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    (Original post by Blitzkrieg15)
    If PhD students are marking coursework beyond the first year then that is a big worry. As for 20% getting the top grade, that was the norm pre-2000. Under the Labour government standards were dumbed down.
    Do you mean coursework which counts for the grade (I had none, not st andrews), or work for courses? Either way, I only had PhD students in my final year, and I don't think it did me any harm.

    Yeah, too high. My final exams at school weren't much above 20% got an A, and that's still such a huge range.
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    Do you mean coursework which counts for the grade (I had none, not st andrews), or work for courses? Either way, I only had PhD students in my final year, and I don't think it did me any harm.

    Yeah, too high. My final exams at school weren't much above 20% got an A, and that's still such a huge range.
    PhD students taught your work in the final year? That is bad.
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    (Original post by Blitzkrieg15)
    PhD students taught your work in the final year? That is bad.
    In (some) supervisions, yes. No lecturers as far as I remember. Top university in the country (world?) for my subject too, so I'm not sure how bad it can be.
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    Dear Nessa_288 and ElizabethRG – we’re really sorry to hear you’ve not been happy at St Andrews. Teaching is at the heart of what we do, and we take our commitment to excellence and the student experience very seriously. We think our PG Tutors are generally wonderful and regard them as central to our efforts in providing the best possible research-led teaching and learning.

    However, if you feel yourexperience is different, we’d really appreciate it if you’d get in touch to letus know what’s gone wrong so we can try to fix any issues. We can also help answer any questions or arrange any help you might need, and our advisers can also discuss your options with you and advise on transferring if that’s the right path for you. Please contact [email protected]
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    Ughhh as an international, I hate not being able to actually visit the unis before making a decision. But I've applied in London, Manchester and Edinburgh to quite big international unis so I don't expect to have problems like that... hopefully
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    (Original post by SiminaM)
    Ughhh as an international, I hate not being able to actually visit the unis before making a decision. But I've applied in London, Manchester and Edinburgh to quite big international unis so I don't expect to have problems like that... hopefully
    You would love Edinburgh and London, Manchester would be ok and cheaper to live in, but not as glamorous or touristy as the other places.
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    (Original post by la_banane_verte)
    As someone who has taught and marked in the maths department it's nice to hear such good things said about us

    In maths at least we do go to the effort to co-ordinate our marking within single modules - there are often 3 markers per module for projects since there are so many students and honestly, I think undergrads do underestimate just how much time it takes to mark an assignment (and how little we get paid in comparison!). We certainly discuss what sort of things we will give marks for, and what we will deduct marks for.

    One of the things that I think a lot of students don't think about when they try to figure out how we mark is the presentation of the work. If your work is badly presented and really hard to understand, then I'm sorry but it doesn't deserve as many marks as some other person on your course who had the same answers as you, but presented the information in a much clearer way. I think this comes accross to some students as "markers being dicks", but it's really not.

    And to everyone in the thread throwing hissy-fits about being tutored by PhD students meaning you have a substandard university - this happens at *every* university (even Oxford and Cambridge), and I'd really like you to think hard about how being a lecturer or a post-doc makes you better at teaching. I can promise you that lecturers and post-docs at this university are not required to have attended any more training on "how to teach" than the PhD students have - the only extra thing they have is a thesis on a super specialised topic that they're probably not teaching you about, and *experience*. If you forbid PhD students to teach, then your lecturers and post-docs don't get that experience.
    I'm not against PhD students assisting in lab sessions to aid students who won't be familiar with the instruments, or who may have questions which may be answered. But I do have issue with the majority of the first year being taught by them, that would resign me to leaving any university. At my university the PhD students do not teach in lecturers or seminars at all.
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    (Original post by Blitzkrieg15)
    But I do have issue with the majority of the first year being taught by them, that would resign me to leaving any university. At my university the PhD students do not teach in lecturers or seminars at all.
    I'd genuinely like to hear some reasons for this. What makes a PhD student worse at taking a tutorial/supervision than a postdoc or lecturer? How do you know that a PhD student is going to be bad at doing this if you've never experienced it?

    Incidentally, PhD students don't ordinarily teach full lectures in St Andrews - I've witnessed cases where they've covered a few lectures in a course(due to the lecturer being away). In one such instance they were a lot better than the regular lecturer, in another they were a lot worse. That had nothing to do with them being PhD students and everything to do with the fact that some people (including full lecturers!) are just bad at teaching.

