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    Well, I’ve told my parents that I will apply for admission at the University of Oxford (proposed course: PPE).

    They became very upset and claimed that the quality of education at the University of Oxford is lower than the one at the University of Copenhagen or Aarhus, and accordingly simply isn’t worth it (education in Denmark is free + Danish citizens receive a state grant – not a loan! – of 500 £ per month to cover majority of living expenses).

    They tried to substantiate their claim that a degree in straight economics from one of the two Danish universities would be better than a BA in PPE from Oxford with the following ‘arguments’:

    a)
    A degree in PPE will have to be supplemented by further studies in order to give access to one of the top Danish master programmes in economics* and political science** respectively, which according to them are much better than those offered by Oxford or even Harvard.

    You can get an impression of the level in the courses offered by checking out the following links:
    * http://www.sis.ku.dk/lp/lpindhold.as...e=0&Sprog=ects
    **
    http://www.ps.au.dk/showpage.asp?lPageID=701

    b)
    Danish students are mature: They have taken gap years (work experience), thinks independently, etc..
    Oxford/Cambridge students from Britain and elsewhere are not that mature: They don’t think independently, they are used to multiple-choice test, strict rules, are not able to take care of themselves, etc..

    c)
    A degree in Economics from a Danish university equips you with the necessary quantitative skills to become a professional economist. PPE consists of three courses – two of them are “soft” – implying no specialization or quantitative skills. PPEist might become government officials, but not big shots in the private sector. A MSc or MA from a Danish university could take you to the top in London.

    d)
    Oxford has a name and they might have a romantic view of it in America, but it’s rather a name than quality.

    Etc.
    etc.
    etc. …



    Personally, I don’t agree with them and think they’re too biased. As you can hear they are both being very pessimistic :eek: . I guess you have some counter-arguments :tsr:
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    The only multiple choice tests I've ever done are things like "Are you a sex goddess?" in Cosmopolitan. And even then, I already know the answer so I'm only using it to confirm my own opinion :p:


    But joking aside, your parents obviously know little about the English education system and English students if they believe that every single one of them is immature, takes multiple-choice tests and is unable to look after themselves. Good luck with your application to Oxford
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    (Original post by Christian87)
    Danish students are mature: They have taken gap years (work experience), thinks independently, etc..
    Oxford/Cambridge students from Britain and elsewhere are not that mature: They don’t think independently, they are used to multiple-choice test, strict rules, are not able to take care of themselves, etc..
    This, at least, is *******s. Many British students have taken gap years or have done some work experience; and Oxford interviews are designed around the objective of admitting only those who can think independently. British students are not used to multiple-choice tests - they have no place, that I can think of, on the national curriculum, certainly not in any major way (no GCSE or A-Level exams are multiple choice, for example). Strict rules in school are hardly a bad thing, and are far more likely to engender self-discipline in students.
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    (Original post by Christian87)
    They tried to substantiate their claim that a degree in straight economics from one of the two Danish universities would be better than a BA in PPE from Oxford with the following ‘arguments’:

    A degree in PPE will have to be supplemented by further studies in order to give access to one of the top Danish master programmes in economics* and political science** respectively, which according to them are much better than those offered by Oxford or even Harvard.
    Don't know anything about this. It'd surprise me, though - if PPE'ists can get into Harvard (the world's best for the subject), I don't see why they wouldn't be able to get into a Danish programme, unless it was a very specialist course with unusual requirements.

    (Original post by Christian87)
    Danish students are mature: They have taken gap years (work experience), thinks independently, etc..
    Oxford/Cambridge students from Britain and elsewhere are not that mature: They don’t think independently, they are used to multiple-choice test, strict rules, are not able to take care of themselves, etc..
    This just sounds like patriotic prejudice on the part of your parents I'm afraid. Almost every aspect of it is absolute nonesense. The one bit I would agree with is the maturity issue - there is a minority at Oxford happy to waste their degrees drinking and getting stoned. But it is a minority, and in no way prevents the rest of the students from working very hard indeed.

