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    (Original post by Thomas...)
    Which of these Universities, from the 1994 Group, would you say could be considered equal in prestige to a Russell Group University.

    I know prestige/regard, call it what you will, varies a lot within The Russell Group itself, but just generally speaking, which ones could quite easily slip into The Russell Group?

    Thes ones I think are on par are in bold, and maybes in italics.

    University of Bath
    Birkbeck, University of London
    Durham University
    University of East Anglia
    University of Essex
    University of Exeter
    Goldsmiths, University of London
    Institute of Education, University of London
    Royal Holloway, University of London
    Lancaster University
    University of Leicester
    Loughborough University
    Queen Mary, University of London
    University of Reading
    University of St Andrews
    School of Oriental and African Studies
    University of Surrey
    University of Sussex
    University of York


    This just comes from recent talks about how non-Russell Group Unis are increasing tuition fees. Let me know what you think.

    EDIT: I am not saying that The Russell Group is the be all and end all, I am just wondering, going by the mention of it so often in the news recently, what people think. Thanks.

    University of Bath
    Birkbeck, University of London
    Durham University
    University of East Anglia
    University of Essex
    University of Exeter
    Goldsmiths, University of London
    Institute of Education, University of London
    Royal Holloway, University of London
    Lancaster University
    University of Leicester
    Loughborough University
    Queen Mary, University of London
    University of Reading
    University of St Andrews
    School of Oriental and African Studies
    University of Surrey
    University of Sussex
    University of York

    My take on what corresponds to Russell Group quality from the 1994 group.

    Again, italic institutions arguably could be RG quality.
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    Don't demean St. Andrews to the Russell Group
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    Quality in terms of what? Russell Group universities get extra funding for research. That's all. Maybe if you're doing a PhD this is relevant. For undergrads it is nigh-on meaningless.

    These threads are painful.
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    My list just based on personal knowledge, observation....and as an international student:

    Bath, Durham, Exeter, St Andrews, York!
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    (Original post by Thomas...)
    I just think some League Tables aren't entirley fool proof, and Lancaster being the proof. Not that it isn't a fantastic University, just that I personally don't think it is above the likes of Bristol, York, St Andrews, Durham, Bath, Exeter, Nottingham, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle etc...
    But I just don't understand why Universities like Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool and Leeds are always ranked so low in the League Tables, (around 25-35) they are all old, well established Univesities. I don't understand how places like Bath, York, Lancaster, Exeter and Loughborough are more highly ranked than them? These are all much newer and not as large.
    Your problem is that you are attempting to equate arbitrary factors such as age and location with quality.

    Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds (and so forth) may be Victorian and located in large, well-known cities; however, that does not mean that their quality is infallible and permanently intact. Newer universities have and will overtake them.

    (Original post by street.lovin')
    Lancaster is probably very good, but I doubt it's actually 8th in the country.
    Well, 10th if we go with the rather more reliable Times University Guide. But - why not? Are you also subscribing to the view that older universities located in industrial cities cannot be overtaken in terms of quality simply because of such arbitrary factors?

    League tables aren't really reliable. Greenwich was ranked 8th for Maths once when god knows it is not! Different league table use different measures. On that league table that has Greenwich high for Maths was based on student satisfaction.
    If I can recall, Greenwich was only ranked 8th in the Guardian league table. Lancaster is in the top 10 in all major league tables, and above some Russell Group universities in the RAE 2008.

    League tables certainly aren't perfect measurements; however, they do provide some objective basis for quality, especially when all major league tables (with all their differing weights of measurements) collectively point to a certain result.

    Personally, I would prefer this over subjectivity essentially based on arbitrary factors.
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    (Original post by Thomas...)
    Yes, my other thread was about the social/student life in Exeter.
    Chucklefiend has something against me because I said that Exeter was quite a bit more reputable than either Aston or RHUL. I'm not sure why, I don't think he is going to either. Please kindly explain.
    Allow me to refresh your memory:

    (Original post by Thomas...)
    Also, sorry to tell you, I'm not a Student and the University of Exeter. I am merley trying to provide some sane advice to the OP.
    While in another thread:

    (Original post by Thomas...)
    Hey all. I've firmed Exeter for law, and just want to know what is it like to be a student there?
    I loved the campus and the feel of it, type of people etc..
    What are the socials like and how lively is Exeter itself?
    (Original post by Thomas...)
    Not a student. . .yet
    You caught me! You're not allowed to do that.
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...1596095&page=2

    My problem with you is that you told a direct lie and deliberately attepted to mislead somebody asking for geniune advice. You claimed to be impartial and said you were "merely providing some sane advice", just so you could satisfy your, frankly pathetic, need to boost your ego.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    […] It's a collection of research intensive universities, however, they are not all fantastic. They are not all brilliant universities. There are some (relatively) poor universities in there.

