Surely Oxbridge degrees should be LESS valued than others... ? Watch

manchild007
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
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LOL, and thus begins the idiocy of the uninformed.

The reasons why universities like Harvard/Yale/Princeton etc have such HUGE endowments, isn't because they're profit making institutions (i.e. this income isn't generated from fees at all). It shows how little you actually know about the universities your comparing Oxbridge too, as you would realise it is part of US culture for alumni to give back to your university institution - something both Oxford and Cambridge have been DESPERATELY trying to do, but have barely managed to raise a £1 billion in over 6 years, compared with say Harvard who has an endowment of over £20 billion alone. In other words, Oxbridge pale in comparison to the upper Ivy league schools.

Surprising no, considering Oxbridge in your view has so much more "intellectual history and culture" - I would have thought more people would give back to preserve this if this was indeed the case :rolleyes:

Moreover, given Oxbridge has had nearly a 700 year head start over HYP, its amazing to see these "best universities in the world" currently, slip behind universities such as HYP. More money would balance out a 700 year head start in my view - and indeed, of every global league table it seems too. Oxbridge are do doubt excellent institutions to gain an education, I'm not debating that, but not the best in world.
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Ilustrius
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(Original post by puddlejumper)
Not if it can be covered in 16 weeks!

Seriously though, I find it difficult to accept that simply because the course at Oxbridge makes you do loads of essays, that automatically makes it a better course than one which doesn't.

Swotting up a load of guff from the internet or from books and then spouting it out in the form of an essay doesn't mean that the student has actually learnt anything. I know that I've done essays and by the time they were handed back to me after marking I'd forgotten virtually everything in them.

And if they all had the names removed from the covers then I suspect that I would have a job identifying my own work. So if students are simply doing essay after essay how do they know that that is an effective way of learning and retaining that knowledge?

And are maths courses at Oxbridge less academic because one assumes that they are not essay based given that the number of essays is the defining factor of whether a course is good or not?
I don't think I can be bothered to rebut because this is the weakest, most ill informed argument I've ever faced on TSR.

Yes you do learn from writing essays. Essays aren't about knowing facts. They're about exhibiting the ability to consolidate them, and produce an argument with sufficient reasoning.

And how on earth are you under the impression that the more essays you write, the more academic the subject is. That's utter toss.

Seriously who has indoctrinated you?
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Ilustrius
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(Original post by manchild007)
LOL, and thus begins the idiocy of the uninformed.

The reasons why universities like Harvard/Yale/Princeton etc have such HUGE endowments, isn't because they're profit making institutions (i.e. this income isn't generated from fees at all). It shows how little you actually know about the universities your comparing Oxbridge too, as you would realise it is part of US culture for alumni to give back to your university institution - something both Oxford and Cambridge have been DESPERATELY trying to do, but have barely managed to raise a £1 billion in over 6 years, compared with say Harvard who has an endowment of over £20 billion alone. In other words, Oxbridge pale in comparison to the upper Ivy league schools.

Surprising no, considering Oxbridge in your view has so much more "intellectual history and culture" - I would have thought more people would give back to preserve this if this was indeed the case :rolleyes:

Moreover, given Oxbridge has had nearly a 700 year head start over HYP, its amazing to see these "best universities in the world" currently, slip behind universities such as HYP. More money would balance out a 700 year head start in my view - and indeed, of every global league table it seems too. Oxbridge are do doubt excellent institutions to gain an education, I'm not debating that, but not the best in world.
What the hell are you trying to say? Your waffling is all over the place and frankly, you don't appear to have a point. From what sort of concrete, quantitative figure can you confidently claim that Harvard, Princeton and Yale are 'better universities' than Oxbridge? It's completely subjective. Indeed, Oxbridge's American counterparts yield a significantly greater endowment than them. But that's largely down to a combination of both greater public funding, and tuition fees (don't Harvard charge something ridiculous like 7 times more in fees than Oxbridge?).

From an academic perspective, you've made a fallacious statement claiming Harvard, Princeton and Yale dwarf Oxbridge. That's funny, considering a recent world ranking, based predominantly on academic opinion, listed Cambridge as best academic institution in the world.

MY point is Harvard, Princeton and Yale are generally not regarded as 'better' than Oxbridge. And vice versa.
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Slick 'n' Shady
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
Oxford founded in 914 and Cambridge in 1209
Harvard founded in 1636 and Yale in 1701.

The massive difference in wealth between these institutions is a testament to the greatness of the academics at Oxford. America has to throw insane sums of money to perform marginally better.

And American universities know nothing of intellectual culture. They are profit making institutions.
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Ilustrius
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#65
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(Original post by manchild007)
Intellectual history and culture? :rolleyes:

Do you even know enough of Harvard and Yale (and Princeton etc) to make such a conclusion? I think not, b/c if you did, you would most certainly be saying the opposite, as these institutions dwarf Oxbridge frankly. And indeed, every global league table agrees, so I know who I'd rather trust (i.e. professionals who look at universities as a job, or some snotty little poster on TSR making fallacious statements/assumptions)...
1. You're wrong about the league tables. Any even remotely intelligent person would acknowledge that league tables are unreliable.