    Anyway, I'd like to hear some honest reasons from everyone who is opposed to PhD students teaching as to why you think they are automatically bad, rather than just stating that you hate the idea of PhD students teaching. I'd also like to hear how you think lecturers should get the necessary experience if you stop PhDs teaching.
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    (Original post by la_banane_verte)
    I'd genuinely like to hear some reasons for this. What makes a PhD student worse at taking a tutorial/supervision than a postdoc or lecturer? How do you know that a PhD student is going to be bad at doing this if you've never experienced it?

    Incidentally, PhD students don't ordinarily teach full lectures in St Andrews - I've witnessed cases where they've covered a few lectures in a course(due to the lecturer being away). In one such instance they were a lot better than the regular lecturer, in another they were a lot worse. That had nothing to do with them being PhD students and everything to do with the fact that some people (including full lecturers!) are just bad at teaching.

    Anyway, I'd like to hear some honest reasons from everyone who is opposed to PhD students teaching as to why you think they are automatically bad, rather than just stating that you hate the idea of PhD students teaching. I'd also like to hear how you think lecturers should get the necessary experience if you stop PhDs teaching.
    Students pay 9k a year for a reason. If PhD students want teaching experience, they are free to be guest lecturers in evenings for people curious about a particular open topic. Or they may teach in higher education first.
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    TSR Support Team
    Please keep discussion on topic!

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    My 2 cents:


    People here are way too immature and have no appreciation for learning. They are shallow, even if they have great academic skills. I have the feeling they see university as something they should grind throughin order to fulfill their dream of being an employee with a decent salary. There is no spirit of learning, but a very strong one of drinking and being an *******. I don't have problem with drinking per se, but here it has a very childish angle to it - it's like a fascination with something they have been deprived of for so long and now they get to have it.


    Having said all that, I've heard it's more or less like that everywhere, even at Oxbridge and the Ivies.


    Academically I'm not sure what to say. I've had a module with terrible teaching, another with poor teaching, and a third with great teaching. The students being mostly uninterested or unprepared hurts the tutorial sessions a great deal. I am myself guilty of this. It's very difficult for me to find motivation here.


    Overall, ever since I came here, the whole thing feels massively overrated and I wouldn't call myself a brilliant and demanding student.


    These are just my impressions though, and you should take them all with a grain of salt, as I'm only a socially inept first year student and they are based on limited data and maybe on prejudice against people in general. Your experience might be quite different.
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    Every student needs to some serious due diligence before they select a university. Actually visiting the campus and talking with some students is probably the best way.
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    (Original post by MickMike)
    My 2 cents:


    People here are way too immature and have no appreciation for learning. They are shallow, even if they have great academic skills. I have the feeling they see university as something they should grind throughin order to fulfill their dream of being an employee with a decent salary. There is no spirit of learning, but a very strong one of drinking and being an *******. I don't have problem with drinking per se, but here it has a very childish angle to it - it's like a fascination with something they have been deprived of for so long and now they get to have it.


    Having said all that, I've heard it's more or less like that everywhere, even at Oxbridge and the Ivies.


    Academically I'm not sure what to say. I've had a module with terrible teaching, another with poor teaching, and a third with great teaching. The students being mostly uninterested or unprepared hurts the tutorial sessions a great deal. I am myself guilty of this. It's very difficult for me to find motivation here.


    Overall, ever since I came here, the whole thing feels massively overrated and I wouldn't call myself a brilliant and demanding student.


    These are just my impressions though, and you should take them all with a grain of salt, as I'm only a socially inept first year student and they are based on limited data and maybe on prejudice against people in general. Your experience might be quite different.
    I'm afraid you are right, students can be found in abundance at Russell Group universities that are immature, and at times laddish, dangerous even. The only thing that can be done is a change in culture as to what university is for. Going to one of the most selective/poshest universities like St Andrews is of no protection, it seems.
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    (Original post by Blitzkrieg15)
    It is pretty bad how a fair amount of teaching and marking appears to be done by PhD students. I would complain to the university, and if they didn't act promptly then I would also leave. 9k tuition fees for third rate education and examination is unacceptable.

