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Are university league tables in any way actually reliable? watch

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    (Original post by jamespereira98)
    Hi! I agree with a little bit of what you said (the example you gave about the library is really good) but normally rankings rank separatly spending per student and facilities spending, so in my opinion with this separate spending criteria they rank in a good way the spending of each institution.
    About middlesex university (when compared with king's and imperial) I must say that it is 100% truth. It is one of the universities that spend more money with their students. I study at UCL and I have some friends who study at Middlesex and they have free printing, free course materials, free field trips, much more scholarships than UCL, etc etc... So as you see, despite Middlesex is an ex-poly they really care about their students.... King's is one of the best unis in the UK and at the same time it is one of the worst unis for student satisfaction because they just care about research and reputation - they really don't care about their students. And Middlesex has improved like 20 places a year in several rankings and it is well deserved...
    I accept that Middlesex may have more cherries on the cake, such as free printing, so far as a student is concerned, but that doesn't really impact on major costs.

    Imperial has a medical school; Middlesex doesn't. That is enormously important in terms of spending on students. Imperial has a much greater percentage of students engaged on expensive science courses. that require the use of expensive facilities. Middlesex is bigger which should reduce the unit cost of many facilities.

    Compare Middlesex to Kingston. They have a similar profile of courses. Is it really credible that for every pound Kingston is spending on a student Middlesex is spending more than two?
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    (Original post by TVIO)
    I only really look at average graduate salary usually. That's my priority and it's hard to bias this measure.
    It's quite easy to actually...

    1. Location HEAVILY skews the data. People will look at unis in the north with lower average grad salaries and come to the conclusion that they suck, when it's a case of more grads choosing to stay in that area (with suppressed wages due to lower cost of living) than moving down to London or the South. Likewise, salaries at London unis are inflated for the same reason.

    2. Students choose to go into varying jobs after university, some of these jobs happen to be insanely well-paying and thus skew the 'average' into a ridiculous area. LSE Econ, UCL CompSci etc are culprits for this. The vast majority of grads sit in a numerical region that is lower than that average.

    3. Data for some courses can be dodgy because the graduates of said courses tend to opt for lower paying (even if they are graduate level) jobs than average. Nothing is stopping a grad from that degree course opting for a higher paying job

    4. UniStats salary data for courses has a laughable sample size. When graduating classes are 100-300+ per year and the representation on UniStats only includes 10-50 data points, you can bet your bottom dollar that you aren't getting the full picture

    Personally, I think salary distributions and most popular job titles + company destinations would be a lot more effective than the way UniStats currently does it.

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    It's quite easy to actually...

    1. Location HEAVILY skews the data. People will look at unis in the north with lower average grad salaries and come to the conclusion that they suck, when it's a case of more grads choosing to stay in that area (with suppressed wages due to lower cost of living) than moving down to London or the South. Likewise, salaries at London unis are inflated for the same reason.

    2. Students choose to go into varying jobs after university, some of these jobs happen to be insanely well-paying and thus skew the 'average' into a ridiculous area. LSE Econ, UCL CompSci etc are culprits for this. The vast majority of grads sit in a numerical region that is lower than that average.

    3. Data for some courses can be dodgy because the graduates of said courses tend to opt for lower paying (even if they are graduate level) jobs than average. Nothing is stopping a grad from that degree course opting for a higher paying job

    4. UniStats salary data for courses has a laughable sample size. When graduating classes are 100-300+ per year and the representation on UniStats only includes 10-50 data points, you can bet your bottom dollar that you aren't getting the full picture

    Personally, I think salary distributions and most popular job titles + company destinations would be a lot more effective than the way UniStats currently does it.

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    I think a quite interesting thing to note is that graduates from less established universities are less likely to respond to surveys, whereas graduates from established universities tend to be more likely to respond. There seems to be a correlation between responsiveness and the degree of success one's university is having; and it makes sense for this to extend to personal success. The Plymouth grad who's managed to land an executive-level job is more likely to want to tell the world about their progress than a Plymouth who's been forced to take a job at a call centre for the time being.

    The data is inherently skewed, as well as being unreliable due to small sample size.
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    (Original post by Nameless Ghoul)
    I think a quite interesting thing to note is that graduates from less established universities are less likely to respond to surveys, whereas graduates from established universities tend to be more likely to respond. There seems to be a correlation between responsiveness and the degree of success one's university is having; and it makes sense for this to extend to personal success. The Plymouth grad who's managed to land an executive-level job is more likely to want to tell the world about their progress than a Plymouth who's been forced to take a job at a call centre for the time being.

