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Could a unified University of London challenge Oxbridge?

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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    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.



    I think what he was trying to say was that being consistently good over a long period of time equates to prestige, in which case I agree. Oxford and Cambridge are very old universities (same with the Ivys of the USA), and because they have been consistently world-class for the duration of their age, it gives them the prestige that has made them all world-renown.


    Sure, University of London unis can be compared to Oxbridge for their individual specialisms, but because of their specialism and the lack of age they have they are nowhere near in the same league as Oxbridge for prestige, unless we're talking about employability.

    For example, if you went around the UK asking people which uni was better, Ox/Camb or UCL/Imperial/LSE/KCL/IoE...the answer eight times out of ten would be Ox/Camb. Perhaps you can argue these people have no grounds for their claim, but doesn't that show the prestige that Oxbridge has over UoL? The same would be the case if you were to ask people in the USA about our best universities.

    Likewise, if you were at a dinner party with family, to say "I'm studying at Oxford/Cambridge" is going to be met much better than "I'm studying at LSE/Imperial/KCL/UCL etc.", because everyone knows about Oxbridge, due to their history, world-class teaching and their prestige.
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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    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.
    So what? I'm sure the University of Crap Studies in Wyoming is well regarded for its BSci in Faecesology, but nobody cares about those rinky dink subjects.
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    (Original post by Harry S Truman)
    So what? I'm sure the University of Crap Studies in Wyoming is well regarded for its BSci in Faecesology, but nobody cares about those rinky dink subjects.
    Oxford and Cambridge care about both Public Health and Education, and this to the extent that each devotes an entire department to the study of these subjects.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    '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.
    They don't though.

    It's funny how people who are aiming to study/already studying at Oxford/Cambridge always try to say they are the best. I bet you are exactly the sort of person who if he misses his Cambridge offer will then say it was total crap. Fact is, though Oxford and Cambridge are the best and have great prestige overall, they aren't always the best for individual subjects.

    I meant it is a fact that Cambridge Maths is the best, Oxford PPE is the best, etc. However, in Economics, it definitely isn't the 'best' or 'most respected'.

    I don't go to Oxford, Cambridge, LSE or have offers from any of them. Fact is, LSE has the best Economics department and the best international prestige for an Economics degree. Seriously, go look at the postgraduate forum for Economics and that's where it is really a measure of how good the reputation is of the university. No one in their right mind would pick Cambridge/Oxford over LSE here when it comes to postgraduate studies. Although, Cambridge is debatable to an extent, the Oxford postgraduate degree just doesn't measure up to LSE.

    Although completely unrelated, the subject you do at Oxford+Cambridge also matters. I don't get the obsession, particularly on TSR that these graduates will have some sort of divine right to jobs. It simply isn't the case, although it helps.

    Dare I add, as I am saying the facts and not what some people here might like to hear, I'll probably be facing a barrage of negative reputation. Of course, *******s to the facts, easy to overlook if it makes you feel well, right?
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    ^Agreed with above poster. People just want to feel good. Nothing wrong with that but it's hard to find a happy medium between modesty and a true appreciation of reality. Take a common young man or woman from any working or middle class background, tell him or her they are "made for life" (which is what they come to believe is the result of an Oxbridge degree), and give them these unhealthy weird traditions and colleges, and the result is:

    Mr/Ms Pompous Ass

    I know many people who snubbed Oxbridge for Imperial, and it is remarkable how the subject people study doesn't factor in with those people who just advocate Oxbridge. There are MANY specialist colleges, not just ICL, in London, that make more sense, often, than Oxbridge. Examples: Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, and so on. It depends on whether your subject is more important to you than a feeling of superiority. I've heard a lot about Oxbridge academic training but 1) I've encountered at least one Oxbridge idiot in my life; 2) What do you think other universities train students in?
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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..
    Big NO. Use the search tool on TSR. There are a lot of complains about Imperial and LSE's teaching 'quality'.. and now you want to combine them? What a joke.
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    The fact is for undergraduate degrees, this departmental ranking stuff is mostly rubbish. Let me explain why.

    For instance Lancaster's Physics department is extremely highly ranked, possibly the highest, and yet their admissions requirements and graduate prospects are lower than equivalent courses at Oxford, Cambridge, the top London universities, etc.
    Why is this? Well it is because prestige matters. People like to think their Undergraduate degrees are oh so difficult (I am an undergrad myself), but the truth is that it is still very much school-like in what you learn. Nothing is truly cutting edge, or academically that hard, and could mostly be taught from a bunch of good text books. If this is the case, then what makes one department "better" than another?
    Research? For graduate programmes, sure, but for undergrad? I don't think so...

