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Are there any truly 'bad' universities in the UK? Watch

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    (Original post by spidergareth)
    I know for a fact HSBC held an employment presentation at Oxford Brookes this year. Admittedly, you are more likely to get employed by them if you go to Oxford proper but it is naive to say that employers simply overlook lower ranked universities.

    This is really the problem, people tend to measure the employment prospect of universities by how many people go into IB, Ernst & Young, PwC et al, rather than examining the other areas that graduates go on to do well in and how having a degree affects their long term career prospects. For example, the university of Abertay Dundee runs one of the best Computer game design courses in the country with better employment prospects than most computer science degrees, yet it is still classed as a 'bad university'.

    I think the way we measure the importance of a degree is flawed and it is annoying that there is so little academic research on the matter.
    I know for a fact that HSBC take off points from your application if you are not from their target group of universities. I don't think the measurement of grad prospects is an issue, people who do their research into Abertay will know about their links with Sony etc, but then to say any degree from Abertay is the same as any from Glasgow is just misleading(as people seem to do when quoting anecdotes like "my friend from here is on 30k") when clearly Abertay has a small niche that it leads in but falls well behind in others. Btw, the computer games course at Abertay isn't really the same as a CS course, and it does not have better employment prospects within all CS places (it does with gaming companies) than most others. There is no massive influx of Abertay grads into Google, Amazon and MS, they still hire mostly from the top CS places(Imperial, Edinburgh, Oxbridge).
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    (Original post by Doubledog)
    I don't know when the satisfaction stats are collected-presumably at the end of the course and before the reality of unemployment has kicked in.I don't understand why someone would be satisfied when they're unemployed or working in a supermarket stacking shelves when they've graduated in Law and ended up with a long term debt of 20k.According to the figures you've quoted, two thirds of Law graduates at Keele didn't get graduate jobs. I don't know which year these stats are for, but I suppose they aren't completely up to date-are they for 2009?If so, things will be worse now.
    It's true that some people will be better off with a degree but a lot - it looks like more than half- won't be better off.
    Im not sure what year the stats are for, but I guess its for 2009. You also have to remmember that people continue their studies after grad, but when I graduate in 2014 things should be looking better.
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    This is the equivalent of saying because Abertay Dundee has a better reputation amongst gaming companies than Edinburgh or Glasgow it offers better career prospects in general. Assuming that a higher percentage of Edinburgh engineering grads aren't just going into other highly paying sectors (like IB), Heriot Watt may be good for someone wanting to go into an engineering job (and even that seems debatable if the list of places visiting both universities is anything to go by)
    May I ask from you where have seen these lists? Even if you just pulled it out of your ass (which I doubt), it's still not debatable at all because I actually network with recruiters from these industries.

    but overall which has the better reputation amongst the top employers?
    I don't know, because I don't know what you mean by top employer, but I'd imagine that Shell, Chevron, Baker Hughes and other large oil companies count judging by the salaries and other benefits available.
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    I know for a fact that HSBC take off points from your application if you are not from their target group of universities. I don't think the measurement of grad prospects is an issue, people who do their research into Abertay will know about their links with Sony etc, but then to say any degree from Abertay is the same as any from Glasgow is just misleading(as people seem to do when quoting anecdotes like "my friend from here is on 30k") when clearly Abertay has a small niche that it leads in but falls well behind in others.
    Wouldn't giving a presentation at brookes suggest it is in the 'target group'? Why waste the time and money to prepare a talk if you are going to automatically disqualify any applications you receive as a result?

    Anecdotal evidence is BS, but it is equally used by people trying to knock ex-polys and people trying to big them up. I didn't say any degree from abertay is 'better' than any other, but if it can produce a fantastic economically productive and competitive course it does suggest that ex-polys are not just places where people go to get stoned for 3 years.

    My point is that we have a diverse higher education sector, some universities are much better at doing things than others, some do things in different ways than others. I think all too often people ignore the things that new universities excell at.
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    (Original post by Swimmer)
    End of day a degree is a degree. I rather have a degree then not have one. Look at data below, provided by Unistats, you still think Northampton is a bad choice?



