Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

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

    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Complex Simplicity)

    In bold for you to see. Focus on the question: Does a 2.1 from one university equate to a 2.1 from another university?

    Some 100 firms having more recruitment fairs in one university doesn't answer the question does it? It neither confirms nor denies the question. It doesn't because a recruitment fair isn't a job offer. An attendance at a recruitment fair doesn't mean a student's 2.1 is now magically higher than another student's 2.1 in the same subject. You see, though a good read, your post is meaningless, for it doesn't answer the question.



    Highlighted in bold are the baseless assertions you have again resorted to without any evidence to back this up. As has been stated above a recruitment fair is not a job offer, hence more recruitment fairs at a university doesn't mean that a 2.1 is devalued from a university with fewer recruitment fair. It's a complete red herring. Try to focus on the point, that is to disprove that a 2.1 is equivalent in the same university for the same discipline. Try again




    It's a shame that you've now resorted to personal insults to back up your position.
    It is the sign of desperation when clutching at straws. Try to remain objective.

    Here is the report again for you to disprove, I'll go through it with you so as to make it absolutely clear:


    In simple terms, Universities have the first say in the standards of degree they award, but all use the same tool which is a regulation.



    External examiners are sent from each UK university to ensure that the degrees are comparable and consistent. Ie. To ensure that the degrees are worth the same.



    These external examiners report to the VC of each university to ensure that the standards are comparable and consistent. Ie to ensure that the degrees are worth the same.


    So to clarify, each university first regulates themselves using a common tool called the QAA. Then they send examiners to other universities to regulate them and ensure that the standards are comparable and consistent. These examiners all report to the VC of each university to ensure that the standards are comparable and consistent.

    Now how in any way does that suggest that a 2.1 degree from one institution isn't comparable with that from another in the same subject? How does it say that degrees are not consistent across the university system? It says that there are several measures put in place to ensure that the standards are 'consistent and comparable for those following similar courses in other UK universities.'

    Now you make a general point that this is not the case. Not that there are exceptions to this rule, but that the exceptions are the rule. That degrees are not comparable nor consistent. That a 2.1 isn't of the same standard, because all top ranked universities have a higher level of 2.1 than all bottom ranked universities because the league table says so.

    My simple wish is this: prove it!
    You're not really proving anything yourself here. The statements on UUK are incredibly vague, merely statements of intent than concrete proof. Have you actually ever read an external examiners report? They don't do much themselves, they simply make recommendations for what can be changed in subsequent years. They have very little power to actually change the ****ing classing of degrees, so if they felt that it's harder to get a 2.1 at one place than another, all they can do is make recommendations, they can't suddenly go "give more people a 2.1". The regulation done by UUK is much much less concrete and rigid than you think, and the external examiners are simply there to check that no completely wacky **** is going on (i.e. giving out firsts for incredibly poor pieces of work).

    The simple point is is that no one can really prove it either way, external examiners reports are notoriously difficult to get hold of, but surely by actually using a bit of common sense you can see that if a cohort which has hundreds of UCAS points more than an another is getting worse degree results then there is some discrepancy in the standard required.

    *awaits some smug ******* reply consisting of simply quoting the same **** on the UUK website*
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nichrome)
    You're not really proving anything yourself here. The statements on UUK are incredibly vague, merely statements of intent than concrete proof. Have you actually ever read an external examiners report? They don't do much themselves, they simply make recommendations for what can be changed in subsequent years. They have very little power to actually change the ****ing classing of degrees, so if they felt that it's harder to get a 2.1 at one place than another, all they can do is make recommendations, they can't suddenly go "give more people a 2.1". The regulation done by UUK is much much less concrete and rigid than you think, and the external examiners are simply there to check that no completely wacky **** is going on (i.e. giving out firsts for incredibly poor pieces of work).

    The simple point is is that no one can really prove it either way, external examiners reports are notoriously difficult to get hold of, but surely by actually using a bit of common sense you can see that if a cohort which has hundreds of UCAS points more than an another is getting worse degree results then there is some discrepancy in the standard required.

    *awaits some smug ******* reply consisting of simply quoting the same **** on the UUK website*
    You see, this is something I thought before applying to university. This however, isn't something I believe now as through personal experience, as well as that of a few friends at said top institutions (admittedly mostly in science disciplines), I started to question this view. This thinking was behind the initial statement to this thread:

    (Original post by Complex Simplicity)
    There are no bad universities only bad courses.

