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    One of the characteristics of the rah class is that they are very well informed and researched and have little hesitation in not following the crowd which they leave to chavs. They are well aware of the draw backs to the RG classification because they feel no need to impress future employers with such a meaningless badge. So while many of our ethnic students are killing themselves to get into LSE our rahs are as happy as Larry reading ancient history at Bath with a lot of blonde girls in cardigans before drifting to the commercial bar or investment banking. After a second gap year of course.
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    (Original post by MrSupernova)
    Being part of the RG doesn't automatically mean a university is of a high quality - are you seriously saying Cardiff is better than St Andrew's?!
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    University education at the best universities is meant to be research led, so that the latest developments are fed from the scientists and other academics back into the undergraduate and postgraduate courses. So on that front, having world class research departments does matter.

    Also universities themselves measure themselves on their quality of research and levels of funding received from industry as a sign of how they are progressing against their peers overseas. Without high quality research a university can hardly be classified as an elite world class university based on just good teaching. Otherwise you may as well go to Luton, who claim to have a great teaching university.

    A lot of ex-poly students do well for themselves by doing industrial placements at good companies like IBM and Glaxosmithkline. Granted they may not be good enough for Goldman Sachs, but not everyone wants to work in the City doing 80-100 hour weeks. A 40 hour week graduate job in a nice company like Microsoft is just as good to most, and gettable even for students from lesser universities.

    Cardiff better than St Andrews? Why don't you ask both Unis? They would both probably laugh and say each is completely different in their missions, goals, and values. St Andrews is more exclusive but offers a lot of ancient language courses which is kind of odd. Cardiff is a brilliant 3rd choice uni to fall back on in case you don't get into a top 10-15 uni, and I rate it top 25 uni at the least (some would say top 20). The campus at Cardiff is exceptional, and the city is really nice and lively. From my own uni experiences, I can definitely say that I would rather trade the ego and reputation factor of somewhere like St Andrews, being located in the middle of nowhere, for the buzzing city of Cardiff. I went to neither, as I chose Nottingham.

    I can understand why students from, say LSE, would snigger at Economics students from Coventry or Luton, but I don't understand why some students try this on with Russell Group Unis like Leeds and Cardiff, two excellent world class research universities and with plenty of alumni represented in top professions? St Andrews students and supporters sniggering at Cardiff is stupidity and insanity to the extreme.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    University education at the best universities is meant to be research led, so that the latest developments are fed from the scientists and other academics back into the undergraduate and postgraduate courses. So on that front, having world class research departments does matter.

    Also universities themselves measure themselves on their quality of research and levels of funding received from industry as a sign of how they are progressing against their peers overseas. Without high quality research a university can hardly be classified as an elite world class university based on just good teaching. Otherwise you may as well go to Luton, who claim to have a great teaching university.
    Ridiculous. Research has no bearing on the experience of undergraduates.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    Ridiculous. Research has no bearing on the experience of undergraduates.
    It absolutely does in the sciences, in the third year in particular.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    It absolutely does in the sciences, in the third year in particular.
    This doesn't explain why RG are full of English / History students and others. In general I stand by my statement.
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    Students at Royal Holloway seem quite posh. The university certainly looks very grand thanks to the Founder's Building. I get the feeling it is a good insurance choice university for those aspiring to go to a Russell Group university. I'd be interested to know the views of students from Royal Holloway, as it was my insurance choice back in the day.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    One of the characteristics of the rah class is that they are very well informed and researched and have little hesitation in not following the crowd which they leave to chavs. They are well aware of the draw backs to the RG classification because they feel no need to impress future employers with such a meaningless badge. So while many of our ethnic students are killing themselves to get into LSE our rahs are as happy as Larry reading ancient history at Bath with a lot of blonde girls in cardigans before drifting to the commercial bar or investment banking. After a second gap year of course.
    May you elaborate further on this...? You're referring to an old boys network/contacts in that last bit? An alumni of our school did history at Keele for example and is now a wealth manager at Barclays. He's in his early-mid thirties. He came over to do a little talk with us, and in this conversational thing we had with him afterwards a WASP-y friend of mine was talking with him about how he wants to do history himself at Leeds Uni, and of course try and get into the City (FO trader) too. He seems more than just confident in doing so... A lot of people on my school want to go into the City. What's more, as he was networking with this alumni, I think he got him as a contact too...

