Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    SOAS undoubtedly considers itself a top tier university and yet in 2012 almost all its courses were in clearing.

    It's very unusual for a top tier university to have ANY courses in clearing, let alone the vast majority of them.

    Personally I think the future isn't looking that good for SOAS. Now the fees have gone up to £9000, people want a degree that is going to get them a high paying job and most of SOAS's degrees are too niche for that to be guaranteed or even likely.

    My opinion is SOAS won't be able to survive in its current state much into the future and will have to either diversify the number of courses it teachers or cut its numbers and merge with one of the bigger UoL universities.

    If things get so bad that universities have to start closing their doors I think SOAS could well be one of them.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PolygotLinguist)
    SOAS undoubtedly considers itself a top tier university and yet in 2012 almost all its courses were in clearing.

    It's very unusual for a top tier university to have ANY courses in clearing, let alone the vast majority of them.

    My opinion is SOAS won't be able to survive in its current state much into the future and will have to either diversify the number of courses it teachers or cut its numbers and merge with one of the bigger UoL universities.

    If things get so bad that universities have to start closing their doors I think SOAS could well be one of them.
    I didn't knew they had so many courses entering Clearing ? SOAS usually states the fact that it is "unlikely" they will enter Clearing, but clearly, that's not the case.

    You do have a point; I think SOAS will have to cut the number of some courses though. But I don't think merging with someone will be neccessary.

    Goldsmiths and RHUL are below SOAS and they are still surviving, but they do not consider themselves a "top" uni either.

    Career prospects has to go up, or else they need to cut the number of places which has issues with "high" unemployment, in order to boost their numbers.

    SOAS is around 60% as of today, which is slightly low. Top unis are usually at around 75 - 90%. Those are the "best" numbers you can get in this economic climate with only an undergraduate degree.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by intstud29)
    I didn't knew they had so many courses entering Clearing ? SOAS usually states the fact that it is "unlikely" they will enter Clearing, but clearly, that's not the case.
    Before the fees increase it was probably true that they were unlikely to enter clearing, but in 2012 the clearing list was huge.

    It seems SOAS have been hit quite substantially by the fees increase.

    A lot of courses in clearing is usually a sign of a university that is struggling.

    I think another problem is their entry requirements are unduly high for a university of their ranking. AAA for Law at a university that isn't even particularly respected for Law? Wishful thinking.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Do you have a list of SOAS courses that were in clearing? And does that most likely mean that they will be accepting those who marginally miss offers as well, seeing as there clearly aren't enough applying to fill the spots with those kinds of grades?
    By the way, thought that they put law at A*AA this year..? Do correct me if I'm wrong
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Our offer in Law is indeed A*AA this year as, despite enlarging our intake last year, we were massively oversubscribed (unlike most other Law Schools). We have never gone into clearing and will not be doing so this year either. As the only School of Law in the UK that offers an LLB that is both a QLD and a global law degree an increasing number of students and employers are recognising our unique quality. Whether you want to work for an NGO or a City Law firm a SOAS law degree equips you like no other LLB and is the reason why our students pursue such diverse careers. Obviously as a member of the SOAS SoL I would say that but I thought it important to offer a new perspective. Have a look at our Facebook page if you want to get a feel for what makes the SOAS School of Law so different https://www.facebook.com/soasLAW
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by GuendaKawaai)
    Do you have a list of SOAS courses that were in clearing?
    From SOAS's website last year:

    "SOAS Clearing and Adjustment 2012

    SOAS will open for Clearing and Adjustment at 9am on Thursday, 16th August 2012. Please call us on +44 (0)20 7898 4444 to make an application or for further details.
    The following single subject programmes are available in clearing:

    BA African Language and Culture
    BA African Studies
    BA Arabic
    BA Arabic and Islamic Studies
    BA Chinese (Modern and Classical)
    BA Chinese Studies
    BSc Development Economics
    BSc Economics
    BA Hebrew and Israeli Studies
    BA History
    BA History of Art
    BA History of Art/Archaeology
    BSc International Management (China)
    BSc International Management (China) (including a year abroad)
    BSc International Management (Japan and Korea)
    BSc International Management (Japan with Year Abroad)
    BSc International Management (Middle East and North Africa with Year Abroad)
    BSc International Management (Middle East and North Africa)
    BA Islamic Studies
    BA Japanese
    BA Japanese Studies
    BA Korean
    BA Linguistics
    BA Middle Eastern Studies
    BA Music
    BA Persian
    BA Politics
    BA Social Anthropology
    BA South Asian Studies
    BA South Asian Studies (Including Year Abroad)
    BA South Asian Studies and International Management
    BA South Asian Studies and International Management (With year abroad)
    BA South East Asian Studies (including a year abroad)
    BA South East Asian Studies and International Management
    BA South-East Asian Studies
    BA Study of Religions
    BA Turkish
    The following programmes are available as part of joint degrees. We will be able to advise you of possible combinations.
    Please note that unless a programme is listed below, then it is not available to be combined as part of a joint degree.

    BA African Studies
    BA Arabic
    BA Burmese
    BA Chinese (Modern and Classical)
    BA Development Studies
    BA Economics
    BA Georgian (available as a minor only)
    BA Hebrew
    BA History
    BA History of Art/Archaeology
    BA Indonesian
    BA Japanese Studies
    BA Japanese
    BA Korean
    BA Linguistics
    BA Middle Eastern Studies
    BA Music
    BA Persian
    BA Politics
    BA Social Anthropology
    BA South Asian Studies
    BA South Asian Studies (including year abroad)
    BA South-East Asian Studies
    BA Study of Religions
    BA Swahili
    BA Thai
    BA Tibetan
    BA Tibetan (including year abroad)
    BA Turkish
    BA Vietnamese"
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Is International Management and South East Asian Studies a popular course? How many people are in there in a class?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Ugh, what a load of it. Some inconsistencies in U.K. league tables and suddenly everyone is scrambling to the be first to prophesies doomsday for a university which has always been far more popular outside the U.K. than in it. *newsflash* U.K. league tables have been inconsistent for far too many U.K. unis since fees have gone up. The press releases issued by some of these schools make me wonder why they agree to be rated in the first place. There is something seriously flawed in a ranking system which puts a uni like Sussex at 11th one year and 50th two years later, or Surrey from 19th to 8th in the same span of time:
    (http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...gue-table-2014)

    Just the inconsistencies between two league tables should be enough to discredit them. Some with as many as 7 differences in the top thirty (See Complete University vs. Guardian).

    If your argument is that SOAS applicants are now rethinking their choice because they suddenly want higher paying and more competitive jobs (as if they didn't before?) and SOAS degrees don't yield them, then you may want to rethink your argument.

    First, SOAS degrees have always been somewhat niche. This is cited as an advantage more often than as a disadvantage. To the extent that the school is called the School of Oriental and African Studies, all the programs are to that extent qualified by reference to "Asia, Africa and the Middle East". If someone was intent on studying those parts of the world, realizing that they are not the areas in which other major research institutions specialize would not likely detract from their initial interest.

    On the contrary, in an increasingly competitive job market, it should stand to reason that one would invest in opportunities which would yield a competitive edge, that which would set you apart from other applicants - say...a language not taught with the same academic rigor, if at all, at other unis? or...a module on Islamic finance and banking to support your econ degree? or...per the above post, a law degree that steps outside the parameters of one country's jurisprudence? or...to consider something other than the "high paying job" potential of a degree, critical perspective on religious studies that goes beyond the tired Abrahamic trifecta?

    Second, I don't buy that the school is doomed because fees have been raised and people are therefore less likely to attend. I stress this because a quick glance the Guardian's PG subject tables show that in almost all subject areas in which SOAS is ranked (another shortcoming I will get to), at least 50% of the FT students are from outside the U.K. and therefore pay anything in the range of 10-15,000 (This, I should add, is still a steal for students from many countries and even a rise in those fees is unlikely to deter them from enrolling.)