2. Speaking of fallacies, how ironic.
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WhatTheFunk
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#66
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(Original post by pick92)
Universities award their own degrees though don't they? So a 2:1 degree from one is not necessarily the same as a 2:1 degree from another.
award yes, but marking can be very different

external examiners are used, my department at my uni can't talk for others here, 2nd year work some coursework get looked at by external examiners and exams do as well, where as all 3rd year work gets looked at external examiners and exams as well

its gets marked internal and external

and all exams are anonymous to the marker, all they have on the front is your student ID and seat number
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ilickbatteries
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Oxford and Cambridge have a better academic culture but it is hard to argue with the global standing of the upper echelons of America's Ivy League. They are very, very good.

A first from Oxbridge and other top universities is probably quite hard to achieve, yes. However, I have seen some ridiculous threads on here including one the other day, in which a poster was adamant that


"A student achieving a first at TVU would not even achieve a third in the same subject at LSE"

The differences in quality between the universities is not so huge that such a scenario could occur. For example, take a look at lecturer profiles on university websites. Sure, you get plenty of top educated lecturers at top universities, but I've seen plenty of academic profiles where the lecturer has completed UG study at places like Bradford and are now lecturing at a top ten university.

Oxbridge degrees are highly valued because they're difficult, but the university system in the UK isn't so polarised that a first from one university wouldn't even equal a third elsewhere. If this was the case, you wouldn't get students who complete UG studies at some very poorly ranked institution, get a first and then complete an MA at a top, top uni.
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Chucklefiend
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(Original post by matt2k8)
No, as the courses there are much more difficult than at other unis even with the good teaching standards.
I've never actually encountered any evidence for this. If you could provide a source supplying such evidence I would be most grateful.

Regardless, It is reasonable to expect that any assumed higher standards at Oxbridge would more or less reflect the higher calibre of student they are able to attract. Therefore, it follows that the percentage acheiving firsts/2.1s would be approximately the same as in more modest universities, with less rigorous courses counter-balanced against a lower quality student. Evidently, this is simply not the case; over 85% of Oxbridge population get a first/2.1 compared to only ~50-60%, on average, of top 20- 40 universities' students. It follows that the teaching standards must account, at least partially for this discrepancy, and that relatively speaking, it is more difficult to get a first/2.1 from within the population of a mediocre university than it is to get a first/2.1 from within an Oxbridge population.
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by ilickbatteries)
Oxford and Cambridge have a better academic culture but it is hard to argue with the global standing of the upper echelons of America's Ivy League. They are very, very good.
What's a "better academic culture"?
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Concept186
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(Original post by Chucklefiend)
I've never actually encountered any evidence for this. If you could provide a source supplying such evidence I would be most grateful.
Try comparing past papers in a subject you're familiar with as a good litmus test. As an example, I just compared my first year physics papers with Keeles - Keeles papers are a joke by comparison - I can see ten mark questions we'd be expected to do to earn the first mark of like a four mark question.
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manchild007
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(Original post by Ilustrius)
From an academic perspective, you've made a fallacious statement claiming Harvard, Princeton and Yale dwarf Oxbridge. That's funny, considering a recent world ranking, based predominantly on academic opinion, listed Cambridge as best academic institution in the world.
Funny that this league table placed Cambridge (for the first time too) at the number one position, following a COMPLETE overhaul of their ranking methodology, which indeed led to protests of one of the major publishing partners for the ranking, resulting in them inevitably walking out. Whilst I don't disagree that league tables all have their quirks, this is a VERY heavily flawed table.

Every other table has consistently (read for many many years), ranked HYP above Oxbridge or in some combination done so. Whilst foolishly degrading others replies is indeed a fun activity for the uninformed like yourself, I would insist you do your research and indeed stop making false assumptions about what I've said, so that it can better suit your purpose and thus some fallacious and utterly sophist reply.

PS. See also my reply below if you want specifics on certain things, no doubt something you'll twist and misconstrue to suit the purposes of your argument again :rolleyes:
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manchild007
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(Original post by ilickbatteries)
Oxford and Cambridge have a better academic culture but it is hard to argue with the global standing of the upper echelons of America's Ivy League. They are very, very good.
Better academic cultures based on what?

Oh and please spare me the argument that Oxbridge has a college system and indeed tutorials etc. So does Harvard, as does Yale and indeed as does Princeton and many of the other Ivy's (but in particular the 3 I've mentioned, with regards to college systems as well). They're called different things obviously, as colleges tend to be Upperclassman Houses in the Case of Harvard (Yale and Princeton its Colleges), tutorials are either called precepts (Princeton), or Supervisions (as is the case with Harvard and Cambridge here in the UK etc).