    (Original post by Christian87)
    A degree in Economics from a Danish university equips you with the necessary quantitative skills to become a professional economist. PPE consists of three courses – two of them are “soft” – implying no specialization or quantitative skills.
    Given PPE is not a specialist economics degree, it is inevitable that it offers fewer advanced papers than a straight economics degree. However: you can take 5 of your 8 finals papers in economics if you wish, and there are mathematical options such as econometrics and statistical economics; in addition, PPE'ists do go on to carry out research in Economics, so it's not impossible.

    PPEist might become government officials, but not big shots in the private sector. A MSc or MA from a Danish university could take you to the top in London.
    This is absurd on so many levels! Firstly, it is empirically wrong. PPE is well known as a route to the City, and anyone who's spent any time there will have met ex-PPE'ists. This is mainly because (again, as anyone who'd worked there would realise) you have to know very little maths indeed to work in the City. And finally...the comparison is intrinsically nonsensical - PPE is a BA, of course it's less advanced than an MSc/MA (Danish or otherwise)!
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    damn. have to spread out rep.
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    (Original post by Christian87)
    Danish students are mature: They have taken gap years (work experience), thinks independently, etc. Oxford/Cambridge students from Britain and elsewhere are not that mature: They don’t think independently, they are used to multiple-choice test, strict rules, are not able to take care of themselves, etc.
    I'm sorry but your parents are perhaps right about this one, because people who have taken gap years are clearly more mature. Case in point is me. I didn't take a gap year and I am, unfortunately, very immature: I got drunk a lot and had lots of fun in my first year. This is clearly not the way to go about becoming a top business executive. GCSEs and A-levels may as well have been multiple choice for how easy they were - I guess we just haven't been stretched enough in the UK. And independent thinking? Definitely not - you won't find any of that in Oxford. We like to use The Student Room to ask everyone else questions like, "I disagree with my parents, but what should I say to them?" because we can't think of arguments ourselves or come up with any opinions of our own. Oh, and I almost forgot - I can't iron a shirt. I'll probably end up in Tescos or something.
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    I think your parents are probably primarily worried about a) the cost and b) the uncertainty of their kid going abroad to study all by him/her self. The rest of their arguments are so obviously ridiculous, and besides parents usually worry about these two things. If you can reassure them about both of these you might just get your way.
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    just a short remark. It is true that you do not get in a MSc programme in Economics at Cambridge with a PPE from Oxford...
    "Conclusion:": If you want to get into the business sector you might consider to apply to 1. Cambridge for e.g. Econ or 2. Oxford for Econ and Management..
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    (Original post by Christian87)
    Well, I’ve told my parents that I will apply for admission at the University of Oxford (proposed course: PPE).

    They became very upset and claimed that the quality of education at the University of Oxford is lower than the one at the University of Copenhagen or Aarhus, and accordingly simply isn’t worth it (education in Denmark is free + Danish citizens receive a state grant – not a loan! – of 500 £ per month to cover majority of living expenses).
    I don't know anything about Danish universities, but "lower" by what yardstick ? Do you have the tutorial system there ? I can't comment on the financial aspect. How crucial is it ?

    (Original post by Christian87)
    They tried to substantiate their claim that a degree in straight economics from one of the two Danish universities would be better than a BA in PPE from Oxford with the following ‘arguments’:

    a) A degree in PPE will have to be supplemented by further studies in order to give access to one of the top Danish master programmes in economics* and political science** respectively, which according to them are much better than those offered by Oxford or even Harvard.
    I doubt that that's true, but surely you could investigate - assuming, that is, that you're hell-bent on doing a Danish (as opposed to, say, an LSE) master's programme in Economics or Political Science.

    (Original post by Christian87)
    You can get an impression of the level in the courses offered by checking out the following links:
    * http://www.sis.ku.dk/lp/lpindhold.as...e=0&Sprog=ects
    **
    http://www.ps.au.dk/showpage.asp?lPageID=701
    My knowledge of Danish is so limited that I'm not in any position to comment here either. Are they first degrees or masters courses ? In any case. they both look much more specialised, which may be a good thing (if you're absolutely sure that you want X career and no other) or bad (in the sense that they're very much more limited (and so limiting) than PPE.

