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    (Original post by Mansun)
    I apologise if I hurt your feelings. I am just pointing out what the latest statistics say.
    Trust me, there is no criticism of St Andrews you could throw out there that I haven't voiced myself at one point or another, but I am somebody who has spent several years studying here. I would have no desire to ever go onto another university's forum and start criticising it, as I wouldn't feel qualified in the slighest to do so. I just find it fascinating that anybody would be compelled to do so.
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    (Original post by alone-in-kyoto)
    Trust me, there is no criticism of St Andrews you could throw out there that I haven't voiced myself at one point or another, but I am somebody who has spent several years studying here. I would have no desire to ever go onto another university's forum and start criticising it, as I wouldn't feel qualified in the slighest to do so. I just find it fascinating that anybody would be compelled to do so.
    St Andrews University: A Warning would attract many people to see what is wrong with going there. It is not like you manage TSR, or own the University. If anything, you marginally risk being thrown out by the university for ****ging it off in a public forum. Certainly that would be the case if it were your employer.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    St Andrews doesn't even come in the top 200 of the World in the Meta Rankings.
    So one of the biggest flaws in the methodologies used for these global rankings is the weighting given to 'reputation' as judged by an opinion poll of academics. I'd say most academics regard the tables as unreliable and faintly pointless. QS gives 40% of its score on the basis of reputation, by asking academics (disproportionately 'anglo-saxon') to say 'where the best work is currently taking place within their field of expertise'. It's such a rubbish question quite a lot of us just don't bother trying to answer, even if we get asked (which we don't all). So the sample is already flawed.
    Even if you do get asked and you do reply, see a good critique here: http://www.universityworldnews.com/a...80904152335140
    including this:
    'Expert opinions' suffer from three major flaws. First, the halo-effect: one department's reputation that the expert is familiar with may indiscriminately influence the rating of the whole institution. Second, so-called experts may be uninformed about all the institutions they are rating. Third, there is a question over the seriousness with which respondents are likely to treat an opinion poll. This all makes the reliability, validity and objectivity of reliance on expert opinion (not professional judgement) highly questionable.'
    I've also seen it argued that there is a certain amount of games-playing - you can vote for your own university, so big universities can garner more votes. Even Times Higher Ed says it has had to make major adjustments to its formula because reputation data 'are highly skewed in favour of a small number of institutions at the top of the rankings'. (I've heard of Harvard so I'll vote for it).
    They are also likely biased towards STEM subjects. But if you unpick the disciplines, St Andrews comes out 37th for arts and humanities in the THE world rankings (8th of the 25 UK universities in the top 100). If you believe that. Frankly I think the national league tables tend to offer a better, rounded judgement of universities across research and teaching quality, imperfect though they are too.
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    (Original post by oldlady)
    So one of the biggest flaws in the methodologies used for these global rankings is the weighting given to 'reputation' as judged by an opinion poll of academics. I'd say most academics regard the tables as unreliable and faintly pointless. QS gives 40% of its score on the basis of reputation, by asking academics (disproportionately 'anglo-saxon') to say 'where the best work is currently taking place within their field of expertise'. It's such a rubbish question quite a lot of us just don't bother trying to answer, even if we get asked (which we don't all). So the sample is already flawed.
    Even if you do get asked and you do reply, see a good critique here: http://www.universityworldnews.com/a...80904152335140
    including this:
    'Expert opinions' suffer from three major flaws. First, the halo-effect: one department's reputation that the expert is familiar with may indiscriminately influence the rating of the whole institution. Second, so-called experts may be uninformed about all the institutions they are rating. Third, there is a question over the seriousness with which respondents are likely to treat an opinion poll. This all makes the reliability, validity and objectivity of reliance on expert opinion (not professional judgement) highly questionable.'
    I've also seen it argued that there is a certain amount of games-playing - you can vote for your own university, so big universities can garner more votes. Even Times Higher Ed says it has had to make major adjustments to its formula because reputation data 'are highly skewed in favour of a small number of institutions at the top of the rankings'. (I've heard of Harvard so I'll vote for it).
    They are also likely biased towards STEM subjects. But if you unpick the disciplines, St Andrews comes out 37th for arts and humanities in the THE world rankings (8th of the 25 UK universities in the top 100). If you believe that. Frankly I think the national league tables tend to offer a better, rounded judgement of universities across research and teaching quality, imperfect though they are too.
    To be frank, if I was a St Andrews graduate, I wouldn't give a monkeys about any league table individually. The fact that it is the third oldest university after Oxbridge says it all. The rankings are more important for the likes of Manchester and KCL, large research-led universities that are chasing international reputation in research.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    To be frank, if I was a St Andrews graduate, I wouldn't give a monkeys about any league table individually. The fact that it is the third oldest university after Oxbridge says it all. The rankings are more important for the likes of Manchester and KCL, large research-led universities that are chasing international reputation in research.
    You can be an old and small university AND be academically good. Its research is very highly regarded (and cited) in many academic disciplines, and they certainly care about rankings. I'm just saying that global rankings in particular are deeply suspect and don't tell us anything reliable about research quality.
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    (Original post by oldlady)
    You can be an old and small university AND be academically good. Its research is very highly regarded (and cited) in many academic disciplines, and they certainly care about rankings. I'm just saying that global rankings in particular are deeply suspect and don't tell us anything reliable about research quality.
    Would you have gone there if Prince William didn't?
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    Incidentally people from UK public schools are used to that type of community / isolation / seclusion. That is why they love it. They think clubs and High Street shops are common anyway so they never need to go to them.

