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Is it really foolish of to reject top 10/Russell Group universities?

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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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    I have had offers from Exeter, Southampton, Newcastle, Royal Holloway and Kent for English and after ages of contemplation, I had to firm Royal Holloway. It was a VERY tough choice between Exeter and Royal Holloway.

    Everyone, including my teachers have said that I am a 'fool' for rejecting Russell Group universities like Exeter, Southampton and Newcastle for RHUL. Exeter is one of the top 10 in the country, while RHUL is #30 ish. For English, Exeter is ranked #7 in the UK while RHUL is in the 30s.

    The main reason why I choose RHUL is because I liked the course structure and the combination with Creative Writing. The campus is breathtaking and local area especially Windsor is peaceful and quiet. I am not a huge party-goer or clubbing fan so RHUL seemed the perfect choice for me. It is only a 40-minute train ride away from London.

    However, people keep on telling me that I will regret for not firming Exeter when I graduate as there is a vast contrast between Exeter and RHUL and employers might not favour a 'mid-tier' university like RHUL.

    I am really, really confused. Have I really made the wrong decision in firming Royal Holloway and am I really going to regret this decision in three years?
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    If the only thing that tempted you to choose Exeter instead of Royal Holloway was because overall it's more reputable, then I think you've made the right decision to go to RHUL instead, since you prefer their location, campus, course structure and course reputation.

    There may be some truth in the whole overall reputation debate, especially if you're going to find a job in future that's not specifically related to your degree. However, if you want a career that's related to English/Creative Writing (I dunno, journalism?) then your prospective employers would know which unis are best for that particular course. In other words, a degree at RHUL would be much better than Exeter. But tbh I think this issue of reputable uni vs. reputable course only really affects your first job, after that employers tend to look a lot more at what you've done in your first employment rather than where you went to uni, and eventually where you went to uni wouldn't even matter.

    Since you've firmed RHUL anyway, there's no point worrying about it now (even before you've started!) It's certainly not disastrous and it seems like you'd enjoy it a lot there =)

    Source: Myself, I've had lots of trouble deciding between Nottingham, Warwick or Gap Year + reapply!
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    Think of it like this: it's three years of your life. University is obviously there for you to further your education, but it's frequently cited by many as the best years of their life, and if you prefer the Royal Holloway course, then by all means go for it. (I've been looking into RHUL myself and it seems like a lovely university; very quiet.)

    Of course, I know next to nothing about league tables and employment prospects post-uni. What are you planning to do with your degree? (Though English leaves so many options open...)
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    This is why I chose Kingston over Kings for Nursing. There was something about it that I liked more than Kings. I haven't looked back
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    (Original post by Ra Ra Ra)
    Think of it like this: it's three years of your life.
    Personally, I would have thought of it like this "It's only three years of your life".

    The time a person spends in post-university employment is probably a lot longer than that, up to 40 years or so. So I think it's more sensible to choose a university and a degree based on the effect it will have on those 40 years (i.e. it will help you get the career you want) in priority to the effect it will have on your 3 years of enjoyment at university.
    I chose to go to the more "reputable" university rather than the one I would have enjoyed myself at. True, I absolutely hated university life (for the most part), but 3 years later, now that it's over, I don't regret it one bit.

    Just my opinion though.
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    (Original post by Desertanium)
    I have had offers from Exeter, Southampton, Newcastle, Royal Holloway and Kent for English and after ages of contemplation, I had to firm Royal Holloway. It was a VERY tough choice between Exeter and Royal Holloway.

    Everyone, including my teachers have said that I am a 'fool' for rejecting Russell Group universities like Exeter, Southampton and Newcastle for RHUL. Exeter is one of the top 10 in the country, while RHUL is #30 ish. For English, Exeter is ranked #7 in the UK while RHUL is in the 30s.

    The main reason why I choose RHUL is because I liked the course structure and the combination with Creative Writing. The campus is breathtaking and local area especially Windsor is peaceful and quiet. I am not a huge party-goer or clubbing fan so RHUL seemed the perfect choice for me. It is only a 40-minute train ride away from London.

    However, people keep on telling me that I will regret for not firming Exeter when I graduate as there is a vast contrast between Exeter and RHUL and employers might not favour a 'mid-tier' university like RHUL.

    I am really, really confused. Have I really made the wrong decision in firming Royal Holloway and am I really going to regret this decision in three years?
    If you want to do creative writing, then surely the reputation of the university isn't important at all, just the quality of your writing.