    (Original post by Christian87)
    b)Danish students are mature: They have taken gap years (work experience), thinks independently, etc..
    Oxford/Cambridge students from Britain and elsewhere are not that mature: They don’t think independently, they are used to multiple-choice test, strict rules, are not able to take care of themselves, etc..
    As an argument, this is all just rubbish. So far as I know multiple-choice tests have no part in Oxford teaching / examining. We have essays all the time.

    (Original post by Christian87)
    c)A degree in Economics from a Danish university equips you with the necessary quantitative skills to become a professional economist. PPE consists of three courses – two of them are “soft” – implying no specialization or quantitative skills. PPEist might become government officials, but not big shots in the private sector. A MSc or MA from a Danish university could take you to the top in London.
    Despite my regularly getting 19/20 in "Test Your Word Power" in my parents' Readers' Digest , I don't understand this "soft". Are analytical skills, say, "easier" ? A PPEist (possibly with an MSc or an MA as well, possibly from somewhere else - which it sounds as if you would need in Denmark anyway if you wanted to go straight into top management) could do whatever he or she fancies. I'd try mentioning "transferrable skills" to your parents.

    (Original post by Christian87)
    d)Oxford has a name and they might have a romantic view of it in America, but it’s rather a name than quality.
    I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure it has both. It has the name, undeniably, but its name is not only based on its age, dreaming spires, etc, but also on its teaching and research. Just have a look at the sort of people who teach here.

    (Original post by Christian87)
    Personally, I don’t agree with them and think they’re too biased. As you can hear they are both being very pessimistic :eek: . I guess you have some counter-arguments :tsr:
    I hope I've given you some. Good luck, anyway, and stick to your guns.

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    i don't know the first thing about PPE, but i had to comment on the rubbish about danish students being more mature.

    it's true that a gap year can help a person to mature, but it isn't always necessary. are your parents trying to suggest that danish students can't be narrow-minded, or intellectually spoon-fed, or even just drunkards?

    clearly, levels of maturity and independence vary from person to person, not from country to country. i am not taking a gap year, but i have travelled a lot on my own, i can take care of myself and i have always been independent - i like to think that i can think for myself. it's true that oxford and cambridge have their faults (just as any university does), but i really don't think that the comparison between danish and british students is a fair point to judge them on.

    if you want to apply for PPE at oxford, do so - it is a good degree and it would serve you well in later life. most importantly, make the decision between unversities by yourself. why not tell your parents that, as a danish student, you are perfectly capable of making an informed, independent decision on your own?
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    Thank you very much - these responses are great!
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    Out of curiosity, why are you so set on PPE?
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    Further to my earlier post, it occurs to me that your parents might be making a general comparison between Danish universities and UK universities, and in that case I suspect that there may be a lot in what they say - i.e. that your university education is generally much better than ours. (There's no point in going into all the reasons for this here, but you'll be aware of some of them - the all too often rather low educational standards in schools here, the UK government policy of increasing the number of "universities" and the percentage of people going to university in the UK - a policy which Denmark seems to have had the wisdom to avoid - etc.) But a comparison of that sort completely misses the fact - and so far as anything in the area can be a fact this is one - that Oxford is very, very different from the common or garden UK university. They say that Cambridge is too.
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    Why PPE at Oxford?

    I think it could be a very challenging and rewarding experience for me both academically and personally:

    a) I’m very interested in international affairs, political philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of science.
    b) It gives me the possibility to deal with philosophy and economics on a full-time basis, and I love the Oxford learning style and life – tutorials, 2 essays per week, lectures, engaged students, diverse student population, etc.
    c) Good balance between “liberal arts” and professional focus => Allows me to undertake graduate coursework in Economics at the University of St. Gallen, if I find out that I wish to become an economist.
    d) Excellent reputation in the City and other international metro poles, where I could imagine myself work and live.
    e) I want to take care of myself and become independent – if I stayed in Denmark, I’d probably just live at home.
 
 
 

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