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Overrated Universities. watch

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    (Original post by Hulkamaniac)
    Places which people claim are good or elite but are hardly prestigious beyond UK shores and are nowhere near the level of Oxbridge or the big 5.

    They're pretentious and exist just massage the ego of so-called "Oxbridge Rejects". I detest that title because it somehow suggests those students were good enough to gain admission to Oxbridge but the reality is they weren't, they never were. They were simply "Oxbridge Applicants". Many people can be Oxbridge rejects.

    But yeah such universities which seem to have inflated their own self-worth but let's be honest, nobody considers them prestigious or selective or exclusive or as a breeding ground for future leaders in their field:

    - St Andrew's

    - Manchester

    - Exeter

    - Durham

    - York

    - Leeds

    - Sheffield

    - Birmingham

    - Newcastle

    - Southampton

    - Sussex

    - Bath

    - Loughborough

    - Surrey



    All incredibly overrated moronic institutions which anyone with half a brain cell i.e. AAB-ABB could gain entry to. Not exactly an exclusive society that lives and breathes academia, steeped in history or inspirational for the next batch of corporate, academic, political, scientific leaders.

    Apart from Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, LSE, Imperial, King's College London, and possibly Edinburgh, Bristol and Nottingham (and the odd specialist college or institution like LSHTM), the rest are a bit rubbish aren't they?
    I can’t tell if this post was meant as a joke. Since you asked for opinions, here’s an American perspective.

    In the US the average person on the street will have heard of Oxbridge and the typical educated person will be familiar with Oxbridge, LSE, St Andrews, and maybe Edinburgh. These universities are all viewed as prestigious. Some non-academics might also claim to recognize places like Manchester, Birmingham, and Nottingham mostly because they are located in large cities. Places like UCL and KCL are practically unknown outside of educated circles. However, KCL tends to be viewed as the more prestigious of the two because it has the word “King’s” in its name and because many notable Americans have studied/taught in the Department of War Studies. US academics will be familiar with individual departments across a range of UK universities, many of which might not jump out as all that prestigious to the common person. Academics tend to care more about research and are not solely focused on prestige.

    I’m not a fan of the "Oxbridge Reject” label, but for different reasons than you. The term implies that all other UK universities are inferior across all disciplines, which is clearly not the case. Look at people studying Economics at LSE, Engineering at Imperial, English at Durham—these are some of the best students at the best departments in the UK. I’m also not sure why you’d refer to the universities you listed as “incredibly overrated moronic institutions” where “anyone with half a brain cell i.e. AAB-ABB could gain entry to.” Look at St Andrews and Durham, both of which have median entry tariff scores of roughly 525 (AAA). Not too many people are being admitted with an AAB. Furthermore, some degree programs at these two universities are just as competitive as Oxbridge. IR at St Andrews has roughly the same median entry tariff as UCL, Cambridge, and LSE; for English, Durham has the highest median entry tariff followed by Oxbridge and St Andrews. These students don’t sound like rejects or simply “applicants” to me.
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    Personally I think it depends on what field of study you want to do. They all will have their merits for different areas

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    (Original post by Hulkamaniac)
    Again I agree I'm just saying that if anyone wanted to know what was considered the 3rd best after oxbridge by global viewpoints then LSE ranks there.

    I mean even Trinity College Dublin has a higher rep even amongst the average joe mainly because of it's position in Irish culture and history and given that TCD more than an institution is also one of Dublin's most famous landmarks (and the large Irish immigrant communities in the US).

    TCD just doesn't have that high of a profile as it's cousins in the UK because of a severe lack of funding, which decreases research output and hence it's standing and number of nobel laureates etc.


    I would still hold TCD in higher regard than the vast majority of the so called Russell Group universities with the exception of Oxbridge, LSE,UCL, Imperial, King's. I put Edinburgh high up for the reason explained before re: age of enlightenment etc. Bristol has always been reputable if not overrated at the best of times.

    But if Ireland were still part of the UK and benefited from the funding, TCD would easily be the 3rd best university if not on par with Oxbridge and would have a greater list of nobel laureates and glittering alumni to its name.

    Bad move leaving the UK, Ireland.

    I am pleased to see that you rank Trinity College, Dublin so highly, and you are absolutely right as to the economic problems the university (and all the Irish educational establishments) face. The university has slipped down the rankings because of the funding issues but still manages to maintain excellent standards in its undergraduate teaching.