    If you've picked the course you think will help you develop your skills the most, then that is the most important when pursuing a creative subject, as nobody cares what uni you went to, just how good your work is.
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    Anyone else?
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    I rejected Manchester, Durham and Birmingham in favour of Lancaster and everyone thought I was stupid for doing so (even though its a better business school than all the others).

    Just leave it, you've already made the choice, nothing you can do now but to study somewhere that actually makes you happy
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    youve got reasons which is more than most students apart from "times said it was good"
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    and remember - should you set your hart on Exeter - you have one week to change your firmed uni. You might have to call UCAS though.
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    A first from RH is going to be far more desirable than a 2:2 from Exeter. You're going to do well wherever you feel most comfortable and enjoy the most.

    I was reliably told in sixth form that unless you're looking at Oxbridge and a select other few like UCL, then it doesn't make a whole heap of difference. Royal Holloway is by no stretch a bad university, and UoL has a certain prestige about it too, mainly due to the city, but nevertheless, still pretty good.
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    Thanks all for the insight. But overall, would you say there is a massive contrast between Royal Holloway and Exeter/Southampton/Newcastle? I am hoping to do a PGCE (really have my heart set at Durham!) and do you think Durham would feel I am an 'inferior' candidate in contrast to someone who has a degree from Exeter?
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    (Original post by Desertanium)
    Thanks all for the insight. But overall, would you say there is a massive contrast between Royal Holloway and Exeter/Southampton/Newcastle? I am hoping to do a PGCE (really have my heart set at Durham!) and do you think Durham would feel I am an 'inferior' candidate in contrast to someone who has a degree from Exeter?
    I'd say there's quite a big contrast. Exeter is much better than the other 3.

    And yes, I would say Durham would think so at 1st glance. But it depends on your motivation and academic results as well as your passion and ECs and all the rest of the rubbish.....
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    i rejected Warwick uni and went to Coventry. Don't regret it in the slightest as the mid tier uni's are often more interested in your employability and making you employable rather than pure academics....
    Out of my 10 close friends the 4 of us at Cov all have job offers... the 4 at 'russel group' unis have no offers.

    Go where you will enjoy yourself, Uni rankings aren't the be all and end all
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    Royal hollaway is still a good university. :|
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    (Original post by Desertanium)
    Thanks all for the insight. But overall, would you say there is a massive contrast between Royal Holloway and Exeter/Southampton/Newcastle? I am hoping to do a PGCE (really have my heart set at Durham!) and do you think Durham would feel I am an 'inferior' candidate in contrast to someone who has a degree from Exeter?

    You'll only be 'inferior' if you get a 2.2 or below. AFAIR, There's a person on the postgrad section of the website, who's studying for a masters at Oxford, and she(?) went to London Metropolitian university, for her(?) undergrad. Don't worry, just think about how you are going to get your 1st (or 2:1) from Royal Hollaway.
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    Surprised no one else has pointed this out but Exeter is not actually that much better than RHUL
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    (Original post by Jackso)
    Surprised no one else has pointed this out but Exeter is not actually that much better than RHUL
    Very true. Exeter didn't even get into the top 40s in league tables until recently. It was ranked 46th in 2005 (I'm not trolling)...to me it's bloody overrated.

    RHUL is just as good a University.
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    Nah. I got all five offers from my chosen universities... four of them were in the Russel group and one of them wasn't. Ended up going with the one that wasn't.
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    (Original post by Desertanium)
    I have had offers from Exeter, Southampton, Newcastle, Royal Holloway and Kent for English and after ages of contemplation, I had to firm Royal Holloway. It was a VERY tough choice between Exeter and Royal Holloway.

    Everyone, including my teachers have said that I am a 'fool' for rejecting Russell Group universities like Exeter, Southampton and Newcastle for RHUL. Exeter is one of the top 10 in the country, while RHUL is #30 ish. For English, Exeter is ranked #7 in the UK while RHUL is in the 30s.

    The main reason why I choose RHUL is because I liked the course structure and the combination with Creative Writing. The campus is breathtaking and local area especially Windsor is peaceful and quiet. I am not a huge party-goer or clubbing fan so RHUL seemed the perfect choice for me. It is only a 40-minute train ride away from London.

    However, people keep on telling me that I will regret for not firming Exeter when I graduate as there is a vast contrast between Exeter and RHUL and employers might not favour a 'mid-tier' university like RHUL.

    I am really, really confused. Have I really made the wrong decision in firming Royal Holloway and am I really going to regret this decision in three years?
    Newcastle is one of the top 20 in the Uk : go there !!!

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