(Original post by kingslaw)
On the train on the way back from Newcastle after doing some work, I saw that it stopped at Durham. I have to say it is a beautiful place, especially on this clear winters day. I was prepared to accept that it wasnt going to be as exciting as Manchester, or as violent as Stockport on a Friday outside McDonalds and Superbowl.
I then went home and took another look at Durham Uni prospectus (I was just starting to think about applying for law courses at the time) and was greeted with the bold statement 'usually considered the prime alternative to Oxbridge'. Obviously this impressed me.
However, Durham is a place that begins to show a different side when you do some research. Firstly, its famous (and rightly so) for its public school boy image. However, many people are willing to overcome this if it means a good degree at the end. Secondly, and more importantly perhaps, it has an incredibly inflated sense of its own importance. It is a good place, but it is not THE alternative to Oxbridge whatsoever. It is on an equal footing with Bristol, Nottingham, UCL, Imperial, Kings, LSE, Warwick, and many others.
This was only reinforced when on my work-experience I was asking a lady who was regional manager of a large law firm how she views various universities. She described Durham students as 'distanced from real working life' and 'occasionaly stuffy and hard to get on with'.