    The data is inherently skewed, as well as being unreliable due to small sample size.
    Solid point. Didn't actually notice that correlation until now!

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    It's quite easy to actually...

    1. Location HEAVILY skews the data. People will look at unis in the north with lower average grad salaries and come to the conclusion that they suck, when it's a case of more grads choosing to stay in that area (with suppressed wages due to lower cost of living) than moving down to London or the South. Likewise, salaries at London unis are inflated for the same reason.

    2. Students choose to go into varying jobs after university, some of these jobs happen to be insanely well-paying and thus skew the 'average' into a ridiculous area. LSE Econ, UCL CompSci etc are culprits for this. The vast majority of grads sit in a numerical region that is lower than that average.

    3. Data for some courses can be dodgy because the graduates of said courses tend to opt for lower paying (even if they are graduate level) jobs than average. Nothing is stopping a grad from that degree course opting for a higher paying job

    4. UniStats salary data for courses has a laughable sample size. When graduating classes are 100-300+ per year and the representation on UniStats only includes 10-50 data points, you can bet your bottom dollar that you aren't getting the full picture

    Personally, I think salary distributions and most popular job titles + company destinations would be a lot more effective than the way UniStats currently does it.

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    Imperial CompSci paid about 5k more than UCL's CompSci upon graduation when I checked (38k vs 33k). CompSci courses at good universities all have high starting salaries.
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    (Original post by yl95)
    Imperial CompSci paid about 5k more than UCL's CompSci upon graduation when I checked (38k vs 33k). CompSci courses at good universities all have high starting salaries.
    That's the issue though, courses don't have starting salaries. Jobs do. And we're not given an indication of which jobs (and from which companies) these Imperial and UCL grads are getting offers for. So by stating that you'll be making x upon graduation, because unistats averaged the 10-50 people that got supposedly top notch jobs is a bit misguided.

    Ofc you know this, as you're holding an SA offer.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    That's the issue though, courses don't have starting salaries. Jobs do. And we're not given an indication of which jobs (and from which companies) these Imperial and UCL grads are getting offers for. So by stating that you'll be making x upon graduation, because unistats averaged the 10-50 people that got supposedly top notch jobs is a bit misguided.

    Ofc you know this, as you're holding an SA offer.
    That's a fair point but why do Biology grads have such low salaries on Unistats? I do think it is partly to do with the nature of the paths CS lead on to. I know many from Imperial go on to work at Bloomberg/Google/FB/Amazon/Microsoft/Intel/ARM and so on at places like investment banks because the Computing Society and Department have lots of connections and the Computing degrees include placements in third/fourth years at top places like the aforementioned which often lead to conversions.
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    (Original post by yl95)
    That's a fair point but why do Biology grads have such low salaries on Unistats? I do think it is partly to do with the nature of the paths CS lead on to. I know many from Imperial go on to work at Bloomberg/Google/FB/Amazon/Microsoft/Intel/ARM and so on at places like investment banks because the Computing Society and Department have lots of connections and the Computing degrees include placements in third/fourth years at top places like the aforementioned which often lead to conversions.
    Biology students aren't interested in tech/finance as much as they are interested in either research work, or generic grad level jobs like admin, HR, PR, Advertising etc, or some form of developmental 'save the world' job like the UN, NGOs, conservation. All of these fields pay a lot less on average than finance/tech.

    There's nothing stopping a Biology student learning to code well, learning fundamental CS concepts, doing side projects and then blitzing through the recruitment process for FB/Google/Bloomberg/Amazon et al. It's just that most Bio students are not interested nor are they inclined in doing the necessary leg work to achieve that.

    Turn that on its head and you'll see the same effect. Most CompScis don't want to pursue careers in PR/Marketing, or lab assistant work or third sector/NGO jobs, there's nothing stopping them from pursuing these routes but the ones that do are certainly exceptions to the general mindset that brought them to choosing to study CompSci in the first place.

    So yeah, you're kind of correct. The average Bio grad will be interested in fundamentally different career paths and jobs than the average CompSci or Engineer et vice versa.

    The industry connections only help to expose CS students more to the opportunities available.

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    The figures that are hardest to optimise/manipulate for universities are the figures most often dismissed by TSR.

    The NSS is conducted by a third party market research company and the rules about what can and can't be said to incentvise students to take part are very strict and enforced.

    All the other figures have a certain level of adjustment available if you interpret the guidance carefully. Luckily for me - it means I have an interesting job
 
 
 
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