    Just because a uni is supposedly the 'best' in the country doesn't mean they themselves add any value to the students they take in. Simply taking in the best students and them doing well isn't a reflection of the university but on the students. I know this personally to be true. Having attended one of the 'best' universities in the country, and experienced truly awful teaching (with a couple notable exceptions). I also have a few friends who also attend these top institutions and for their courses (mostly science courses), they've experienced the same thing. That is average teaching is the norm, with few exceptional and a significant proportion of poor teaching.
    I've also experienced teaching at an ex-polytechnic, which was on average at a higher standard. Perhaps this is just true of the sciences, but in general, I think if you have a university that takes on exceptional students, and they get the same grades as a university which takes on 'average students' then the former university isn't doing as good a job as the latter.

    followed by the analysis of the unistats from the link that you ironically posted which confirmed my suspicions:

    Results are here
    (Original post by complex simplicity)
    I also found it interesting going through the stats, on unistats after one of the posters in this thread posted the link (http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/ )


    So by comparing say Bristol with Southampton both students come in with relatively similar A Levels though Bristol's students Ucas points is 50 points higher than Southampton students. (400 southamton vs 450 Bristol) Yet by the end of the course, 58 % of Bristol students have a 2.1 and above vs 84% at Southamton. That is 26% more students in Southamton have a 2.1 or more than their bristol counter parts despite getting similar grades at A Level. For Sussex (80%) that is 22% more.This would suggest that Southampton and Sussex add significantly more value to their students than Bristol in the discipline of chemistry. The point is that different universities have their strengths and their weaknesses. I've gone on about Bristol chem, but Bristol Psychology has more 2.1 and First than any other course bar Oxfords, and the same is true for Bristol Biochemistry/molecular genetics.

    It would therefore seem a bad decision to say that a whole university is bad. For even the newest of universities have areas where they're a strong relative to other universities. Also some courses at certain universities simply attract the best students, despite having average teaching, something I've experienced first hand.
    The only basis of which to critique this analysis was to question the comparability of said degrees and such institutions.

    I again ironically given your post concluded similarly to yourself, that this can't be done conclusively, but there is evidence to support this comparability. This is stated in the following post:

    (Original post by complex simplicity)

    I don't know whether a 2.1 is truly the same in one university as it is in another. However this is what I do know:

    1. All Universities for post graduate courses see them as equivalent. They require a 2.1 or above, but do not state ever specify that one university 2.1 means more than another. A student with a 2.2 would not get into such courses irrespective of the institutions they attend

    2. Most graduate jobs (with the exception of law, Investment banking) require a 2.1 and do not discriminate between universities. If a student has a 2.2 from oxford, most graduate firms autofilter them out. Again this would suggest that employers see a 2.1 as higher than a 2.2 irrespective of the uni they're from.


    3. A study from the BBC noted that 89% of employers do not care which university an applicant went to. Again this would suggest standardisation.

    4. Universities are regulated by the QAA to ensure that standards are kept consistent throughout the university system. Universities themselves send professors to other universities to maintain this standardisation every 5 years. And a review of the content of each universities discipline is subject to this peered review. For example lectureres from Bath uni were told to increase their maths content to ensure that it was up to standard.


    Now I honestly do not know if a 2.1 is the same between universities personally. I think the only way to be certain is to do the following experiment:
    Take a final exam of a degree at the 'top ranked' university and the 'bottom ranked' university and compare the marks achieved. If at the top uni, one got a 2.2 whilst at the bottom a first then standards are not the same, if a 2.1. at both then they are. I haven't the time to do such an experiment.

    But What I will say is that if universities count degrees as equivalent, and most employers do. And if universities are forced to be regulated to ensure that standardisation takes place, then one can say that in all probability, degrees are of an equivalent standard.

    Now based on this conclusion I was greeted with "everybody knows" and "its common sense" along with other baseless assertions. To be fair to him at least ish90an actually bothered to provide some sort of evidence though it proved a red herring.

    And here we are, I still remain open-minded and objective. I still await conclusive firm evidence to disprove my assessment. If it is brought, I will concede, however as a scientist I won't accept "everybody knows" as an answer. And as a poster, I do not think this to be unreasonable. Do you?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wookie42)
    I'm really struggling to understand why people won't accept degree difficulties vary from university to university. You need straight As/A*s to get into Oxbridge whereas you need straight Cs or Ds to get into somewhere like Derby. Do people honestly believe a Derby graduate would have a hope in hell at Cambridge exams? I'm not trying to **** off universities here either, just making the point that to say all degrees have the same general level of complexity and difficulty is insane.
    "You have reached the limit of how many posts you can rate today."