    The thing which puts Oxbridge head-and-shoulders above the rest is the tutorial system. People can bring up whatever rankings they like, but the truth is that I have covered a lot more material, in less time, in Oxford than the better ranked course in Imperial College.

    Secondly, prestige. If I wanted to be the absolute best Computer Scientist, perhaps I would have picked Soton, however that isn't what I want to be. Realistically they are so close anyway, things like atmosphere and prestige tip the balance. Oxford teaches 'soft skills' which are valued in the industry I want to go in to (finance), and the international prestige is important, Southampton simply isn't targeted in the same way Oxford is.

    If you want to be an academic, nobody cares that much where you got your degree. If you did well, and convince them you can do the research, it doesn't matter where you got your degree. So the real question, what does a "higher ranked department" offer that is beneficial?
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    (Original post by Picaa)
    ^Agreed with above poster. People just want to feel good. Nothing wrong with that but it's hard to find a happy medium between modesty and a true appreciation of reality. Take a common young man or woman from any working or middle class background, tell him or her they are "made for life" (which is what they come to believe is the result of an Oxbridge degree), and give them these unhealthy weird traditions and colleges, and the result is:

    Mr/Ms Pompous Ass
    How true =/

    I know many people who snubbed Oxbridge for Imperial, and it is remarkable how the subject people study doesn't factor in with those people who just advocate Oxbridge. There are MANY specialist colleges, not just ICL, in London, that make more sense, often, than Oxbridge. Examples: Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, and so on. It depends on whether your subject is more important to you than a feeling of superiority. I've heard a lot about Oxbridge academic training but 1) I've encountered at least one Oxbridge idiot in my life; 2) What do you think other universities train students in?
    What happened?
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    (Original post by Deep456)
    They don't though.

    It's funny how people who are aiming to study/already studying at Oxford/Cambridge always try to say they are the best. I bet you are exactly the sort of person who if he misses his Cambridge offer will then say it was total crap. Fact is, though Oxford and Cambridge are the best and have great prestige overall, they aren't always the best for individual subjects.

    I meant it is a fact that Cambridge Maths is the best, Oxford PPE is the best, etc. However, in Economics, it definitely isn't the 'best' or 'most respected'.

    I don't go to Oxford, Cambridge, LSE or have offers from any of them. Fact is, LSE has the best Economics department and the best international prestige for an Economics degree. Seriously, go look at the postgraduate forum for Economics and that's where it is really a measure of how good the reputation is of the university. No one in their right mind would pick Cambridge/Oxford over LSE here when it comes to postgraduate studies. Although, Cambridge is debatable to an extent, the Oxford postgraduate degree just doesn't measure up to LSE.

    Although completely unrelated, the subject you do at Oxford+Cambridge also matters. I don't get the obsession, particularly on TSR that these graduates will have some sort of divine right to jobs. It simply isn't the case, although it helps.

    Dare I add, as I am saying the facts and not what some people here might like to hear, I'll probably be facing a barrage of negative reputation. Of course, *******s to the facts, easy to overlook if it makes you feel well, right?
    I never said they were the best for every subject, I'm acknowledging that they are not but prestige (at least at undergraduate level - which is what I was talking about) is based on the whole university just as much if not more than whatever course specifically.

    I wouldn't do that, I would love to get into Cambridge, seeing as though the Maths offer is very hard to fulfil, I'm also quite prepared to be not going. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I won't care if I miss my offer but I do realise it's not the end of the world and I'll go to a different great uni instead. (Plus I think these people you're talking about who apply to Oxbridge then hate it would usually be the ones actually to be rejected by them so they hate out of spite - I don't understand why anyone would hate a university because they missed their offer for them?).

    Furthermore, there are lots of people who would choose Cambridge/Oxford post-grad econ over LSE. I'm not saying one is better than another, but you can't act as if LSE's prestige is leagues above that of Oxbridge, especially when looking at the bigger picture (worldwide).

    The subject doesn't matter wildly for most universities (unless you're doing a really crap degree - difference is Oxford nor Cambridge do many of these degrees - all of them are quite academically rigorous, that's all) unless you're going for a job which requires some specialist knowledge/skills. I think you're exaggerating about people saying that you are set for life if you're an Oxbridge graduate - and if there really are these people (and they're older than 15 years old) then I agree they're morons.

    And you are not talking about facts, no matter how concrete you think these opinions are that's all they are, opinions.
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    (Original post by Deep456)
    They don't though.