    Royal Holloway, Exeter, York, Durham, Bath, St. Andrews and Leicester are better than some Russell Group universities, IMO. Particularly Cardiff, Belfast, Newcastle and Leeds.

    To all the people who say that Russell Group universities are the best.

    Where would you rather go?

    Cardiff or Durham?
    Newcastle or Bath?
    Belfast or Exeter?
    St. Andrews or Leeds?

    :rolleyes:

    Equal in prestige? Durham and St. Andrews blow Cardiff and Belfast out of the water.
    Your comparisons are biased. How about:

    Edinburgh/Glasgow vs. St Andrews
    Newcastle vs. Durham
    Bristol vs. Bath

    My subject specialisms are in the humanities (English, linguistics and Russian), and if I were offered a straight choice between those universities I would pick Glasgow, Newcastle and Bristol.

    - Edinburgh and St Andrews's appeal and prestige is with middle-class English students; top Scottish students apply to Glasgow as their first choice.

    - Durham's appeal is beyond me. Newcastle do not have a Russian department, though they have a world-class academic who specialises on Russia in their history department, so I cannot make a straight comparison there (and Durham does not have a linguistics department), but in terms of a subject like English the only people who would pick Durham over Newcastle are undergraduates who have a superficial interest in the subject. Durham have some well-known academics, but its level of research is similar to other Russell Group universities (ironically, Belfast and Cardiff both rank higher than Durham too). There is nothing special about English at Durham; it is another university like St Andrews that the English middle classes have fetishized.

    - Neither Bath nor Bristol have a linguistics department, and the former does not have an English department, but Bath cannot touch Bristol in Russian.

    Of the 1994 Group universities above, I would say the following are comparable or better than some of the Russell Group universities: English – Exeter, Queen Mary, St Andrews and York are the stand-out candidates as far as I can see; Linguistics – Lancaster; and Russian – none of the 1994 Group universities are good for Russian really.

    Ironically, just to show how wrong most people on this thread have things, the best university from the 1994 Group (Institute of Education, University of London) is the one university that everyone so far has said does not match up to the Russell Group when it reality it is the best in the UK in its area. Its RAE submission rate and score is outrageous.
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    If we're honest with ourselves the truly "prestigious" British institutions are the ones in the G5.
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    Newcastle went indendepent in the 1960s. Durham made an attempt to return to providing medical education in the mid-1990s through the creation of its "medical school". But is not independent as such and is in partnership with Newcastle. Students apply to the "same" medical school, in effect, stating a preference or no preference. If they get a preference this does not mean they will be given it. For those who get into Durham rre-clin years are taught at Durham and clinicial years at Newcastle. The degree is awarded by Newcastle (or, at best, both).

    It is not its own independent medical school in terms of research, admissions, teaching and the awarding of degrees.

    (Original post by kevin6767)
    When I said as they were in 1994 I meant none of the orginal universities have left the group even though some of them have fallen from grace comparative to the competition now and can't attract as much research in key areas. For example Cardiff recently lost out on a big research grant from Rolls Royce, it went to Bath.
    Bath has an excellent engineering department. This isn't (and never was) unusual.It is not, on its own, evidence that it has "overtaken" Cardiff. In terms of research funding: -

    Selected 1994 Group universities: -


    Bath - 18 million

    Lancaster - 18 million

    Durham - 26 million

    Queen Mary - 32 million - largest in the 1994 Group

    Russell Group universities: -

    Cardiff - 32 million

    Warwick - 33 million

    Newcastle - 35 million

    Birmingham - 44 million

    Leeds - 50 million

    Manchester - 84 million (largest outside Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and UCL).

    This is not surpising, for the Russell Group universiies are particularly large, multi-factuly universities with strength across the board. But as they often have strengths in the sciences, and have medical schools, this is going to give them a larger income.

    I'm not cricising the 1994 Group universities and I'm at one myself. One that, to many on TSR, is very highly thought of. My point is this is what the Russell Group is. A lobbying group for large, research intensive universities who attract significant research funding. I take your point that 1994 Group universities can later joint the Russell Group, and perhaps some will, whilst there are 1994 Group universities who perform comparably to Russell Group universiies in terms of the RAE and have similar research income, these universities are not in the RG at the moment for a reason. It is also the case that, as both groups are largely lobbying groups, a Queen Mary or Durham finds that it serves their interests better than being in the Russell Group. Big fish in a smaller pond.

    It doesn't mean that in terms of reputation/standing they are not similar to RG universities. But reputation/prestige is highly subjective and sometimes not grounded in reality. Whilst a case can be made that many 1994 Group universities are broadly comparable to Russell Group universities, they are not better and there certainly is not a collection of "weaker" Russell Group universities. If someone can provide me hard evidence for this then I may be willing to listen. But no one has ever provided anything except league tables. These league tables, as well as being open to significant criticism, are also often being misread.