    St Andrews is a UK top 15 university, and fares well in domestic league tables due to being a very small university. The World rankings (ARWU, THE, QS) confirm that St Andrews can’t possibly be a UK top 10, let alone a top 5. The domestic rankings also don’t measure academic prestige (e.g. REF), they merely look at ratios of staff/students, spending per student, entry tariff scores, all of which favour small to medium size universities. Part of me thinks St Andrews has deliberately chased the UK rankings to make up for past failures in the World rankings, and most universities care far more about the latter.

    The prominent days of the UK league tables are over, universities solely measure their performance on World rankings these days. The UK league tables do at least show the average tariff points requirement, in which St Andrews is extremely competitive at 520 plus points. Though in reality AAA = 360 points, and the remaining points are mostly just extras that aren't needed. The fact that St Andrews asked for BBC as a typical offer pre-2000, and now asks for AAA/AA*A shows how far qualifications have been dumbed down. Only the top 20% should be getting the top grade.

    A silly reply. World ranks take a have a different criteria and the respectable ones put St A in the top 100 which is good enough.
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    (Original post by MickMike)
    My 2 cents:


    People here are way too immature and have no appreciation for learning. They are shallow, even if they have great academic skills. I have the feeling they see university as something they should grind throughin order to fulfill their dream of being an employee with a decent salary. There is no spirit of learning, but a very strong one of drinking and being an *******. I don't have problem with drinking per se, but here it has a very childish angle to it - it's like a fascination with something they have been deprived of for so long and now they get to have it.


    Having said all that, I've heard it's more or less like that everywhere, even at Oxbridge and the Ivies.


    Academically I'm not sure what to say. I've had a module with terrible teaching, another with poor teaching, and a third with great teaching. The students being mostly uninterested or unprepared hurts the tutorial sessions a great deal. I am myself guilty of this. It's very difficult for me to find motivation here.


    Overall, ever since I came here, the whole thing feels massively overrated and I wouldn't call myself a brilliant and demanding student.


    These are just my impressions though, and you should take them all with a grain of salt, as I'm only a socially inept first year student and they are based on limited data and maybe on prejudice against people in general. Your experience might be quite different.
    I'll second this, St Andrews was a less intellectual than I thought. I have been able to find plenty of highly intelligent motivated people as friends, I guess its just the loudest are often the least intellectual. However, without having been to other unis I can't really compare. I was expecting a more academic focus but common complaints/jokes in St Andrews are common of many schools (skipping class, hangovers, going to fail exams etc)

    In the end though, the lack of academic focus just makes doing well yourself easier, so its not entirely bad.
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    The moral of the story is ignore the hype and don't get your hopes high for any school
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    But shouldn't you have known about the nightlife, surrounding area etc if you were seriously considering St Andrews? Because maybe some people are "bunnies and castles" type of people but you really should've known what the nightlife is like before you even applied surely? For example, I've recently firmed Royal Holloway which is in Egham and it's literally an isolated area with nothing to do but I firmed it knowing that.

    I'm sure the academic side of your post was helpful to those wanting to apply though. I can't comment on that!

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    (Original post by Captivated)
    But shouldn't you have known about the nightlife, surrounding area etc if you were seriously considering St Andrews? Because maybe some people are "bunnies and castles" type of people but you really should've known what the nightlife is like before you even applied surely? For example, I've recently firmed Royal Holloway which is in Egham and it's literally an isolated area with nothing to do but I firmed it knowing that.

    I'm sure the academic side of your post was helpful to those wanting to apply though. I can't comment on that!

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    Royal Holloway are known to ask for AAA and then still take you with CCD. They are also not as isolated as St Andrews, being a short bus ride from Legoland and Windsor.
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    (Original post by Blitzkrieg15)
    Royal Holloway are known to ask for AAA and then still take you with CCD. They are also not as isolated as St Andrews, being a short bus ride from Legoland and Windsor.
    Yes - but the point still stands, they should've known what they were getting into in terms of the area and nightlife.

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    (Original post by Captivated)
    Yes - but the point still stands, they should've known what they were getting into in terms of the area and nightlife.

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    They have plenty of opportunity to pretend to be like Oxbridge through debating and wining and dining societies, and wearing goofy gowns etc. The average student has A*A*Aa, so they should be bright enough to know what to do with their spare time.
 
 
 
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