    It's funny how people who are aiming to study/already studying at Oxford/Cambridge always try to say they are the best. I bet you are exactly the sort of person who if he misses his Cambridge offer will then say it was total crap. Fact is, though Oxford and Cambridge are the best and have great prestige overall, they aren't always the best for individual subjects.

    I meant it is a fact that Cambridge Maths is the best, Oxford PPE is the best, etc. However, in Economics, it definitely isn't the 'best' or 'most respected'.

    I don't go to Oxford, Cambridge, LSE or have offers from any of them. Fact is, LSE has the best Economics department and the best international prestige for an Economics degree. Seriously, go look at the postgraduate forum for Economics and that's where it is really a measure of how good the reputation is of the university. No one in their right mind would pick Cambridge/Oxford over LSE here when it comes to postgraduate studies. Although, Cambridge is debatable to an extent, the Oxford postgraduate degree just doesn't measure up to LSE.

    Although completely unrelated, the subject you do at Oxford+Cambridge also matters. I don't get the obsession, particularly on TSR that these graduates will have some sort of divine right to jobs. It simply isn't the case, although it helps.

    Dare I add, as I am saying the facts and not what some people here might like to hear, I'll probably be facing a barrage of negative reputation. Of course, *******s to the facts, easy to overlook if it makes you feel well, right?
    Just to be clear you argument is completely limited to postgrad teaching and research? Oxbridge teaching at undergrad for any subject (including Economics) is far superior to that of LSE's simply because they don't have any formal type of tutorials/supervisions.
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    no. putting something good (90%) and not as good (70%) together will only make things worst (80%) and drag down the good

    some colleges at UoL are good but some are not as good
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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.
    Add to that the inflated egos of Oxbridge, no a unified London cannot match Oxbridge - on EGO!

    Check this out:

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...uition-fees.do

    It's about fees in London. The picture is Oxford!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How many Imperial grads end up working in the media? Obviously they're not going to get the same amount of publicity as Oxbridge.

    I dare say, if they did, they would not be any worse.

    Any wonder how St. Andrews has shot up league tables in recent years?
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    wow only on the student room can there be a thread which essentially says LSE/Imperial are nothing compared to Oxbridge.

    I wonder what you guys think of... lower ranked.... russell... group unis!
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    (Original post by Reminisce)
    Oxbridge's humanities and arts are better than Imperial's.
    You do know that Imperial doesn't do any arts and humanities subjects, right?
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    (Original post by vedderfan94)
    You do know that Imperial doesn't do any arts and humanities subjects, right?
    Sums up this thread nicely.
    Yes oxbridge are the best two universities in the UK but there's a lot of misguided and clearly uninformed judgments on this thread.
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    (Original post by funkydee)
    wow only on the student room can there be a thread which essentially says LSE/Imperial are nothing compared to Oxbridge.

    I wonder what you guys think of... lower ranked.... russell... group unis!
    Most people on here acknowledge that Imperial can challenge Oxbridge in science and engineering and LSE can challenge Oxbridge in the social sciences.

    The few who completely disregard any degrees from UK universities other than Oxford/Cambridge are usually Oxbridge students who have a massive ego because they did their degree there (I'm in no way saying that all Oxbridge students are, as only a small proportion have this sort of view).
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    (Original post by vedderfan94)
    Most people on here acknowledge that Imperial can challenge Oxbridge in science and engineering and LSE can challenge Oxbridge in the social sciences.

    The few who completely disregard any degrees from UK universities other than Oxford/Cambridge are usually Oxbridge students who have a massive ego because they did their degree there (I'm in no way saying that all Oxbridge students are, as only a small proportion have this sort of view).
    no its usually trolls who do this. The people on here who chat all the bull****, have probably never set foot in an Oxbridge college, or are just trying to be provocative. It applies for other universities aswell tbh, you probably get a similar amount of LSE students who think they are the dog's bullock in comparision, to Warwick, Durham, UCL,etc.
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    (Original post by vedderfan94)
    You do know that Imperial doesn't do any arts and humanities subjects, right?
    He will do, yes.
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    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    no its usually trolls who do this. The people on here who chat all the bull****, have probably never set foot in an Oxbridge college, or are just trying to be provocative. It applies for other universities aswell tbh, you probably get a similar amount of LSE students who think they are the dog's bullock in comparision, to Warwick, Durham, UCL,etc.
    Quite right.
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    Real talk - had UCL and Imperial merged back in 2002 it would have created the UK's (and indeed Europe's) top university. It had (in 2002) potentially twice the research income of Oxford or Cambridge, more researchers, more research students and more of everything.

    It would have left Oxbridge way behind - it would have rivalled HYPMS in magnitude.

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