    Presumptuous.

    I'm from a UK public school and I chose the uni based on academic reputation
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    Would you have gone there if Prince William didn't?
    You could probably work out from my previous comment that I'm an academic at a completely different university, not a student. Though 30 years ago when I was applying for universities St Andrews was in fact my insurance choice after Oxbridge - yes, it had a great academic reputation even back then. My sons go to St Andrews and honestly couldn't care less about Prince William. They chose it for academic reasons and because they like the small size and close-knit student life, and the town itself. The Prince William effect was a blip and will rapidly be forgotten.
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    (Original post by oldlady)
    So one of the biggest flaws in the methodologies used for these global rankings is the weighting given to 'reputation' as judged by an opinion poll of academics. I'd say most academics regard the tables as unreliable and faintly pointless. QS gives 40% of its score on the basis of reputation, by asking academics (disproportionately 'anglo-saxon') to say 'where the best work is currently taking place within their field of expertise'. It's such a rubbish question quite a lot of us just don't bother trying to answer, even if we get asked (which we don't all). So the sample is already flawed.
    Even if you do get asked and you do reply, see a good critique here: http://www.universityworldnews.com/a...80904152335140
    including this:
    'Expert opinions' suffer from three major flaws. First, the halo-effect: one department's reputation that the expert is familiar with may indiscriminately influence the rating of the whole institution. Second, so-called experts may be uninformed about all the institutions they are rating. Third, there is a question over the seriousness with which respondents are likely to treat an opinion poll. This all makes the reliability, validity and objectivity of reliance on expert opinion (not professional judgement) highly questionable.'
    I've also seen it argued that there is a certain amount of games-playing - you can vote for your own university, so big universities can garner more votes. Even Times Higher Ed says it has had to make major adjustments to its formula because reputation data 'are highly skewed in favour of a small number of institutions at the top of the rankings'. (I've heard of Harvard so I'll vote for it).
    They are also likely biased towards STEM subjects. But if you unpick the disciplines, St Andrews comes out 37th for arts and humanities in the THE world rankings (8th of the 25 UK universities in the top 100). If you believe that. Frankly I think the national league tables tend to offer a better, rounded judgement of universities across research and teaching quality, imperfect though they are too.
    Fantastic response. This individual appears to spend all day wandering around TSR using the the QS rankings as a weapon to trash St Andrew's and Durham. Thank you for demonstrating the flaws in his argument.
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    (Original post by Fudge96)
    Fantastic response. This individual appears to spend all day wandering around TSR using the the QS rankings as a weapon to trash St Andrew's and Durham. Thank you for demonstrating the flaws in his argument.
    QS Rankings are an indicator which UK universities are taking quite seriously, nevertheless. I believe in this case he was referring to Meta Rankings, which are an average of QS, TES, and ARWU. St Andrews does not make the top 200 in the World for Meta Rankings, as Mansun correctly stated. Nottingham, Durham, Oxbridge, Manchester, Edinburgh, and a few others all do feature.
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    (Original post by Hollywood Hogan)
    QS Rankings are an indicator which UK universities are taking quite seriously, nevertheless. I believe in this case he was referring to Meta Rankings, which are an average of QS, TES, and ARWU. St Andrews does not make the top 200 in the World for Meta Rankings, as Mansun correctly stated. Nottingham, Durham, Oxbridge, Manchester, Edinburgh, and a few others all do feature.
    ARWU has different but equally problematic methodological issues. It doesn't matter how meta the analysis if the constituent data are flawed. Rubbish in rubbish out.
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    (Original post by oldlady)
    ARWU has different but equally problematic methodological issues. It doesn't matter how meta the analysis if the constituent data are flawed. Rubbish in rubbish out.
    That doesn't stop Durham bragging about how they intend to be QS World top 50 within a few years. Rankings are formidable marketing tools aimed at newbies.
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    St Andrews was for a long, long time in the wilderness and low in the UK rankings for like 15 years. Only in the last 5 years have the rankings and grades shot up to unprecedented levels. No idea why this university is currently so popular with the brightest students. It is a small university in the middle of nowhere, and is not as targeted as many other universities by employers. It is an ancient university, but so are Glasgow and Aberdeen, so St Andrews should be thrown in with this bracket. Edinburgh is the best university in Scotland, and this has been the case for decades. St Andrews has just chased the rankings by keeping student numbers and departments small, like a large private school rather than a university.
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    (Original post by Hollywood Hogan)
    St Andrews has just chased the rankings by keeping student numbers and departments small, like a large private school rather than a university.
    Actually the university is pushing to increase student numbers due to a concern that funding bodies overlook it due to its small size.
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    (Original post by la_banane_verte)
    Actually the university is pushing to increase student numbers due to a concern that funding bodies overlook it due to its small size.
    So is Durham. But these universities can't just keep expanding because they will put the weaker ones out of business. Nottingham steals many students that would otherwise have gone to lesser universities already.
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    (Original post by Hollywood Hogan)
    St Andrews was for a long, long time in the wilderness and low in the UK rankings for like 15 years. Only in the last 5 years have the rankings and grades shot up to unprecedented levels. No idea why this university is currently so popular with the brightest students. It is a small university in the middle of nowhere, and is not as targeted as many other universities by employers. It is an ancient university, but so are Glasgow and Aberdeen, so St Andrews should be thrown in with this bracket. Edinburgh is the best university in Scotland, and this has been the case for decades. St Andrews has just chased the rankings by keeping student numbers and departments small, like a large private school rather than a university.
    You must be living in 2005 because St Andrews has been top 5 for 10 years. Look at the rankings.
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    (Original post by Okorange)
    You must be living in 2005 because St Andrews has been top 5 for 10 years. Look at the rankings.
    UK league tables are a marketing tool for universities to deceive the ignorant and uninformed. These rankings do not measure prestige or reputation. Students should be choosing a university based on the good name it has had with employers and academia for decades.
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    (Original post by Hollywood Hogan)
    UK league tables are a marketing tool for universities to deceive the ignorant and uninformed. These rankings do not measure prestige or reputation. Students should be choosing a university based on the the good name it has had with employers and academia for decades.
    Well, St Andrews has 5 Nobel Prize winners, the first minister of scotland, edward jenner, john witherspoon and john napier. It is also obviously the oldest in scotland and the 3rd in the uk.

