Times University Guide 2010 Watch

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#141
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#141
(Original post by aerob89)
UCL is 5th, good to see but take away the damn NSS and st andrews gets the hell out the top 10 and promotes UCL to 4th.
:laugh:
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ChemistBoy
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#142
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#142
(Original post by andyms)
I know that people in the UK tend to fantasize about a "solid top-ten", but when it comes to world recognition, people tend to stick to Oxford and Cambridge. Neither Imperial nor LSE, nor St Andrews. (Though the latter one is - for some reason (maybe its Media/Journalism courses) - somewhat known in the US).
What media/journalism courses? That isn't why St Andrews is well known in the US at all.

Why do people just make stuff up?
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achard
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#143
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#143
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
What media/journalism courses? That isn't why St Andrews is well known in the US at all.

Why do people just make stuff up?
You're right. It's because of Prince Wills. The whole Princeton thing didn't do quite as much for St Andy's as he has. Without him we wouldn't see them in the top 10 now.


Let's see St Andrew's students dispute this.
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The Boosh
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#144
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#144
(Original post by aerob89)
UCL is 5th, good to see but take away the damn NSS and st andrews gets the hell out the top 10 and promotes UCL to 4th.
Are you sure? How could you know?
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ChemistBoy
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#145
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#145
(Original post by achard)
You're right. It's because of Prince Wills. The whole Princeton thing didn't do quite as much for St Andy's as he has. Without him we wouldn't see them in the top 10 now.


Let's see St Andrew's students dispute this.
Easy, where is the score for 'prestige in the US' on the UK university league tables? US students aren't counted in the UCAS tariffs either.

St Andrews was very popular the US students prior to PW arriving and there were many there in my years prior to his arrival. Of course, it is undeniable that his attendance has increased the profile of the University throughout the world, however the university was well recognised in the US prior to this and its standing amongst the academic community in the US really was not affected much by PW's attendance.
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The Boosh
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#146
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#146
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Why do people just make stuff up?
Strange, isn't it?
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The Boosh
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#147
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#147
(Original post by achard)
You're right. It's because of Prince Wills. The whole Princeton thing didn't do quite as much for St Andy's as he has. Without him we wouldn't see them in the top 10 now.


Let's see St Andrew's students dispute this.
Hang on, slow down a sec. A university's popularity only indirectly (at best) influences its league table position insofar as the grade boundaries can be increased. Being popular makes no difference to the rest of the measures.

Seriously, how on earth did you come to your conclusion?!
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0404343m
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#148
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#148
(Original post by The Boosh)
Hang on, slow down a sec. A university's popularity only indirectly (at best) influences its league table position insofar as the grade boundaries can be increased. Being popular makes no difference to the rest of the measures.

Seriously, how on earth did you come to your conclusion?!
While I agree with what you're saying Boosh, and St Andrews has had a strong reputation for educating (predominantly the middles classes) for decades before William turned up, popularity has bigger effects than merely the grade boundaries- although they are related to it.

More applicants means they can (allowing for some slipping through the net) have better qualified students throughout the university. As well as improving the UCAS score, these students are more likely to come from a family who have went to university, less likely to drop out, more likely to get good honours, and thus, be satisfied with their experience. It also brings in more money, as full courses (and particularly international postgrads) are lucrative to the university, perhaps allowing them to invest more, pushing up the spend ratio and maybe even splashing out on senior staff, improving (although not always) research score.

In short, being fashionable (and not having to participate in a policy to draw in students from local area/poor backgrounds), is a sure fire way to jump up the league table. If you have any doubts about this, think about this statistic: The top 10 in this table include 'G5'+ Warwick (i.e the usual suspects), then the three most elitist universities in the UK- Bristol, St Andrews and Durham. Certain social groups apply to certain universities, meaning they tend to do well on the criteria tables score on. Whether the quality of education is 'better' here than elsewhere, rather than merely better at winning the points necessary to be at the top of these tables, is the big debate.
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andreasms
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#149
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#149
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
What media/journalism courses? That isn't why St Andrews is well known in the US at all.

Why do people just make stuff up?

Well yes, that's why I've said "for some reason - maybe".
Didn't say I was certain about it.

