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Does it matter which university you go to? Watch

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    It's clearly evidenced by some people posting in this thread that which university you go to is important. People form preconceptions, in turn while the 'importance' is purely cosmetic, it's still relevant.
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    Going to a good uni helps but to be honest, go to whichever uni you want to.
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    (Original post by hardees)
    You read of all these famous theoretical physicists and researchers and doctors. Come to think of it, does it really matter where you actually go for undergraduate studies?
    The answer is, it depends on what you want. Some universities fall into what might be called a 'kudos' category. There seems to be widespread belief, for example, that having attended Oxford or Cambridge, pretty much regardless of what you have studied, or even how well you did, makes you a 'high flyer'; highly-motivated and able. Aside from this phenomenon some universities have subject-specific status - go here for physics, go there for archaeology, and so on. My view is that if your primary reason for attending university is to grow, intellectually, and to enjoy a bit of social life too, then, no it doesn't matter too much. Especially in the humanities your learning comes primarily from book reading, so you have great scholarship at your fingertips - via the library, and increasingly the internet - regardless of where you are. Maybe in the sciences, where specialist equipment might be a factor, then more thought probably has to go into which university you choose, but I don't know how big an issuer that is in most subjects.

    In my experience the academics who you end up having interest in are usually scattered across the country, indeed across the world, so trying to place yourself among the best academics for any given subject isn't very realistic.

    If you want to party during your degree - as well as learn something - come to Newcastle!
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    (Original post by hardees)
    You read of all these famous theoretical physicists and researchers and doctors. Come to think of it, does it really matter where you actually go for undergraduate studies?
    That's an extremely broad question. A BBC survey recently shown that 7% of graduate employers take into account your university. The survey did not, to my knowledge, elaborate on what fields these employers were in, however.

    And then there are of course the 93% who don't care: these care about your degree class, subject, your work experience, your personality, your interests, and your ability.

    So it really depends. For most people it doesn't matter one bit but for some it will.
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    (Original post by hardees)
    haha
    i meant the difference between someone going to sheffield and someone going to oxford, studying the same subjects, does it mean necessarily that the one at oxford would be more intelligent or that he/she would actually make a difference in the chosen field.
    sorry for being so vague, it's just something that popped into my head.

    what im trying to ask is, to make a difference in your field of study (could be anything but what i'm thinking of is something in the medical sciences region) would you be limited to do so if you went somewhere not in the top 10.
    Universities inevitably pitch the level of their courses to suit the people taking those courses. Physics undergrads at Oxford have demonstrated an aptitude for learning Physics and Maths and a solid knowledge of all A-Level Physics and Maths. As the Oxford Physics course starts with people who have a better basic Physics knowledge than anyone else in the country in their year, and who have minds which allow them to learn Physics quickly, to understand concepts in Physics easily and to approach problems creatively, the course can progress much faster and go much further, compared to a course populated by students who didn't even understand half of their A-Level syllabus. So obviously, people at Oxford are taken further and so can make a greater impact in their field.

    That's looking at extremes though. If you compared Oxford and Imperial, there would probably be just as many people studying at Imperial who had the potential to be great and important academics. But a 2.1 from Oxford is not the same as a 2.1 from Sheffield - not in the eyes of employers, not in the eyes of academics, not in the eyes of anyone with eyes.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    If you want to party during your degree - as well as learn something - come to Newcastle!
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