    My daughter is now a junior freshman at TCD - she had an offer for Oxford but missed the grades required. The irony is that Oxford asked for a certain mix of grades as 'letters' but the Irish Leaving Cert subdivides the grades e.g. A1, A2, B1, B2, B3 etc. Were the grades that Oxford required taken as being the lowest in their range this would have translated into 510 points on the CAO scale which is used for admission to Irish universities. My daughter achieved 535 points (without bonus points for honours maths) which in theory exceeds the equivalent required for Oxford but the points were gained from a different letter combination than Oxford were willing to accept. Fair enough, the university is entitled to set it's own rules and my daughter lost her place. The entry requirement for UK students for her course was AAA.

    However, she took up exactly the same course in Dublin, which required 500 CAO points for admission. If a UK student wanted to go to TCD for this course, a reverse translation of UK grades to CAO points means that the A levels grades needed to get the appropriate CAO points would be A*A*Aa - much higher than the Oxford offer!

    So which university should be ranked higher - Oxford or Trinity College Dublin? Going purely on admission criteria, TCD wins but that is patently not the case.

    There are so many different viewpoints when it comes to rankings, I would say that historical prestige and name recognition is probably a superficial one on which to base the rankings for an average person but it is the one most often used. A better method would be to look at the subject rankings in order to choose the best course and institution for your eventual career.

    ETA: In fairness I should add that the CAO points set for each course often reflects it's desirability and number of places available rather than it's difficulty. I know that there is an obscure science course which is notoriously difficult in content because it does not have a large number of applicants the CAO points required are relatively low.
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    I don't think Manchester or Birmingham (not sure about the others) have ever claimed to be anything special. They accept they are a league behind hence the Russell Group status. I'm applying to both to study law and would be proud to attend either despite not being Oxbridge?


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    Warwick is a world class academic institution
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    (Original post by Magnus Taylor)
    Warwick is a world class academic institution

    It's a great university and has a good reputation domestically. World class? Nah, not so sure.

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    This comes off as a bit snobbish.

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    **** **** **** **** ****
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    (Original post by Hulkamaniac)
    Try UCAS and searching the entry requirements and match them to universities.

    But why leave the US system to come to the UK?

    At least in the US each college tries to create its own brand, its on reputation, its own networking and alumni chapters and this helps students get further on in careers and grad school etc.

    I mean places like Penn State and even UNC Chapel Hill or UCLA or Notre Dame have a better rep and opportunities than say Liverpool or Leeds.

    Anything outside of Oxbridge, Imperial,UCL, King's, LSE, Bristol, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Warwick.........it's all piss poor really and not worth coming over for.
    Umm Penn State and Notre Dame are only basically known for football, not for their academics. When I think of Penn State all I think of are party animals, drinking, football, the last thing I think of is academics...

    UCLA and UNC Chapel Hill sure I can agree to that.
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    (Original post by TroyAndAbed)
    I'd probably agree with this. No other university is going to have much of a reputation outside of the UK. (& I don't think LSE & Imperial are even that well known outside of academic fields)
    Actually, Edinburgh and LSE and to an extent St Andrews are well recognized outside the UK.

    Nowhere near Oxbridge but definitely more recognized than UCL and Imperial.
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    All incredibly overrated moronic institutions which anyone with half a brain cell i.e. AAB-ABB could gain entry to.


    I don't think people with half a brain cell are intellectually able to get 'AAB-ABB' as you stated
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    (Original post by Hulkamaniac)
    Again I agree I'm just saying that if anyone wanted to know what was considered the 3rd best after oxbridge by global viewpoints then LSE ranks there.

    I mean even Trinity College Dublin has a higher rep even amongst the average joe mainly because of it's position in Irish culture and history and given that TCD more than an institution is also one of Dublin's most famous landmarks (and the large Irish immigrant communities in the US).

    TCD just doesn't have that high of a profile as it's cousins in the UK because of a severe lack of funding, which decreases research output and hence it's standing and number of nobel laureates etc.


    I would still hold TCD in higher regard than the vast majority of the so called Russell Group universities with the exception of Oxbridge, LSE,UCL, Imperial, King's. I put Edinburgh high up for the reason explained before re: age of enlightenment etc. Bristol has always been reputable if not overrated at the best of times.

    But if Ireland were still part of the UK and benefited from the funding, TCD would easily be the 3rd best university if not on par with Oxbridge and would have a greater list of nobel laureates and glittering alumni to its name.

    Bad move leaving the UK, Ireland.
    TCD would not be the 3rd best university even if it had stayed in the UK, it would have been in the top 10 for sure. It is only associated with 3 nobel laureates (even St Andrews (5) has more) and its foundation date was after that of the 4 scottish ancients. Ireland's population was never that large and in past history not as academic (not so now of course). Apart from Oscar Wilde, I can't really name any really well known graduates of TCD.