    Oh look, it's someone with common sense!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Complex Simplicity)
    I still await conclusive firm evidence to disprove my assessment. If it is brought, I will concede, however as a scientist I won't accept "everybody knows" as an answer. And as a poster, I do not think this to be unreasonable. Do you?
    We still await conclusive firm evidence to support your assessment.

    Yes, I think it is unreasonable not to listen to common sense. Common sense dictates that if people going to Oxbridge are getting 3 or 4 A2 levels at A or A*, while people going to some lower universities are getting Cs and Ds, and the proportion of firsts/upper seconds is not much, much higher at Oxbridge, bearing in mind that people at Oxbridge are clearly more academic and/or deal with exams better, then Oxbridge exams must be harder. Tell me which part of that paragraph you have a problem with, instead of parroting on about conclusive, firm evidence.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by derangedyoshi)
    We still await conclusive firm evidence to support your assessment.

    Yes, I think it is unreasonable not to listen to common sense. Common sense dictates that if people going to Oxbridge are getting 3 or 4 A2 levels at A or A*, while people going to some lower universities are getting Cs and Ds, and the proportion of firsts/upper seconds is not much, much higher at Oxbridge, bearing in mind that people at Oxbridge are clearly more academic and/or deal with exams better, then Oxbridge exams must be harder. Tell me which part of that paragraph you have a problem with, instead of parroting on about conclusive, firm evidence.
    I grow tired of repeating myself hence my constant self quoting. Re-read my initial post here. The most important part addressing your concerns being here:

    but in general, I think if you have a university that takes on exceptional students, and they get the same grades as a university which takes on 'average students' then the former university isn't doing as good a job as the latter.
    So by comparing say Bristol with Southampton both students come in with relatively similar A Levels though Bristol's students Ucas points is 50 points higher than Southampton students. (400 southamton vs 450 Bristol) Yet by the end of the course, 58 % of Bristol students have a 2.1 and above vs 84% at Southamton. That is 26% more students in Southamton have a 2.1 or more than their bristol counter parts despite getting similar grades at A Level. For Sussex (80%) that is 22% more.

    Your post
    (Original post by derangedyoshi)
    Look, you make a somewhat convincing argument. But that doesn't change the fact that it's wrong. Someone walking out of Maths at, say, Derby with a 2.1 would go into a Cambridge Maths exam and start crying. The fact is, different universities have different standards of degree. It might be unfair in some circumstances. But it's still true.
    was addressed here, systematically picking all of it apart. You made an assertion, and didn't back it up with evidence. You then went away. I still await your evidence, or response.

    Again I'll repeat as a scientist "common sense" doesn't cut it. Common sense said the world is flat. Firm evidence proved that it was round. Common sense said the sun orbits the earth. Firm evidence proved that it was the other way around. I don't deal with common sense. I deal with evidence for it is evidence and not "common sense" which pushes us towards truth.

    Now try again. Do you have any evidence to back up your claim, that a 2.1 is not comparable across universities in the same discipline. If you do not, I understand, just say you don't rather than make more groundless assertions. If you do, I would be more than interested to read them, and judging on their quality and reliability, re-evaluate my assessment.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by derangedyoshi)
    We still await conclusive firm evidence to support your assessment.

    Yes, I think it is unreasonable not to listen to common sense. Common sense dictates that if people going to Oxbridge are getting 3 or 4 A2 levels at A or A*, while people going to some lower universities are getting Cs and Ds, and the proportion of firsts/upper seconds is not much, much higher at Oxbridge, bearing in mind that people at Oxbridge are clearly more academic and/or deal with exams better, then Oxbridge exams must be harder. Tell me which part of that paragraph you have a problem with, instead of parroting on about conclusive, firm evidence.
    Your argument doesn't hold water I'm afraid. Simply being good at school exams doesn't automatically mean that you will be good at univesity exams. I'd never failed an exam until I went to university and some of my other results were absolutely dire even in the first year simply because I did not understand what they were asking for.

    You have to recognise that many, many schools now work 'to the exam' and therefore the pupil will only need to concentrate on a small amount of information. Contrast that to university where you are often just given a book list, and assignment title and are told to get on with it at the same time that you are covering other work in lectures!

    And A levels allow you to resubmit work to get better grades which doesn't happen at university as resubmitted work is generally capped at 40%.