    Finally, I would direct your attention to one redeeming aspect of league tables, especially those compiled by the Guardian) to make a more informed assessment of a uni's worth generally, and more importantly, to individual students. In the PG subject tables, one can scroll through the student-staff ratios for any given subject. Leaving aside the fact that SOAS is in the top five for most of its areas of expertise listed by the Guardian, SOAS remains only 1-2-3 places behind Oxbridge and LSE for almost every listed subject's number of staff per student. As an incoming student worried about getting my money's worth, those are the numbers I would be concerned with.

    This is all leaving aside the well-received point that SOAS' size and specialization (read: no STEM programs) should all but exclude it from comparison to universities with their own hospitals (an argument which should be made under both the good and bad light of rankings), as well as the fact that SOAS is much better received outside the U.K. than within it, an observation I make only from personal experience and extensive travel.

    I'm not sure why I felt the need to make this case so extensively, but I guess I'm just tired of people assigning a number to quality of education. Students should be aggressively researching programs that fit their budgets and their interests, and their potential for becoming a critical but contributing member of society. Alas, a quick glance at league tables or clearing lists does not research make.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I like the way someone voted down my post where I supplied, ON REQUEST, the list of courses that were in clearing 2012. I guess that list was supposed to be kept secret..

    Also USinUK4MA for the benefit of non-SOASians is almost certainly a sock puppet of SOAS Marketing Department. They do that (sock puppeteering) a lot on this site. Note how, according to that spin, the staff to student ratio allegedly puts SOAS up there with Oxford and Cambridge according to him or her. Despite the fact that Oxbridge has one-on-one tuition, and most SOAS 'teaching' staff never teach, they just 'research' (some bull****). Also SOAS may well be the only institution in the UK that finds the Guardian's league tables more credible that any other league table. The Guardian league tables are generally considered the LEAST reliable of league tables. Try the Times.

    The long and short of it is, it's a failing university (dropping down the league tables consistently and quickly) with funding problems, and it's devaluing its own degrees by dismissing league tables, expanding further, reducing its entry requirements and cutting its difficult courses. SOAS knows well that in order to survive all it has to do is expand its Law and Economics degrees provision and create more spaces for LSE rejects. No problem with that. But then it's inevitable they will go to great lengths to deny they have dropped their standards or that there has been a fundamental change in the nature of the place. In addition, SOAS will acquire North Block Senate House, and when it becomes an unrecognizable entity with many more international students with weak English skills (already noticeable among the student body) but strong bank balances it will STILL insist that nothing changed.

    Oh, and SOAS is better regarded in Timbuktu (according to an alleged anecdote from a Marketing sock-puppet) than in the UK, so **** league tables??? Are you kidding me?!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Picaa)
    I like the way someone voted down my post where I supplied, ON REQUEST, the list of courses that were in clearing 2012. I guess that list was supposed to be kept secret..

    Also USinUK4MA for the benefit of non-SOASians is almost certainly a sock puppet of SOAS Marketing Department. They do that (sock puppeteering) a lot on this site. Note how, according to that spin, the staff to student ratio allegedly puts SOAS up there with Oxford and Cambridge according to him or her. Despite the fact that Oxbridge has one-on-one tuition, and most SOAS 'teaching' staff never teach, they just 'research' (some bull****). Also SOAS may well be the only institution in the UK that finds the Guardian's league tables more credible that any other league table. The Guardian league tables are generally considered the LEAST reliable of league tables. Try the Times.

    The long and short of it is, it's a failing university (dropping down the league tables consistently and quickly) with funding problems, and it's devaluing its own degrees by dismissing league tables, expanding further, reducing its entry requirements and cutting its difficult courses. SOAS knows well that in order to survive all it has to do is expand its Law and Economics degrees provision and create more spaces for LSE rejects. No problem with that. But then it's inevitable they will go to great lengths to deny they have dropped their standards or that there has been a fundamental change in the nature of the place. In addition, SOAS will acquire North Block Senate House, and when it becomes an unrecognizable entity with many more international students with weak English skills (already noticeable among the student body) but strong bank balances it will STILL insist that nothing changed.

