Original post by Deep456)
    Fair point.

    I am NOT at LSE nor do I have an offer from LSE.



    I was talking mainly about postgraduate hence why I referred to it specifically in my post. Here, LSE is definitely the best.

    As for undergraduate it depends what you want, you will learn more at Oxford E+M but LSE Economics has better prospects in terms of employment. Cambridge from what I have heard, has the best undergraduate course overall.
    Lols interested to know how you came up with that conclusion. Just because LSE is in London?
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    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    What are you talking about? LSE is not universally better than Oxford for the social sciences.. Oxford PPE or Law blows any form of social science at LSE out of the proverbial water. Imperial- You may have a point. UCL is not 'great' at everything, so I'd rethink that one. Where did you get the figure 40% from guessing its just arbitary? Oxbridge do not rely on their brand name, I would almost say that this accusation is more fitting for LSE, where I've been told undergraduate teaching is terrible and I know many people who are underwhelmed there. Oxbridge offer tutorials with top notch academics and are home to some of the greatest academics, same can also be said for LSE,etc.

    LSE fares terribly in international ranking, so your point only stands for UCL and Imperial.

    I'm not even a Oxbridge fanboy, but it riles me when people try and argue that they leave on their 'brand name'/
    Sorry, I disagree
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    (Original post by Deep456)
    LSE has the best postgraduate courses in the UK for Economics, it is a fact.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...d-econometrics

    What would an historian know anyway? Or do you have extensive knowledge in Economics? :rolleyes:

    Stick to what you are good at instead of posting useless gifs and making an useless contribution to a thread.
    'Prestigious' and 'best' are two wildly different things. Even if LSE Economics was the best Econ course around, Cambridge and Oxford hold the better prestige.


    Besides, I don't understand the obsession on this forum to 'overthrow' Oxbridge as if they are some sort of tyrannical university duo. Unless universities can suddenly become older (one major attribute of Oxbridge's prestige) then you won't see any university that's as prestigious in at least our lifetime.
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    (Original post by dogmatichurricane)
    Lols interested to know how you came up with that conclusion. Just because LSE is in London?
    Could be right, though I doubt there's much in it. LSE students are barraged with info on applying to banks, and banks visit more often than they would Oxbridge since they know 90% of LSE students are wannabe bankers.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Unless universities can suddenly become older (one major attribute of Oxbridge's prestige) then you won't see any university that's as prestigious in at least our lifetime.
    I don't know about others but the age of the institution wouldn't much bear on my perception of its prestige. To the limited extent that this would matter for me, it might be for what's perhaps implied in terms of architecture, but that's the whole of it. Still I'd sooner go to modern Warwick than ancient Aberdeen, for example, and would certainly choose Stanford over Dartmouth or Cornell.

    I'm not disputing Oxbridge's prestige, but I would hope that vintage has very little to do with it. And so would the university, I think, since that idea that prestige is derived from static circumstance might encourage complacency. I'd sooner as well be at St Catherine's Oxford than in the castle at Durham. Oxbridge is prestigious because it's good, and will and should be prestigious only for as long as it is that.


    Incidentally, there are institutions in the UoL not yet mentioned on this thread which are recognised in their fields as better, and therefore in that limited but important sense more prestigious, than Oxbridge. The LSHTM is absolutely the top place to go (even globally) for the courses it teaches and which are as well taught at Oxbridge, and similarly for the IoE and the Courtauld Institute. If two epidemiologists meet, the one with qualifications from the LSHTM has bragging rights over the chap from Oxbridge. For educationalists: IoE>Anywhere else.

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