    If even Edinburgh which is associated with 3 UK prime ministers, a similar founding date, american founding fathers, 20 nobel laureates can't even be named 3rd best uni, TCD would have no chance.
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    Ruminating over which university is slightly more subjectively prestigious than the other = get a life you bore. Going to a 'prestigious' university won't change the fact that plenty of people from less prestigious universities have, and will continue to obtain, better jobs than you.

    University snobs are so short-termist. The prestige of your university matters for about a year whilst you are applying for graduate jobs, thereafter it becomes an irrelevance only brought up as small talk during the office Christmas party.
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    lol I have been away from TSR for years and only back to find out how it is doing. Same old, same old. TSR is really the only place on internet where people seem to make a big deal out of university prestige......

    The post below pretty much sums up my opinion about university prestige, if you care to know.

    (Original post by Lady Comstock)
    Ruminating over which university is slightly more subjectively prestigious than the other = get a life you bore. Going to a 'prestigious' university won't change the fact that plenty of people from less prestigious universities have, and will continue to obtain, better jobs than you.

    University snobs are so short-termist. The prestige of your university matters for about a year whilst you are applying for graduate jobs, thereafter it becomes an irrelevance only brought up as small talk during the office Christmas party.
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    (Original post by Hulkamaniac)
    My gripe is that places like St Andrews and Durham seem to portray themselves (everyone from the academics downwards) as some bastion of excellence akin to Oxbridge. That annoys me. Why do these places have to compare themselves to Oxbridge. Why can't they just be proud to be Durham, or St Andrews etc?

    Focussing on the latter, to assume that position of high status would need to be reflected on their achievements, how many PMs attended Durham or St Andrew's? How many Nobel Laureates do they have? St Andrew's has very few despite it's age and 'prestige'.

    What exactly have they contributed to British society other than the fact that one has enjoyed being the lame alternative to Oxbridge going so far as creating the "Doxbridge" tag declaring themselves "The Princeton of Northern Europe". Whilst the latter despite it's age and association with Edward Jenner and an even vaguer association with Ben Franklin, only really came to prominence when a certain royal decided to go there instead of his guaranteed place at Trinity College, Cambridge.

    Manchester perhaps I have been unfair to dismiss as it has been at the forefront of a lot of engineering developments recently. But again none of these places perceive me as "selective" or prestigious or places people would fight tooth and nail to get into.

    Whereas in America of course Harvard and Yale are considered the big two, there are so many alternatives that are in the same category and on par i.e. the rest of the Ivies, Chicago, Stanford, MIT, Caltech etc.

    The reason for that not just due to the size of the US but because each of those colleges worked on developing their own brand and image to be recognised for THEIR achievements and on their own merits rather than being "an alternative to Princeton" or "just another Ivy".

    Saying that you attended Brown generates as much oohs and aahs as a Yale alumnus.
    St Andrews has 5 Nobel Laureates already more than the vast majority of british unis. Don't forget nobels only began to be given out in the 1900s, if they had been given out since the 1700s the scottish unis would have countless more.

    St Andrews in its current state is no equivalent of Oxbridge, however, it is in the position to be in the distant future as it has the history needed. St Andrews has the 3rd highest UCAS tariff out of all comprehensive unis. Why didn't u mention James Gregory, the inventor of logarithms or Sir James Black, nobel prize winner and developer of beta blockers and h2 receptor antagonists which in all likelihood your grandparents are on?

    St Andrews was historically hurt because of its location in a small town which was hurt post-reformation because of the town's loss of status.
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    Cambridge
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    Oxford
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    Imperial
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    LSE
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    UCL
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    Warwick/Kings/Durham
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    Bristol/Southampton
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    **** unis
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    (Original post by Hulkamaniac)
    x
    Where do you go to university, by the way? :rolleyes:
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    You're in for a harsh reality check when you arrive in the world of work post-university. You'll be asked to make tea and do some photocopying for a man that went to a mid card university, and he won't give a **** if you went to Oxford.

    But you sound like exactly the sort of candidate Oxford look for so I wish you every success in your application.

    By the way: UCL > LSE.
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    Cambridge
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    Oxford
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    Imperial
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    LSE
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    UCL
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    Warwick/Kings/Durham
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    Bristol/Southampton
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    **** unis
    Lol you must go to Southampton.
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    (Original post by Okorange)
    Lol you must go to Southampton.
    Nop, Cambridge.

    EDIT: Sotons Engineering departments are top-notch.
 
 
 
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