    Oh, and SOAS is better regarded in Timbuktu (according to an alleged anecdote from a Marketing sock-puppet) than in the UK, so **** league tables??? Are you kidding me?!
    So, you studied at SOAS?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by iDifferent)
    So, you studied at SOAS?
    That wasn't the point of my post at all. But yes, I did.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Let me just start out by saying that I'm already regretting responding, as I'm sure this is going to devolve quickly into the familiar league table bs that this site should be providing a haven against - but I will endeavor on for the benefit of non-SOASians, lest Picaa's strange accusations be representative of the experience I've had, most (if not all) of my friends have had, or indeed the SOAS student body (not that I claim to represent them either).

    First, I'm glad you left a little uncertainty in your characterization of me as a "sock puppet" of the SOAS Marketing Department, because I certainly am not. It's flattering to think I might be paid to comment here - I'll take the compliment and consider submitting a resume. Stranger still, however, if you were or are a SOASian, is your conviction that the SOAS Marketing Department has it together enough to infiltrate a site like this, find a thread with all of 7 posts, pretend to be a foreign national, and insult the rankings of a fellow '94 Group (now I'm just asking for it) university. (If you still don't believe me keep reading, I'll even insult SOAS!): If you've spent any significant amount of time at SOAS, you'd know that no administrative department is organized enough to pull that off. Fortunately, people's primary motivation in attending university is to learn and not to process paperwork.

    Per my 'spinning' of the league tables, you'll note that after bashing their use and reference, I do somewhat hypocritically point to some numbers from the Guardian. You'll also note, however, that the numbers I refer to are not subjected to any sort of qualitative judgement by the Guardian but refer to statistics and ratios available from any ranking agency.

    For foreign vs. domestic FT students see also:
    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...frican-studies

    For student-staff ratios see also:
    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...-Staff%20Ratio
    (Note that this table is for student-staff ratios for the whole school and not for its ranked subjects as outlined before, but still a pretty good showing. This to say nothing of the debate around whether these ratios are an accurate marker of class sizes and student-teacher/tutor contact time, the arguments against which typically favor smaller, more teaching oriented institutions like SOAS.)

    I'm sure there are more, but as they're numbers which don't change from one ranking agency to the next, I can't really be bothered to find them. I'm not sure what your experience has been in your department, but your characterization of teaching staff at SOAS is completely unrecognizable to me. I came from a small liberal arts school in the states with even fewer students than SOAS, and I have had as much if not more contact with professors and terminal degree holders here than I did as an undergrad. As a graduate student, I have not once had to wait or reschedule to see a professor, all of whom have made themselves available to their students before and after classes, and I have had at least one class with each of the researching or teaching members of my department (a small one, I'll grant you).

    Per your claims about, "(1)funding problems, and (2) it's devaluing its own degrees by dismissing league tables, (3) expanding further, (4) reducing its entry requirements and (5) cutting its difficult courses"

    (1) What university is not facing funding problems? That's why the jacked up the prices, non?
    (2) LSE spokesperson, "the THE/QS methodology systematically disadvantages specialist social science institutions such as LSE and SOAS"
    (3) I don't know about what departments are doing what, but I know the Law program, one of the best in the school, just upped it's requirement to A*AA (4,4,5 on AP exams - which is pretty damn high).
    (4) Well I don't know about recruitment numbers, but I do know that SOAS just established a new doctoral campus which looks pretty snazzy.
    (5) Which courses are difficult? Which were cut?

    I'm not really in a position to comment on LSE and their purported rejects, except to say that while they're both small social science schools, their expertise varies widely and doesn't beg the kind of comparison you assume.

    As for SOAS' acquisition of the North Block (I can't believe you didn't mention anything about colonialism and SOAS' history here) leading to flood of students with weak English...well I'll just leave aside the xenophobic undertones and put this here and we can check back after they move in to see if it changes:

    http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/int...hrequirements/

    Last and certainly not least, although I did not mention the citizens of Timbuktu in any way shape or form, I respect their opinions on higher education as much as I do yours or anyone else on this site and certainly would not deny them the freedom to research higher education without the bias and shortsightedness of league tables. I did, however, mention that in my humble experience, SOAS garners far more positive name recognition outside the UK than in it, which, again, partly contributes to my perception that league tables are not an exhaustive indicator of the quality of an institution.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by USinUK4MA)
    Let me just start out by saying that I'm already regretting responding,
    Oh but thanks your lordship/ladyship for condescending to respond to us.

    as I'm sure this is going to devolve quickly into the familiar league table bs
    Much as the league tables seem to be inconvenient, there they are. How do you plan to get rid of them? A Paxman/Paxwoman sneer?

