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    (Original post by yl95)
    You say Imperial isn't better for a very large no of courses - which are UCL better at? Medicine and Bio courses are of similar standard but surely you don't believe Engineering or Maths, for example, are better at UCL?
    I'm not just talking about subjects they share.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I'm not just talking about subjects they share.
    That is a ridiculous comparison. So MIT is worse than UC Berkeley? MIT is worse than Yale, Princeton?...
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    (Original post by yl95)
    That is a ridiculous comparison. So MIT is worse than UC Berkeley? MIT is worse than Yale, Princeton?...
    No more ridiculous than comparing a specialist institution which offers comparatively few degrees with a very large multi faculty university. I'm sure humanities students are sick of hearing that Imperial is better, when plainly it isn't for their subject.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    No more ridiculous than comparing a specialist institution which offers comparatively few degrees with a very large multi faculty university. I'm sure humanities students are sick of hearing that Imperial is better, when plainly it isn't for their subject.
    I think it is more to do with the fact that Imperial has a more consistent standard in its degrees whereas certain departments at UCL are definitely a lot weaker than others/attract lower academically achieving students through niche subjects with ABB requirements. Obviously this is harder for a multifaculty uni. For the subjects they do have in common, Imperial is mostly better.
    No one is saying Imperial is better for, say, English, which UCL is great for.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
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    I dislike to participate in a discussion standing on subjective personal impressions. Because that's mostly not beneficial and non-academic. So I collected and calculated data (from here). For our further discussion, Have a look at this table, showing the effect of subject preference of students on universities.



    The definition of "niche" is very subjective. So I categorised all subjects into 5 scales(very strong, strong, medium, weak, very weak) based on average UCAS tariff of top 5 universities and all universities in each subject. you won't disagree with this data reduction, because we were essentially talking about which subject affects universities' average UCAS tariff points negatively and positively.

    I want to point out the followings.

    (a) Between UCL and Manchester, I was totally right. Manchester covers 75% of total subjects, which is much more than UCL(52%). And Manchester is punished by 12% weaker subjects + 56% stronger subjects. This is much more negative impact than what UCL gets(6% weaker subjects, 71% stronger subjects).

    (b) Between UCL and Imperial, your perception is proved. Imperial provides courses only in stronger subjects, it even doesn't have any medium subjects. So of course it must gain extra bonus on its UCAS tariff naturally.

    (c) Between UCL and LSE, interestingly, the result is opposite, because of the absence in STEM and Humanities (subjects like classics and language tend to attract higher scorers statistically), LSE gets more negative impact than UCL, so we can say UCL gets more bonus against LSE.

    (d) Between UCL and other rivals, St Andrews and Durham get more advantage, and Edinburgh gets more disadvantage. Others aren't significantly different from UCL in this sense.

    So, you could say UCL's UCAS tariff is unfairly seen because it provides various courses compared to Imperial, St Andrews and Durham. However not any other rivals. Especially Edinburgh and LSE would feel insulted.

    Now I want to show you one more table. It shows how much universities successfully manage to gain students with higher academic merits (it means how much students there are academic high achievers within their own categories).



    As you can see, Oxbridge managed to take only top achievers in all categories. Also Imperial managed it almost in all subjects(except Medicine, but still within top 10). So it is true that Imperial does well in its all subjects. Whereas UCL clearly can't attract top achievers in all categories. only a bit less than 60% of its courses deserve to be seen as "it takes best students in its own subjects", but over 40% of subjects it provides are out of this range. In fact, there is a clear gap between UCL and LSE/Durham/St Andrews.

    If UCL successfully got top students in most of its offering subjects (like top 5 in art, top 5 in Iberian study etc), people would respect UCL much more than now, no matter how the average UCAS tariff is. But in reality, 43% of British university students would likely feel UCL wasn't that highly selective in their own subjects, so it's natural that they cant stop feeling like UCL's not as good as it promotes, just like “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

    Even though Imperial cleverly narrows its degrees only in strong subjects, it still deserves to be highly respected, because within its hands, all cards are excellent ones.

    Just in case if you doubt about data, I attached raw data on my post. In this case, download it on your pc, and return it to its original size. I don't mind how much you are against my perception, but please provide alternative data or other sources to support your views. Let's make our conversation more fruitful.

