Well, looking at the league tables and satisfaction rates, it seems bad. But ever since I was eleven years old and began devouring fashion and art magazines, many of designers and artists I loved came from CSM. So it seemed like this powerhouse producing amazing people.
Then, like I said, I looked at the league tables, and got a bit put off, but I visited Loboro Uni to check out their art foundation, supposedly fourth best in the country. I was thoroughly disappointed. The building looked the poor relation compared to the rest of the uni, and I was uninspired by the work, the tutors and just the general feel. Similarly, I checked out Slade at UCL, second best in the country. Again, just didn't get that creative feeling. Technically good work, for sure, but the work didn't make a big impact. No boundary pushing, it felt like.
I then proceeded to the degree shows at Chelsea and CSM, and to me the work was on a different level altogether! Some of the buildings are old etc, but it's classic art school! It felt like a place where things were happening. It's got a huge reputation, especially in the graphic and fashion design industry, and internationally also. It seems forward thinking. Ultimately, it's dedicated to art, and that's the sort of place I want to go. I also recently attended a summer school short course at CSM, and I loved it; the people in my group, the feel of the place, the tutor, the work. It made me very determined to try my absolute best to get into this place.
I honestly believe that gut feeling is a good thing to go on. Statistics and views of others can help, but ultimately the best uni is the one you want to go to. Don't be afraid to visit somewhere. See it with your own eyes, speak to people there, look at the work. Also, the Times Online reports that in general, Art and Design students are always the least satisfied with their Uni course. We're hard to please!