    You're referring to this privileged culture right? Cos the scenario you portray rings many bells with me; I'm that former person, desperate to go to a target/top 6 uni.

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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    May you elaborate further on this...? You're referring to an old boys network/contacts in that last bit? An alumni of our school did history at Keele for example and is now a wealth manager at Barclays. He's in his early-mid thirties. He came over to do a little talk with us, and in this conversational thing we had with him afterwards a WASP-y friend of mine was talking with him about how he wants to do history himself at Leeds Uni, and of course try and get into the City (FO trader) too. He seems more than just confident in doing so... A lot of people on my school want to go into the City. What's more, as he was networking with this alumni, I think he got him as a contact too...

    You're referring to this privileged culture right? Cos the scenario you portray rings many bells with me; I'm that former person, desperate to go to a target/top 6 uni.

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    Unfortunately my friend in this country class, breeding and privilege still rule. What has changed in my life time is that it is now just hidden further below the surface so as not to provoke the proletariat. Cambridge spends more on wine for the staff than it does on access schemes. A man said to me once "if your ancestors weren't at the Battle of Waterloo we don't want to know you". He wasn't entirely joking. Good luck in your top 6 / target endeavour. You might be disappointed if you don't manage it. You could be even more disappointed if you do.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    May you elaborate further on this...? You're referring to an old boys network/contacts in that last bit? An alumni of our school did history at Keele for example and is now a wealth manager at Barclays. He's in his early-mid thirties. He came over to do a little talk with us, and in this conversational thing we had with him afterwards a WASP-y friend of mine was talking with him about how he wants to do history himself at Leeds Uni, and of course try and get into the City (FO trader) too. He seems more than just confident in doing so... A lot of people on my school want to go into the City. What's more, as he was networking with this alumni, I think he got him as a contact too...

    You're referring to this privileged culture right? Cos the scenario you portray rings many bells with me; I'm that former person, desperate to go to a target/top 6 uni.

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    If you want a career in the City, your best bet is to study a hard subject like Maths, Economics, Business, Banking & Finance, Physics etc. These numerate subjects are very good for getting jobs with the top firms. That plus a good 2.1 from a top 20-25 university (i.e. Russell Group + Bath & St Andrews), an intern, and a 1 year placement in industry, will put you in a very good position. Then you would have to pass the gruelling interviews and possibly online aptitude tests.

    I would avoid obscure courses like History of Art or Arabic and Hebrew studies, as offered at St Andrews. The course has to be a traditional one to ensure your application doesn't get thrown in the rubbish bin at the most sought for companies.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    Unfortunately my friend in this country class, breeding and privilege still rule. What has changed in my life time is that it is now just hidden further below the surface so as not to provoke the proletariat. Cambridge spends more on wine for the staff than it does on access schemes. A man said to me once "if your ancestors weren't at the Battle of Waterloo we don't want to know you". He wasn't entirely joking. Good luck in your top 6 / target endeavour. You might be disappointed if you don't manage it. You could be even more disappointed if you do.
    Mmh... In the case that I got A*A*A next year, after retaking AS' and doing my A2s very well, do you think I have a chance of getting into Warwick or UCL for example, even with just average (1A*, 4A, 5B, 1C) GCSEs? Putting it like that, I know getting those A-levels sounds improbable and unlikely for me. But if I actually did get those A-levels after everything next year, along with very good work experience (at TFL/LU), reading books, lectures and academic extra-curriculars etc, would I have a pretty good chance of getting in?

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    (Original post by Mansun)
    If you want a career in the City, your best bet is to study a hard subject like Maths, Economics, Business, Banking & Finance, Physics etc. These numerate subjects are very good for getting jobs with the top firms. That plus a good 2.1 from a top 20-25 university (i.e. Russell Group + Bath & St Andrews), an intern, and a 1 year placement in industry, will put you in a very good position. Then you would have to pass the gruelling interviews and possibly online aptitude tests.

    I would avoid obscure courses like History of Art or Arabic and Hebrew studies, as offered at St Andrews. The course has to be a traditional one to ensure your application doesn't get thrown in the rubbish bin at the most sought for companies.
    Appreciate the advice; these are indeed my aims.

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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    Appreciate the advice; these are indeed my aims.