Plus that's what St. Andrew's students have been telling me. I wouldn't even bother finding out why St. Andrew's is known in the US.
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ChemistBoy
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#150
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#150
(Original post by andyms)
Well yes, that's why I've said "for some reason - maybe".
Didn't say I was certain about it.

Plus that's what St. Andrew's students have been telling me. I wouldn't even bother finding out why St. Andrew's is known in the US.
Current St Andrews students have been telling you about courses that don't exist at the University? Really? mmm...
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Ham and Jam
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#151
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#151
(Original post by andyms)
Well yes, that's why I've said "for some reason - maybe".
Didn't say I was certain about it.

Plus that's what St. Andrew's students have been telling me. I wouldn't even bother finding out why St. Andrew's is known in the US.
Its because St Andrews heavily, and I mean heavily, market themselves in the US. In most east coast boarding schools you will see flyers advertising St Andrews and the university holds recruitment talks etc. It has gone after the american applicant for some years, thats why. It has a reputation in the uS as being the place where posh students who did'nt get into the ivies go to as its more exotic and quaint than many large public US universities. Just check collegeconfidential.com, the American version of TSR, and many would say the same
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andreasms
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#152
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#152
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Current St Andrews students have been telling you about courses that don't exist at the University? Really? mmm...

Mmmm.. No need to be sarcastic. St. Andrew's offers International Relations course and it is first league table-wise when it comes to media studies.

Here's me trying to convince some guy at some internet forum of what university offers what courses. Damn. And I'm not even interested in St. Andrews.

Oh well, I don't mind really.
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ChemistBoy
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#153
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#153
(Original post by andyms)
Mmmm.. No need to be sarcastic. St. Andrew's offers International Relations course and it is first league table-wise when it comes to media studies.
International relations =/= journalism. The university does offer film studies, so that's probably been lumped into general 'media' courses for the purposes of the league tables.
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aerob89
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#154
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#154
(Original post by The Boosh)
Are you sure? How could you know?
because i am the times university guide
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The Boosh
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#155
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#155
(Original post by 0404343m)
While I agree with what you're saying Boosh, and St Andrews has had a strong reputation for educating (predominantly the middles classes) for decades before William turned up, popularity has bigger effects than merely the grade boundaries- although they are related to it.

More applicants means they can (allowing for some slipping through the net) have better qualified students throughout the university. As well as improving the UCAS score, these students are more likely to come from a family who have went to university, less likely to drop out, more likely to get good honours, and thus, be satisfied with their experience. It also brings in more money, as full courses (and particularly international postgrads) are lucrative to the university, perhaps allowing them to invest more, pushing up the spend ratio and maybe even splashing out on senior staff, improving (although not always) research score.

In short, being fashionable (and not having to participate in a policy to draw in students from local area/poor backgrounds), is a sure fire way to jump up the league table. If you have any doubts about this, think about this statistic: The top 10 in this table include 'G5'+ Warwick (i.e the usual suspects), then the three most elitist universities in the UK- Bristol, St Andrews and Durham. Certain social groups apply to certain universities, meaning they tend to do well on the criteria tables score on. Whether the quality of education is 'better' here than elsewhere, rather than merely better at winning the points necessary to be at the top of these tables, is the big debate.
I've just had a quick look through the Times 2010 criteria and, if you order the tables by individual measures, the tables flip around a fair bit. If there was an obvious relationship (obvious to me, at least), then I would expect to see the universities you mention dominating the top spots. But, this isn't the case.

Student satisfaction: is wacky, with low UCAS universities doing very well.

Completion rates: whilst this may be favourable to the traditional universities, there are a range of university types here which ask for much lower UCAS points than the universities you have mentioned.

Good honours is also biased towards the group you mentioned, but Sussex and Exeter are amongst such a group too.

I just don't see an obvious tally here.


Edit:

Student satisfaction: Cambridge, Loughborough, Oxford, Exeter, Leicester, St Andrews, East Anglia, Aberdeen, Chichester and Hull [...] {No London}

Spending: is like you have said, but amongst the group: SOAS, Middlesex, Abertay, Hertfordshire [...]