    Student intake/quality of student is broadly comparable but this is not reflected in league tables. A league table will rank a university with an AAA average intake higher than one with an ABB intake. But this does not mean the second university is of an inferior quality more that, for whatever reason, it is marginally more popular particularly with public school applicants. This is the case with Durham and St Andrews compared to, say, Liverpool or Queens Belfast. It also doesn't mean that the ABB student is academically weaker and will not perform to a similar level, or surpass, the AAA student. A-level grades are not the best indication of university performance.

    League tables look at spending, but a university spending 200 million now isn't "better" than one spending only 80 million. Especially when the university currently spending 80 million has just finished a period of sigificant expenditure and investment.

    Student satisfaction is problematic. Then there's the fact, as I've already stated, that you can fidde with the weightings and change the position of universities.

    Then, again as already stated, this ladder does not exist in real life. These are universities, with significant history behind them, all with an international standing and producing world class research. You cannot easily reduce this to some ladder. And it is not the case that 12, 13, 14, 15 is better than 16, 17, 18, 19 which is is better than 20, 21, 222.... (even those who compile the league tables will admit this)

    Because I'm at a 1994 Group university, but also have experience and knowledge of Russell Group universities (and know many graduates from a range of universities - from former polytechics to RG and 1994 Group universities), I can confidently say that the real world is far more complex than league tables would suggest.

    nationally. It definately shot through international league tables and has been within the top 100 for about 5/6 years. More than half that time was spent in the top 75, so yeah it has shot up.
    Depends which leage tables you're looking at (the Academic Ranking of World Universities certainly doesn't)

    The international league tables are even younger than the domestic league tables (also quite recent). So as they didn't exist in the 90s it's a bit misleading to say York has "shot up". From 2005 it has climbed up, yes, but only by 40 places or so which, for international tables, is not a gulf. Durham has dropped and climbed 30 places in just one year. Whether York's position is stable or not, we'll have to see. Whilst I appreciate York's quality as a university I do not see this as significant evidence that it's better than many Russell Group universities

    (Original post by storna)
    Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds (and so forth) may be Victorian and located in large, well-known cities; however, that does not mean that their quality is infallible and permanently intact. Newer universities have and will overtake them.
    Manchester is one of our largest universities,. Its research income is amongst the highest in the country and its performance in the 2008 RAE placed it very highly. It offers a significant number of courses with a reasonable range. It

    How have they been overtaken? Feel free to check out my statistics earlier (taking note of Lancaster, Warwick and Bath then the Victorian redbricks).

    Well, 10th if we go with the rather more reliable Times University Guide.
    Why is the Times more reliable? Because it conforms to your pre-existing prejudices. The Guardian is not inaccurate. It is very accurate. As it perfectly ranks universities according to the criteria they feel is important with no mistakes...what's inaccurage about that?

    League tables certainly aren't perfect measurements; however, they do provide some objective basis for quality, especially when all major league tables (with all their differing weights of measurements) collectively point to a certain result.
    But you've just called the Times "more reliable", which suggests that there is a significant difference between it and at least one of the other tables? You also highligted Greenwich as being a Guardian anomaly (and it isn't the only one). So how can they collectively point to a certain result? You've debased your argument there.

    (Original post by evantej)
    There is nothing special about English at Durham; it is another university like St Andrews that the English middle classes have fetishized.
    :ditto: Awful contact hours in their department too.

    Ironically, just to show how wrong most people on this thread have things, the best university from the 1994 Group (Institute of Education, University of London) is the one university that everyone so far has said does not match up to the Russell Group when it reality it is the best in the UK in its area. Its RAE submission rate and score is outrageous.
    I forgot about the Institute of Education Good point.

    As I've said throughout the thread (and in others) it is difficult comparing multi-faculty universities especialy when the sizes differ so much. See Lancaster and Manchester. But it is possible to say that, broadly speaking, standard of students is similar, as is standard of teaching (see QAA reports) and the quality of education, for an undergraduate particularly, will be similar.

    It is farly possibly to compare on a department by department basis. When we do this the picture is more complex than being made out. 1994 Group universities can certainly rival Russell Group universities. But neither is it the case a popular RG university, like Durham, will consistantly perform better on a department by department basis (even those who do rank highly in league tables). There are also no "weak(er)" Russell Group universities.

    (Original post by Busby_Babe)
    If we're honest with ourselves the truly "prestigious" British institutions are the ones in the G5.
    Ah yes, that unofficial, (London based) media created term; conveniently ignores Warwick.

    And yes, I'm a saddo for making such a long post. But people don't realies how quickly I type. I don't expect people to read this post.
 
 
 
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