    If that doesn't ring prestige then something is wrong with you. I know a lot about Edinburgh alumni believe me, I've even added a good chunk of them to the wiki and yes Edinburgh has more famous alumni, but it is also a bigger university. I agree that Edinburgh is a top uni, maybe the best in scotland, but its not indisputably the best in Scotland like it was maybe 30 years ago. St Andrews has definitely joined the fray like it or not.

    Besides, those who argued it is all to do with the Prince had an argument 5 to 10 years ago, sure it could've just been a blip. Except, St Andrews has managed to turn the temporary fame it had from the Prince into a permanent long lasting thing.

    Did you know that the University of Chicago 10 years ago had an acceptance rate of 40%? Now its closer to 10%. Chicago has had a good research reputation for years but it was also not well known and undesirable place for undergrad until recently. There is nothing stopping St Andrews from being any different. I rarely hear this rap against Durham, which itself has 0 nobel prize winners, and fewer famous alumni than St Andrews. Guess what, the Prince chose St Andrews, now if you can stop being so bitter about it just accept it. Anyone who attended St Andrews after the Prince came, applied to a very competitive school and got in, its just a fact now.

    For every year that St Andrews maintains its high league table ranking and its high UCAS tariff, your argument gets weaker and weaker. You are living in the past.
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    (Original post by Hollywood Hogan)
    UK league tables are a marketing tool for universities to deceive the ignorant and uninformed. These rankings do not measure prestige or reputation. Students should be choosing a university based on the good name it has had with employers and academia for decades.
    I like that you have the final word on how students should pick a university.
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    I like that you have the final word on how students should pick a university.
    Setting high expectations is of paramount importance.
 
 
 
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