Moreover, given the tremendous wealth of the American universities, you have MUCH BETTER resources - i.e. opportunities to engage in actual world-class research in your first year (with research being a component you're taught etc). There are many more resources (more outstanding/world-renowned professors ON THE WHOLE than at Oxbridge, funding for projects you have an interest in and general internship resources etc), but I've explained these all before and do not wish to repeat myself again.
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manchild007
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(Original post by Ilustrius)
You're wrong about the league tables. Any even remotely intelligent person would acknowledge that league tables are unreliable.
Oh what a surprise, the only objective evidence there is (which incidentally supports the view that HYP>Oxbridge), is now simply no longer reliable - I enjoy your reply critiquing EVERY SINGLE table and indeed informing me as to why they are all indeed "unreliable".

"Speaking of fallacies, how ironic", as indeed using league tables as a defense was fine when one (from the many, and for the first time ever) supported your view :rolleyes:
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wanderlust.xx
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(Original post by ilickbatteries)
Oxford and Cambridge have a better academic culture but it is hard to argue with the global standing of the upper echelons of America's Ivy League. They are very, very good.

A first from Oxbridge and other top universities is probably quite hard to achieve, yes. However, I have seen some ridiculous threads on here including one the other day, in which a poster was adamant that


"A student achieving a first at TVU would not even achieve a third in the same subject at LSE"

The differences in quality between the universities is not so huge that such a scenario could occur. For example, take a look at lecturer profiles on university websites. Sure, you get plenty of top educated lecturers at top universities, but I've seen plenty of academic profiles where the lecturer has completed UG study at places like Bradford and are now lecturing at a top ten university.

Oxbridge degrees are highly valued because they're difficult, but the university system in the UK isn't so polarised that a first from one university wouldn't even equal a third elsewhere. If this was the case, you wouldn't get students who complete UG studies at some very poorly ranked institution, get a first and then complete an MA at a top, top uni.
Very well put! I also refuse to believe that a student who achieves a first in Maths at say RHUL would still be nowhere in comparison to a third from Oxbridge or an Ivy League university.

On a related note, I suppose subjects overall may in fact differ. Law at Oxbridge might have that rule apply to it, even if it's still unlikely. I haven't been to Oxbridge though so this is all pure speculation.
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Slumpy
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(Original post by Chucklefiend)
I've never actually encountered any evidence for this. If you could provide a source supplying such evidence I would be most grateful.

Regardless, It is reasonable to expect that any assumed higher standards at Oxbridge would more or less reflect the higher calibre of student they are able to attract. Therefore, it follows that the percentage acheiving firsts/2.1s would be approximately the same as in more modest universities, with less rigorous courses counter-balanced against a lower quality student. Evidently, this is simply not the case; over 85% of Oxbridge population get a first/2.1 compared to only ~50-60%, on average, of top 20- 40 universities' students. It follows that the teaching standards must account, at least partially for this discrepancy, and that relatively speaking, it is more difficult to get a first/2.1 from within the population of a mediocre university than it is to get a first/2.1 from within an Oxbridge population.
Best bet is as has been suggested to check out some different exam papers. For instance, imperial maths papers are quite significantly easier than Cambridge(these come to mind as I've seen them posted a few times). You would have to take into account how much of the paper you were expected to do of course.

I'm not at all convinced the teaching is much better at Oxbridge. As far as I can tell, for sciences at least, there's nothing 'extra' here over a whole host of other universities.
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Inzamam99
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Why are people who are saying Oxbridge is better (IN GENERAL) getting negged? It's most definitely true no matter how much the retards out there want to pretend that a degree from Bucks New Uni. is as good.
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laurenlodge
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Just to check - everybody that's saying degree classifications are awarded on a normal distribution - that's not true, is it?

Unless I've got confused (which is possible) - you just get a percentage, it isn't related to anybody else in such concrete terms as UMS in Alevels.

(Unless external moderation has something to do with it? But even then, % of firsts vary from year, uni and subject, so...)

So if someone in the know could just let me know I'm right on that.....
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laurenlodge
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(Original post by Inzamam99)
Why are people who are saying Oxbridge is better (IN GENERAL) getting negged? It's most definitely true no matter how much the retards out there want to pretend that a degree from Bucks New Uni. is as good.
Maybe it's how they're putting their point across?

E.g. I'd suspect if people were to neg you it wouldn't be for the content and more for the way in which you're dismissing people with a different opinion rudely.

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Inzamam99
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(Original post by lozz2601)
Maybe it's how they're putting their point across?

E.g. I'd suspect if people were to neg you it wouldn't be for the content and more for the way in which you're dismissing people with a different opinion rudely.

Oh right , but on the other hand I swear everyone who's even hinted what I have has been ravaged :nooo:
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Slumpy
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(Original post by lozz2601)
Just to check - everybody that's saying degree classifications are awarded on a normal distribution - that's not true, is it?

Unless I've got confused (which is possible) - you just get a percentage, it isn't related to anybody else in such concrete terms as UMS in Alevels.

(Unless external moderation has something to do with it? But even then, % of firsts vary from year, uni and subject, so...)

So if someone in the know could just let me know I'm right on that.....
It depends, my degree classification is pretty much on a normal curve, and you're given a percentage arbitrarily(chosen so that the firsts go 70%+, 2:1s 60-70% etc). Some might just be percentages.
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