    Really it is ridiculous to assume that good A levels will mean good university results. It doesn't, because you are simply not being spoon-fed in the same way that you are at school.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nichrome)
    You're not really proving anything yourself here. The statements on UUK are incredibly vague, merely statements of intent than concrete proof. Have you actually ever read an external examiners report? They don't do much themselves, they simply make recommendations for what can be changed in subsequent years. They have very little power to actually change the ****ing classing of degrees, so if they felt that it's harder to get a 2.1 at one place than another, all they can do is make recommendations, they can't suddenly go "give more people a 2.1". The regulation done by UUK is much much less concrete and rigid than you think, and the external examiners are simply there to check that no completely wacky **** is going on (i.e. giving out firsts for incredibly poor pieces of work).

    The simple point is is that no one can really prove it either way, external examiners reports are notoriously difficult to get hold of, but surely by actually using a bit of common sense you can see that if a cohort which has hundreds of UCAS points more than an another is getting worse degree results then there is some discrepancy in the standard required.

    *awaits some smug ******* reply consisting of simply quoting the same **** on the UUK website*
    I suppose that the only way to ensure consistency across the university sector would be to give the same examination paper to all university candidates and remove all of the individual exams. That way the universities would cover the syllabus in their own way and the exams would be externally set. We could then directly compare just how good the old universities are at teaching the same subjects as the new universities.

    And given the new fees it would be a good way of seeing if the old universities are providing value for money.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by puddlejumper)
    I suppose that the only way to ensure consistency across the university sector would be to give the same examination paper to all university candidates and remove all of the individual exams. That way the universities would cover the syllabus in their own way and the exams would be externally set. We could then directly compare just how good the old universities are at teaching the same subjects as the new universities.

    And given the new fees it would be a good way of seeing if the old universities are providing value for money.
    I agree this would be the most conclusive system. But it would probably be unworkable; as a lot of lecturers only have substantial knowledge in their individual specialism and these are far too diverse to set one exam. If all you've been focused on for the last 20 years is 16th century british history, it wouldn't be fair for you to mark papers on 20th century soviet Russia, nor would it be fair to prescribe a set mark scheme as that would lead to the same 'prescriptive' learning to the test formula which plagues School exams. University is supposed to be all about original thought, and free flowing thinking.

    Though you're probably correct, this would be the most conclusive system, just probably unworkable hence the current system of 'checks, regulations and QAA tools'
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Complex Simplicity)
    Now try again. Do you have any evidence to back up your claim, that a 2.1 is not comparable across universities in the same discipline. If you do not, I understand, just say you don't rather than make more groundless assertions. If you do, I would be more than interested to read them, and judging on their quality and reliability, re-evaluate my assessment.
    Fine. I have no evidence. I am a 15-year-old. I am not even in my last year of school. I may have logical arguments, I may have common sense, but apparently that's not enough to convince you. Evidence may exist; I don't know. Frankly I'm past the point of caring. I know what I believe, and I think you might secretly believe it too; either that, or you're just stupid, or obstinate. Don't bother quoting me, I've given up on convincing you.

    (Original post by puddlejumper)
    Your argument doesn't hold water I'm afraid. Simply being good at school exams doesn't automatically mean that you will be good at univesity exams. I'd never failed an exam until I went to university and some of my other results were absolutely dire even in the first year simply because I did not understand what they were asking for.

    You have to recognise that many, many schools now work 'to the exam' and therefore the pupil will only need to concentrate on a small amount of information. Contrast that to university where you are often just given a book list, and assignment title and are told to get on with it at the same time that you are covering other work in lectures!

    And A levels allow you to resubmit work to get better grades which doesn't happen at university as resubmitted work is generally capped at 40%.

    Really it is ridiculous to assume that good A levels will mean good university results. It doesn't, because you are simply not being spoon-fed in the same way that you are at school.
    I realise all of that. However, you're ignoring the basic point. People who do better in school exams, including the various non-A-level exams such as UKCAT and STEP, which aren't quite as bad, tend to be more intelligent. More intelligent people, I would have thought, tend to have an advantage in university. Therefore, when lots of people who do well at school go to "good" universities and seemingly don't get better grades, it is necessary to question whether the difficulty is really equal between universities.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by derangedyoshi)
    Fine. I have no evidence. I am a 15-year-old. I am not even in my last year of school. I may have logical arguments, I may have common sense, but apparently that's not enough to convince you. Evidence may exist; I don't know. Frankly I'm past the point of caring. I know what I believe, and I think you might secretly believe it too; either that, or you're just stupid, or obstinate. Don't bother quoting me, I've given up on convincing you.
    At least you finally admit you have no basis for disprove the claim other than your 'beliefs'. It's just a shame that you feel the need to result to personal insults again in your frustration. I hope that when you do get some more education, and life experience that you will finally come to realise that baseless 'beliefs' and narrow-minded thinking is puerile and does not lead to truth but merely clouds judgement leading to wrong decision making.

