I have got to say, this thread is full of the biggest load of **** I have read on TSR in a while ... and that says something. I quoted miscellaneous123, but I could have selected all but a few posts here as an example.
OP clearly does not want to go to America. He doesn't like the idea of Harvard because he doesn't like the wider focus of the course. Who can really blame him? He wants to study mechanical engineering, not American literature. The American program is wide for a reason - it's because they don't begin to specialise in at any stage before getting to university. He admits himself that he can't justify the MIT fees and, even there, doesn't feel he would be doing enough engineering and that the first year would be a waste.
However, so many TSR stereotypes have seen "OMG MIT!!!" or "OMG FREE HARVARD!!!!" ... and gone mental over it, confused the OP and had some sort of a prestige orgy over this thread.
If you want to stay in the UK, Cambridge.
If you're willing to go to the US to study, Harvard.
Imperial or MIT. Both universities have a large endowment and they are largely tech schools. So you'd have cutting edge lecturers and tech to play around with.
Wow.... this is very impressive.
I'm applying to American universities and waiting to hear back (albeit nervously). Many TSRians won't realise just how insane it is to get into MIT and Harvard for ENGINEERING and on FINANCIAL AID and as an INTERNATIONAL STUDENT. Seriously, props to you.
Could I ask what your SAT's, A-levels etc. were like?
Imperial over MIT? ARE YOU MAD?
MIT is 2 - 3 leagues over Imperial!
WOAH! You must be an International Maths/Physics/Chemistry Olympiad medallist or something, how on Earth did you get such a ridiculously amazing set of offers? Getting offers from Harvard and MIT as an international is incredible, I am awe-struck!
I'll sum up each uni I guess:
Harvard- Ridiculously prestigious. You'll be surrounded by people who will go on to do amazing things, and you have full financial aid. The program is very broad-based though and Harvard is not exactly known for teaching engineering well.
MIT- Viewed as the best in the world for engineering programs. Very expensive though. If finance is not an issue I would strongly encourage you to go to MIT, you'll be getting a fantastic education.
Cambridge- Very prestigious, excellent undergraduate education.
ICL- Whilst obviously much less internationally prestigious than the other three, it offers a robust Engineering programme which is viewed extremely well by domestic employers.