    This is what just happened:

    Someone, not myself, asked for the numbers of courses that were in clearing at SOAS in 2012. I provided the list without comment. USINUK4MA got incredibly upset (see his/her posts above).

    that this site should be providing a haven against
    It's not part of this site's remit to defend Marxist rants against league tables.

    - but I will endeavor on for the benefit of non-SOASians, lest Picaa's strange accusations be representative of the experience I've had, most (if not all) of my friends have had, or indeed the SOAS student body (not that I claim to represent them either).
    Translated: "I, USINUK4, would like to make it clear that on the basis of my subjective impression of some impressions I claim to have had, have views that represent the view of the majority of SOAS students, except really I don't." (Irrational).

    First, I'm glad you left a little uncertainty in your characterization of me as a "sock puppet" of the SOAS Marketing Department, because I certainly am not.
    If you say so....

    It's flattering to think I might be paid to comment here - I'll take the compliment and consider submitting a resume.
    Let us know how it goes. :rolleyes:

    Stranger still, however, if you were or are a SOASian, is your conviction that the SOAS Marketing Department has it together enough to infiltrate a site like this, find a thread with all of 7 posts, pretend to be a foreign national, and insult the rankings of a fellow '94 Group (now I'm just asking for it) university. (If you still don't believe me keep reading, I'll even insult SOAS!): If you've spent any significant amount of time at SOAS, you'd know that no administrative department is organized enough to pull that off.
    Well, that's some really clever reasoning. You've got me there.. Wow. Really good.
    Oh wait.. There's the small matter that any one of us could 'infiltrate' a site like this for any reason or any agenda we like. How hard was it for you to sign up for a free email account and register an account here? You reckon it would be too much for SOAS admin eh? Well even if you're right, SOAS Marketing Department isn't SOAS admissions or administrative services. Anyone can sign up for an account here and put whatever spin on whatever they like.

    To be specific, you compared SOAS to Oxbridge because you said it ranked 3rd in the Guardian league tables. How obvious could anyone be?? Is your name in real life Tony Blair by any chance?

    FYI, SOAS Marketing Dept recently orchestrated a massive coup with all their combined Machiavellian insight and German efficiency, by contributing some actually quite reasonable information publicly to Wikipedia. I can't comment what they've done under other usernames on Wikipedia, but anyway...

    Fortunately, people's primary motivation in attending university is to learn and not to process paperwork.
    Is this really why you came from the US to the UK. For an MA that doesn't require paperwork and isn't a piece of (accredited) paper... Would you really argue that even if SOAS didn't issue degrees at all, but was just a place with some lectures, academics and books, you would have come here anyway? Would you be believed?

    Per my 'spinning' of the league tables, you'll note that after bashing their use and reference, I do somewhat hypocritically point to some numbers from the Guardian.
    I'm not sure what your point is here. You say you are a hypocrite and this adds to your credibility as an independent opinion holder unaffiliated with SOAS Marketing? Or that you are a hypocrite and this undermines the idea of league tables? What you just wrote is just another way of avoiding dealing with the question at hand. You're trying to obfuscate. It actually went like this:

    1) Someone asked for a list of courses in clearing;
    2) I provided the list with no other comment;
    3) Furious, you tapped away a handbags-at-dawn critique of league tables, saying league tables are wrong but SOAS is near Oxbridge anyway because, according to the Guardian's version, it is similar in terms of staff:student ratio (a false implication, but anyway..)
    4) I point out in a message that either the use of league tables is valid or it is not, but it can't be both.
    5) Now you say (to paraphrase): "Look, I'm a hypocrite and that proves something (unspecified).