Completion: like you have said, but amongst the group: Exeter, Bath, Nottingham, Lancaster, Leicester, Royal Holloway, {UCL very low}

I'm not saying that you are right or wrong, nor am I saying that this is the best way to determine who is or is not right or wrong, but the affair isn't as clear cut as I think you are suggestion.
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The Boosh
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#156
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#156
(Original post by aerob89)
because i am the times university guide
Watch out, a lot of university applicants want to cut your throat.
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0404343m
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#157
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#157
(Original post by The Boosh)
I've just had a quick look through the Times 2010 criteria and, if you order the tables by individual measures, the tables flip around a fair bit. If there was an obvious relationship (obvious to me, at least), then I would expect to see the universities you mention dominating the top spots. But, this isn't the case. OK, Oxbridge and London are typically top in pretty much all things, but the rest bounce about, and a range of other university types hit the top end of the table.

Student satisfaction: is wacky, with low UCAS universities doing very well.

Completion rates: whilst this may be favourable to the traditional universities, there are a range of university types here which ask for much lower UCAS points than the universities you have mentioned.

Good honours is also biased towards the group you mentioned, but Sussex and Exeter are amongst such a group too.

I just don't see an obvious tally here.
They're not just top in this table, traditionally, those with the biggest middle class and privately educated student body have been amongst the best across most tables since rankings began. They don't necessarily need to be top 10 for every indicator, indeed, as you mentioned, the odd university does well in the odd measure. But evidently, they don't do well across the board, otherwise they would have a higher score and be in the top 20 or 30. What has been shown, with pretty concrete research, is those from better off backgrounds and/or privately educated, are less likely (on the whole, not always the case every year) to drop out, more likely to get good honours, will have more UCAS points, and are more likely to be satisfied. Unsurprisingly then, when tables are scored on these very measures, certain institutions tend to be further up.

If you were to look at the universities with the highest middle class intake, highest private school intake, and lowest working/poorer background intake, then 16 of the top 17 in these categories occupy the top 21 in this table. That, while there are discrepancies in each individual measure, is a pretty solid correlation in my book.
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The Boosh
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#158
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#158
I don't agree with you but I haven't got the time or inclination to debate this aside. What you are saying is basically tautological - universities at the top of the table generally perform better than universities lower in the table according to the measures used. Fine. What is not obvious is the explanatory power of such causal reduction whereby a university's popularity influences the other measures directly. I'd have to see the concrete evidence you referred to in order to be convinced otherwise. What I have seen is not a simple case of the odd outlier existing, but a range of universities in the net you cast to capture the universities mentioned. In many cases, the net cast is so wide that it clusters together a range of universities that contradict the (simple) causal claim being made.
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megaduck
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#159
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#159
I am just chuffed that whatever the measures used, Warwick does well and is never out of the top ten. Gotta love the consistency.
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0404343m
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#160
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#160
(Original post by The Boosh)
I don't agree with you but I haven't got the time or inclination to debate this aside. What you are saying is basically tautological - universities at the top of the table generally perform better than universities lower in the table according to the measures used. Fine. What is not obvious is the explanatory power of such causal reduction whereby a university's popularity influences the other measures directly. I'd have to see the concrete evidence you referred to in order to be convinced otherwise. What I have seen is not a simple case of the odd outlier existing, but a range of universities in the net you cast to capture the universities mentioned. In many cases, the net cast is so wide that it clusters together a range of universities that contradict the (simple) causal claim being made.
Fair enough. As an analogy, what you're essentially saying is that because Chichester has a satisfaction rating as high as St Andrews, Sussex has a completion rating to match Bristol, places have as many good honours as Durham- that my argument cannot hold water. This is like saying Lionel Messi isn't a top footballer, because there's a lad in division three that can run as fast, one in Belgium who can do as many stepovers, one in Scotland that scores as many goals. However, only in certain instances do you have the combination of all the factors together, all of which are scored in the league table, all of which push certain places towards the top of certain tables. Leagues aren't merely about one factor, they're compiled using various data- which is the bit I don't agree with- in an attempt (I can only imagine) to argue superiority lies with those not deficient in any areas. The ones which are able to combine all of these factors, i.e satisfaction, good honours, entry standards etc- also happen to be those with the highest intake from the better off social groups- as confirmed by looking at the dozen best performing in newspapers in recent years. Which leads me neatly back to my original point- are they superior institutions, or merely better in the areas that league tables score on?
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