    Uni Average UCAS points achieved Sort by % of employed with grad job Sort by % Students satisfied


    THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON 220 45% 89%

    NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY 300 47% Not enough data

    UNIVERSITY OF LINCOLN 275 40% 89%

    KEELE UNIVERSITY 310 35% 89%

    OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY 340 40% 85%

    UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK 465 55% 90%
    These statistics are meaningless I am afraid.

    This is their criteria

    A survey sent out to students, six months after they graduated, asks the details of any employment. The job is then classified against the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) framework. Each of the jobs in the SOC framework is allocated a classification of 'graduate', 'non-graduate' or 'unknown'. All students included in this pie chart must have completed their course successfully.

    'Graduate job': means those students that hold a graduate job as a percentage of those that are currently in employment.

    'Non-graduate job': means those students that do not hold a job classified as a 'graduate job', as a percentage of those that are currently in employment.

    Unknown: means those students that are employed six months after graduating where the job they hold cannot be classified as either a 'graduate' or 'non-graduate' job.
    So people doing the LPC or BTPC or masters don't count at all. Nor do the unemployed.

    Anyone working in a secretarial or paralegal capacity in a law firm is in non-graduate employment.

    You ask whether Northampton is a bad choice? Its offer is significantly lower than than your others and so I can see why you have included it.

    Would you have been better doing another degree? The employment stats for law graduates, who do not go on to be lawyers, are far better than for many other arts and social science graduates.

    Would you have been better trying to get a job with A levels and then doing a degree part-time or full time later? Possibly, but in the present market you may be better spending three years out of it.

    Should you go to Northampton is you have the chance of one of the other universities on the list. Probably not.
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    This is the equivalent of saying because Abertay Dundee has a better reputation amongst gaming companies than Edinburgh or Glasgow it offers better career prospects in general. Assuming that a higher percentage of Edinburgh engineering grads aren't just going into other highly paying sectors (like IB), Heriot Watt may be good for someone wanting to go into an engineering job (and even that seems debatable if the list of places visiting both universities is anything to go by), but overall which has the better reputation amongst the top employers?
    As an individual faced with a decision about where to go the average is irrelevant to you - you'll be choosing a particular course at a particular institution with a particular employment sector in mind.
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    I know for a fact that HSBC take off points from your application if you are not from their target group of universities.
    Do you really mean HSBC or do you mean one department within HSBC?

    Do you believe that their HR, marketing and property management departments recruit in the same places as their investment banking front offices?
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    (Original post by Smack)
    May I ask from you where have seen these lists? Even if you just pulled it out of your ass (which I doubt), it's still not debatable at all because I actually network with recruiters from these industries.



    I don't know, because I don't know what you mean by top employer, but I'd imagine that Shell, Chevron, Baker Hughes and other large oil companies count judging by the salaries and other benefits available.
    I got the lists off their career service and department sites, personal contacts in some firms in various sectors and visiting a few of their fairs.
    Shell and co form a subset of top employers. It also includes IBs, Big 4 accountants, IT places like Google and MS, GSK, Rolls-Royce etc. Basically the FTSE 100 and Times 100 list.
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    (Original post by spidergareth)
    Wouldn't giving a presentation at brookes suggest it is in the 'target group'? Why waste the time and money to prepare a talk if you are going to automatically disqualify any applications you receive as a result?
    Its more of a "cut off points because you are not from a certain list" than an auto disqualification.
    The target group for IBs tends to be top 10 universities. They may visit other places (DB once visited Dundee, they still take 5 points off your application if you are from there; guess how many Dundee grads they recruited this year) but that is not where the vast majority of their grads come from.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Do you really mean HSBC or do you mean one department within HSBC?

    Do you believe that their HR, marketing and property management departments recruit in the same places as their investment banking front offices?
    I meant the IB arm of HSBC.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    As an individual faced with a decision about where to go the average is irrelevant to you - you'll be choosing a particular course at a particular institution with a particular employment sector in mind.
    How many people do you think end up working in the sector at 22 they wanted to work in when they started at 18? Always best to keep your options and wishes open isn't it?
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    I meant the IB arm of HSBC.
    Lo and behold!