    Oh, and one more,

    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I don't agree that most people view entry requirements as a quality indicator. Sixth Formers and TSR users perhaps, but who cares what they think? It is a mistaken viewpoint and it shouldn't be relevant in this debate.
    Maybe you are an exception, but most people would do so.

    Ask your friends or colleagues "why do you think Oxbridge students are smart?" or "why do British societies recognise Oxbridge students smart?".They will very most likely answer something like "Because Oxbridge are difficult to get in, and difficult to graduate.". Almost no one will answer like "Because Oxbridge have high research standards" or "Oxbridge have longer history". Because they are logically irrelevant to how students are smart.


    (Original post by yl95)
    I think it is more to do with the fact that Imperial has a more consistent standard in its degrees whereas certain departments at UCL are definitely a lot weaker than others/attract lower academically achieving students through niche subjects with ABB requirements. Obviously this is harder for a multifaculty uni. For the subjects they do have in common, Imperial is mostly better.No one is saying Imperial is better for, say, English, which UCL is great for.
    Agree.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I have already explained why entry requirements are not relevant. I did look at the physics course/modules - as far as I can tell, it isn't watered down - what modules is the degree lacking? Your impressions are based on hearsay and a visit to the open day, hardly enough experience to form a judgment about the place. Prove that UCL is underfunded.



    I still maintain that the overall figures are skewed by the above average number of niche degrees UCL offers. UCL also has a higher proportion of mature and part-time students, these students may not have completed qualifications which awards UCAS points (e.g the Access to HE course).



    I don't agree that most people view entry requirements as a quality indicator. Sixth Formers and TSR users perhaps, but who cares what they think? It is a mistaken viewpoint and it shouldn't be relevant in this debate.

    Don't put words in my mouth, I know Manchester has a very good reputation for physics. I don't see Manchester (or any other university) as just a single unit, but a collection of departments. That is precisely why I think it's unfair to say Imperial is better than UCL, because for a very large number of subjects, it isn't.



    Nursing and Music are not niche subjects. I don't understand what you mean re ignoring academic merit, I didn't say that. My point was that UCL offers more niche degrees than most universities, and certainly a lot more than LSE and Imperial - in consequence their entry requirements are lower.

    Yeah, the whole university must be bad because the chemical engineering dept isn't great.



    As far as I know, it is only chem engineering that lets UCL down. Their mech/civil/bio engineering courses are apparently very good.

    nah mech eng and a few others are not goood
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    (Original post by Terry Tibbs)
    Sciences are quite meh at UCL with the lack of funding, their physics course in particular is pretty poor at undergrad and its course structure is watered down in comparison to other unis.
    I very much agree with you. I also attended the open day for a combo programme stream of Maths AND Physics...it's ridiculous to say that impressions mean nothing during open day...because frankly, yes they do, and it does not take a genius to see that the departments are very much underfunded and INCREDIBLY scrambled. (Note that I was not the only one who left open day with this impression) Though the faculty members were friendly, It was more than clear that sciences at UCL is weak.

    I don't know how many on this thread live in London, but having lived in London my entire life, I have heard over and over again (this is not a fabrication) from uni students and adults that UCL is overrated and not impressive in the sciences.

    Don't get me wrong...It once was a school I was going to firm--Saying that its maths and sciences departments are weak is not trying to slander it--it's the truth. I don't see why it is so difficult for some people here to understand.
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    (Original post by frognation22)
    .
    I don't have a dog in this race as I'm not going to UCL, but I'd heard that UCL is one of the best places in the world, certainly the UK, for neuroscience.
    Would you disagree?
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    (Original post by TheThiefOfBagdad)
    I don't have a dog in this race as I'm not going to UCL, but I'd heard that UCL is one of the best places in the world, certainly the UK, for neuroscience.
    Would you disagree?
    Oh no I would not disagree at all. UCL's research for neuroscience is outstanding, and great for undergraduate and postgraduate. But in general, UCL is not strong for the hard and physical sciences (think maths, physics, engineering and the like)
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    If you don't like UCL, guess what? Don't study there! Easy solution. Just move on. The world rankings speak for themselves.
 
 
 
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