    Good luck and I genuinely hope you find what you're looking for.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by derangedyoshi)
    Fine. I have no evidence. I am a 15-year-old. I am not even in my last year of school. I may have logical arguments, I may have common sense, but apparently that's not enough to convince you. Evidence may exist; I don't know. Frankly I'm past the point of caring. I know what I believe, and I think you might secretly believe it too; either that, or you're just stupid, or obstinate. Don't bother quoting me, I've given up on convincing you.
    This begs the question; if you can't evidence something, why do you believe it?

    "Logic" is meaningless without premises to apply it to. In the real world, these premises come in the form of evidence. And common sense? That's an empty phrase if ever I saw one.

    Specific to the subject, one university may be better than another, but that's irrelevant to the classification. Examinations are governed by external bodies in order to ensure that - within a given subject - they're of as close to equivalent difficulty as possible. Regardless of what the university actually teaches you, the exam is a measure of what you know at the end and it is a universal measure.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Planto)
    This begs the question; if you can't evidence something, why do you believe it?

    "Logic" is meaningless without premises to apply it to. In the real world, these premises come in the form of evidence. And common sense? That's an empty phrase if ever I saw one.
    This isn't a theological debate.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Diminutive)
    Because it has an average entry requirement of 180 ucas points. Garbage in, Garbage out. Simples.
    Not all courses that require 180 UCAS points to get in is ****e.

    Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln for Primary Education with QTS is 180 points and is one of the most competitive places to get in and offers one the best courses for becoming a Primary Teacher. Plus it's totally awesome. :P
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    This isn't a theological debate.
    Reason extends beyond theology.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by D.R.E)
    So how exactly are employment statistics taken six months after the completion of an undergraduate degree relevant to the question 'is it really bad'?
    In France we have table that shows the employment rate, average salary after graduation and average salary after 3 years. It allows us to compare Grande Ecole between each other (as far as I know we don't compare uni). Again I don't know how university system work in UK, I know in my country school are examined every 5 years and if their standard are too low they loose their Grande Ecole title. Even with controlled standard you can't say all school are equal.

    It looks like that : http://www.lexpansion.com/classement...124718&tf_id=1

    http://www.lexpansion.com/classement...124718&tf_id=2

    And it's a fair way to judge how good schools are (it's pretty accurate if you take in consideration Paris/non-Paris school as salary are higher in Paris).

    It may not work for uni as degree offered are not the same, but you could compare BSc Physics in all uni this way.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by LysFromParis)
    And it's a fair way to judge how good schools are (it's pretty accurate if you take in consideration Paris/non-Paris school as salary are higher in Paris).

    It may not work for uni as degree offered are not the same, but you could compare BSc Physics in all uni this way.
    You're sort of contradicting yourself in this section but OK, I'll show you why just quoting random statistics without some consideration of other factors.

    Here is a random statistic for you: every British Prime Minister since 1945, apart from three, has been an Oxbridge graduate.

    Make of that what you will.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by D.R.E)
    You're sort of contradicting yourself in this section but OK, I'll show you why just quoting random statistics without some consideration of other factors.

    Here is a random statistic for you: every British Prime Minister since 1945, apart from three, has been an Oxbridge graduate.

    Make of that what you will.
    And two of these non oxbridge PMs were Gordon Brown and John Major
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Complex Simplicity)
    And two of these non oxbridge PMs were Gordon Brown and John Major
    Indeed.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by D.R.E)
    You're sort of contradicting yourself in this section but OK, I'll show you why just quoting random statistics without some consideration of other factors.

    Here is a random statistic for you: every British Prime Minister since 1945, apart from three, has been an Oxbridge graduate.

    Make of that what you will.
    And in another thread they're crying about how the country has "gone to the dogs" since roughly that time.

    Make of that what you will.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rose.)
    Not all courses that require 180 UCAS points to get in is ****e.

    Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln for Primary Education with QTS is 180 points and is one of the most competitive places to get in and offers one the best courses for becoming a Primary Teacher. Plus it's totally awesome. :P
    Sounds like an exceptional case - and presumably would need an interview etc to get a place on? Since a decent teaching course is far removed from let's say a business degree in terms of what you need, they obviously judge in different ways to just A levels. I'm sure if the course is as good as you say it is, a lot of the applicants are better than the 180 point requirement anyway. With South Bank, they literally take anyone who applies who has like E's and D's.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Useful resources
    Uni match

    Applying to uni?

    Our tool will help you find the perfect course

    Articles:

    Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

    Quick link:

    Educational debate unanswered threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.