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    I would take a gap year if at all possible, if the 1 year industrial placement at a top firm like IBM or Microsoft doesn't materialise. It is really important to gain some insight and maturity with regards to how the working world works, the do's and don't's, and how to handle office politics. The best way to learn is through experiencing first hand, or through people already working. The realities might surprise you, such as seeing people get sacked after a few weeks in the graduate job due to being stitched up or back stabbed.

    (Original post by Wisefire)
    Mmh... In the case that I got A*A*A next year, after retaking AS' and doing my A2s very well, do you think I have a chance of getting into Warwick or UCL for example, even with just average (1A*, 4A, 5B, 1C) GCSEs? Putting it like that, I know getting those A-levels sounds improbable and unlikely for me. But if I actually did get those A-levels after everything next year, along with very good work experience (at TFL/LU), reading books, lectures and academic extra-curriculars etc, would I have a pretty good chance of getting in?

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    Best to get on the phone to the admissions team and get a detailed answer. They may not consider re-sit candidates at UCL or Warwick for some or all courses.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    Unfortunately my friend in this country class, breeding and privilege still rule. What has changed in my life time is that it is now just hidden further below the surface so as not to provoke the proletariat. Cambridge spends more on wine for the staff than it does on access schemes. A man said to me once "if your ancestors weren't at the Battle of Waterloo we don't want to know you". He wasn't entirely joking. Good luck in your top 6 / target endeavour. You might be disappointed if you don't manage it. You could be even more disappointed if you do.
    Tis true Old Boy.

    I went to a public school and could not get into Oxbridge (competition is mighty stiff ) so I applied and got into UCL ( at the time I wanted a change from the countryside) but I discovered it is NOT what they would like us to believe it is.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    It absolutely does in the sciences, in the third year in particular.

    It doesn't.

    If it did then every science course in the country would change everytime new ' research ' was included, in which case the research would lose it's value.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    Mmh... In the case that I got A*A*A next year, after retaking AS' and doing my A2s very well, do you think I have a chance of getting into Warwick or UCL for example, even with just average (1A*, 4A, 5B, 1C) GCSEs? Putting it like that, I know getting those A-levels sounds improbable and unlikely for me. But if I actually did get those A-levels after everything next year, along with very good work experience (at TFL/LU), reading books, lectures and academic extra-curriculars etc, would I have a pretty good chance of getting in?

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    Come on, with A*A*A , you apply to Oxbridge .

    Why waste time with anything less.
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    (Original post by Zenomorph)
    Come on, with A*A*A , you apply to Oxbridge .

    Why waste time with anything less.
    Ha, GREAT, and I would love to. But I just would not get in for a quantitative course or anything even like Economics & Management (E&M at Oxford is my dream), when you factor in how it is retakes, and my GCSEs are not Oxbridge material. Though, could I retake GCSEs...?

    At maximum I'd apply for Imperial (which is my absolute favourite uni in the UK, considering its INCREDIBLE location even in London terms, world-renowned prestige and insane job prospects). Edit: any course remotely maths-y at Imperial would be my dream course.

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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    Ha, GREAT, and I would love to. But I just would not get in for a quantitative course or anything even like Economics & Management (E&M at Oxford is my dream). At maximum I'd apply for Imperial (which is my absolute favourite uni in the UK, considering its INCREDIBLE location even in London terms, world-renowned prestige and insane job prospects. Edit: any course remotely maths-y at Imperial would be my dream course.

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    And why not ?

    Oh I see i didn't factor in your retakes.

    Right in that case, just get the best you can, then I will PM with more.

    The kind of route Old Simon is talking about ( when you are not in a target U ) relies on connections and networks you may not have.
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    Are the girls at UCL hot, or just a bunch of dorks?
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    Are the girls at UCL hot, or just a bunch of dorks?
    I would like to know the answer to this too!
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    (Original post by Zenomorph)
    And why not ?

    Oh I see i didn't factor in your retakes.

    Right in that case, just get the best you can, then I will PM with more.

    The kind of route Old Simon is talking about ( when you are not in a target U ) relies on connections and networks you may not have.
    Well that's the thing... I actually do have a lot of connections now, I think. I'll explain my situation and each person and relationship in a PM later if you want. All I'll say is my environment would lead you to believe I'm advantaged, yet I feel I'm far from it.

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