    Every discussion on graduate prospects on TSR comes back to investment banking!
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    Btw, the computer games course at Abertay isn't really the same as a CS course, and it does not have better employment prospects within all CS places (it does with gaming companies) than most others. There is no massive influx of Abertay grads into Google, Amazon and MS, they still hire mostly from the top CS places(Imperial, Edinburgh, Oxbridge).
    Some people that do CS go into the games industry. Seeing as CS grads recently had only slightly better employment prospects than media studies grads in one survey, I think a course that is so respected within the industry proves invaluable when trying to get a job with companies. I feel you are missing my point which is that ex-polys tend to be much better at game design courses than traditional universities and I tihnk this specialization will pay off. (indeed it has already payed off.) Therefore ex-polys are not worthless.

    EDIT: and before anyone says 'its just one course'. No it isn't. I just can't be bothered to type the other numerous examples, perhaps I will when i return.
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    How many people do you think end up working in the sector at 22 they wanted to work in when they started at 18? Always best to keep your options and wishes open isn't it?
    I dunno - at a wild guess probably quite a lot of Herriot-watt's brewing graduates and very few aspiring investment bankers.
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    I honestly don't know if there is such a thing as a good or bad uni. I have no idea what I would base it on and I definitely don't know enough about any uni to try and judge. I do know that some unis have better reputations/are more prestigious though and that is what I'm going to base my final decisions on. I haven't applied there but if two people go for the same job and someone has studied at Oxford and somebody else at Derby (sorry Derby, but you have come up a lot in this thread) whoever is looking to employ is clearly going to be more tempted by the Oxford candidate. I tend to look at the employability stats on the end of the league tables too, I am only going to uni to better my job prospects so want to go somewhere with high levels of graduate employment.
    I'm not saying thats the right way to look at it, or that it's the best way, but it's the way I'm going with it
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    Funny thing is back when tuition was entirely funded it used to be seen as a middle class problem having directionless students drifting through useless degree courses (Eng Lit, Art History) in a haze of alcohol and cannabis for the sake of having 'the university experience'.

    Anyway - we've drifted far away from the OP if we're talking about where the best place to score a IB interview from is.
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      (Original post by SuperStarr1)
      No, I think you've missed my point.

      What is the difference between a Cambridge matriculation offer student goes on to achieve EE grades but then decides to drop out 2 months later and someone who has gained entry to a top 100 university but still only attains EE and also drops out?
      That situation is so unlikely to happen it isn't even worth considering. This is because Matriculation offers are only given to a 1/3 of candidates who go for Christ's and the general drop out rate for Cambridge is exceedingly low. Put both variables together and it is very rare for it to happen. In addition, an EE offer is given to someone who is an amazing candidate so I doubt they would give an offer, let alone one that is EE, for someone who is likely to drop out after two months.
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      (Original post by spidergareth)
      Some people that do CS go into the games industry. Seeing as CS grads recently had only slightly better employment prospects than media studies grads in one survey, I think a course that is so respected within the industry proves invaluable when trying to get a job with companies. I feel you are missing my point which is that ex-polys tend to be much better at game design courses than traditional universities and I tihnk this specialization will pay off. (indeed it has already payed off.) Therefore ex-polys are not worthless.

      EDIT: and before anyone says 'its just one course'. No it isn't. I just can't be bothered to type the other numerous examples, perhaps I will when i return.
      Source for this survey?
      Did I argue that ex-polys are completely worthless? No. Did I argue that on average top employers and top universities do have a correlation, and hence a degree was not a degree and that other factors such as uni reputation do on average, matter for top employers? Yes. Are the 2 the same? No.
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        (Original post by Swimmer)
        All universities are fine in my opinion if you are doing a good degree. End of day a degree is a degree.
        No. Cambridge Maths is evidently better than London Metropolitan Maths. Just compare the course content.
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        (Original post by ipulledhermione)
        Completey slate the ineptness of a certain department of a certain uni with whom i've had beef with. :yep:
        I like your name lol
       
       
       
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