Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

How do you know if a uni's good or bad without refering to league tables? watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    For those of you who think the league tables aren't worth the paper their printed on, what other methos can you use for judging whether or not a uni's any good?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    try www.whatuni.com
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    QAA teaching reports, RAE, opinions of current and former students, course content, whether the courses are professional accredited or not (if relevant)....

    People chose universities before 1993 without significant difficulty.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by River85)
    QAA teaching reports, RAE, opinions of current and former students, course content, whether the courses are professional accredited or not (if relevant)....

    People chose universities before 1993 without significant difficulty.
    Add to that opinions of those who recruit graduates, particularly graduates in your subject.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by River85)
    QAA teaching reports, RAE, opinions of current and former students, course content, whether the courses are professional accredited or not (if relevant)....

    People chose universities before 1993 without significant difficulty.
    Hard to do that and get unbiased results but
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    Hard to do that and get unbiased results but
    There are no unbiased opinions

    The OP should get a range of opinions
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    Hard to do that and get unbiased results but
    As stated by nulli tertius there are rarely, if ever, unbiased opinions. This is why an applicant needs to try and find a range of opinions and speak to a reasonable number.

    You're suggesting that current students will often be biased and this is often the case. But I think I'm capable of offering an honest and frank opinion about my university and departments (as you're probably aware :p: ) including areas others will possibly neglect such as disability support. I don't always use the most glowing of terms when discussing one department in particular but I am, on the whole, reasonably positive. I certainly know that they are opinions people have taken on board and has partly influenced their decision. I don't know how many SGIA applicants I spoke to actually chose Durham in the end )hopefully not many :p: ) but most philosophy applicants did chose Durham and have found my account to be broadly accurate. Obviously accounting forvery recent changes in the departments and for particularly subjective factors (how interesting certain modules are).

    I think plenty of former students who can, now they've put their student days behind them and can step back and give a fair but critical overview of what the university is like and how they feel it's helped them develop.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by River85)
    As stated by nulli tertius there are rarely, if ever, unbiased opinions. This is why an applicant needs to try and find a range of opinions and speak to a reasonable number.

    You're suggesting that current students will often be biased and this is often the case. But I think I'm capable of offering an honest and frank opinion about my university and departments (as you're probably aware :p: ) including areas others will possibly neglect such as disability support. I don't always use the most glowing of terms when discussing one department in particular but I am, on the whole, reasonably positive. I certainly know that they are opinions people have taken on board and has partly influenced their decision. I don't know how many SGIA applicants I spoke to actually chose Durham in the end )hopefully not many :p: ) but most philosophy applicants did chose Durham and have found my account to be broadly accurate. Obviously accounting forvery recent changes in the departments and for particularly subjective factors (how interesting certain modules are).

    I think plenty of former students who can, now they've put their student days behind them and can step back and give a fair but critical overview of what the university is like and how they feel it's helped them develop.
    It was mainly how hard it is to find students, obviously there will be some on TSR but people on here are probably a specific section of their university.

    Also you have had longer :P to consider your views as you've been a student for a few years
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ultimate mashup)
    For those of you who think the league tables aren't worth the paper their printed on, what other methos can you use for judging whether or not a uni's any good?
    1) How often it's mentioned in the news and media concerning research. Of course this depends on how often you follow current affairs and what media you obtain
    2) Research Assessment Exercise scores
    3) Alumni, graduate prospects and figures
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by therealOG)
    1) How often it's mentioned in the news and media concerning research. Of course this depends on how often you follow current affairs and what media you obtain
    2) Research Assessment Exercise scores
    Research doesn't mean squat in terms of whether it's good university to study at. It could be the best research university in the world but the worst teaching university, and in the end, isn't the teaching what you go there for?

    (I know that's an extreme example, there probably is no university like that, but in theory there could be.)
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ultimate mashup)
    For those of you who think the league tables aren't worth the paper their printed on, what other methos can you use for judging whether or not a uni's any good?
    performance on university challenge?


    My opinion of league tables is that they're not entirely useless but otoh they're not suitable for the purpose they're frequently used for on TSR...
    the 'My university is 12 places above your university - therefore I'm great and you're crap' bragging.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 69Crazyfists)
    Research doesn't mean squat in terms of whether it's good university to study at. It could be the best research university in the world but the worst teaching university, and in the end, isn't the teaching what you go there for?

    (I know that's an extreme example, there probably is no university like that, but in theory there could be.)
    Exactly. The best research universities in the world are 99.9% of the time the best universities in the world full stop. High quality research trickles down into high quality teaching, and if that isn't the case then it hardly matters - top students are very much capable of independent study and research - isn't that what university is about? And I doubt students aspire to top universities because of the teaching; it's because of the brand name, prestige and reputation that goes with it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Try Unistats. You can see a breakdown of just about everything on there; how they scored in the National Student Survey, which sectors graduates go to work in and in what number, and I believe there are links to QAA reports too (the governing body in charge of maintaining equality across different universities).

    The RAE is also worth a look. This will give you probably the most accurate feel for exactly where each university sits in terms of research.

    Teaching is more tricky. Your best bet would be to go to open days and actually get a chance to meet members of your prospective department. If you really do want another 'set of results' on this though, you could always look at the number of National Teaching Fellows for particular universities. You can find this on the Higher Education Academy website.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by therealOG)
    Exactly. The best research universities in the world are 99.9% of the time the best universities in the world full stop. High quality research trickles down into high quality teaching, and if that isn't the case then it hardly matters - top students are very much capable of independent study and research - isn't that what university is about? And I doubt students aspire to top universities because of the teaching; it's because of the brand name, prestige and reputation that goes with it.
    I still don't agree. There are far more important things to be looking for than the research standard.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 69Crazyfists)
    I still don't agree. There are far more important things to be looking for than the research standard.
    Sure there's others (which you haven't offered up for discussion), but (good) universities are primarily research institutions. Therefore, research strength is a large factor in assessing a university's overall academic strength and reputation.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources
Uni match

Applying to uni?

Our tool will help you find the perfect course

Articles:

Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

Quick link:

Educational debate unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.