    You'll also note, however, that the numbers I refer to are not subjected to any sort of qualitative judgement by the Guardian but refer to statistics and ratios available from any ranking agency.
    This adds nothing but is mere hyperbole.

    Maybe the readers of this forum will overlook the fact that Oxbridge has 1:1 teaching staff, while SOAS has a large number of so-called 'staff' on its books that don't teach (nor do a whole lot of research, it must be said). The numbers (which you haven't supplied and which I doubt) don't tell the full story.

    (Note that this table is for student-staff ratios for the whole school and not for its ranked subjects as outlined before, but still a pretty good showing.
    No it isn't, for the reasons I've just given.

    This to say nothing of the debate around whether these ratios are an accurate marker of class sizes and student-teacher/tutor contact time, the arguments against which typically favor smaller, more teaching oriented institutions like SOAS.)
    There is no 'debate'. SOAS, if you've been as an undergraduate taking popular courses, has some of the largest class sizes of any university in the UK. From your comments, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you don't know about this. However Arabic, Japanese and other languages, especially at level 1, have class sizes bursting at the seams - something like 40 to 50 registered for every tutor session. The numbers drop off but still the sizes remain conspicuously large at level 2.

    I'm sure there are more, but as they're numbers which don't change from one ranking agency to the next, I can't really be bothered to find them.
    I'm sure you've been through everything with a fine-toothed comb and have discovered the unfortunate truth that there's almost nothing you can use to prop up your strawman arguments about SOAS. The fact is, it was rated excellent in almost everything, and was at the top of the league tables for most of its existence. It's gone mass-market and dropped out of the running.

    I'm not sure what your experience has been in your department, but your characterization of teaching staff at SOAS is completely unrecognizable to me. I came from a small liberal arts school in the states with even fewer students than SOAS, and I have had as much if not more contact with professors and terminal degree holders here than I did as an undergrad. As a graduate student, I have not once had to wait or reschedule to see a professor, all of whom have made themselves available to their students before and after classes, and I have had at least one class with each of the researching or teaching members of my department (a small one, I'll grant you).
    Fact is, SOAS is undermining its own degrees by creating too many Mickey Mouse courses that are designed to attracted rich people from overseas, without requiring them to have a basic grounding in academic skills, reasoning ability or even linguistic talent. For many SOAS courses at masters level, there are very few takers. These are fly-by-night courses available one year, never to be seen the next.

    (1) What university is not facing funding problems? That's why the jacked up the prices, non?
    No, they raised the fees because they were given governmental permission to do so, up to a limit. Foreign students can be charged a lot more than domestics and EU students. They were allowed to raise the fees because the policy is that funding for higher education in non-SET subjects is to be slashed a LOT. That hits SOAS hard, which is why it's adapting. Not in a way that's in the interests of SOAS students or graduates, from my point of view. It harms us because we have a lot invested in the reputation of SOAS.

    (2) LSE spokesperson, "the THE/QS methodology systematically disadvantages specialist social science institutions such as LSE and SOAS"


    Is that supposed to mean something? Even if this unattributed quote is speaking a truism, one has to ask what and how the THE/QS ranking changed, since 1999, to bring SOAS consistently down from the top to redbrick level. Either something changed in the way the rank was calculated (if so, what?) or this is just an anonymous assertion that can be dismissed.

    (3) I don't know about what departments are doing what, but I know the Law program, one of the best in the school, just upped it's requirement to A*AA (4,4,5 on AP exams - which is pretty damn high).
    If you put down Das Kapital for 2 minutes and looked outside your window, you would see a world of supply and demand. There is high demand for Law degrees. There is low demand for Turkish degrees. SOAS can ask for A*AA for its law courses, and it does so because it CAN. It can't make any such demands for its degrees in Turkish. Yet SOAS is actually better specialized at teaching Turkish than Law. ANY university can offer a law degree and teach law. Very few can teach Turkish. Also, Turkish may be harder to learn to degree standard than the law of England and Wales, so ideally you would need more academically gifted students for Turkish. However, because of market forces to which SOAS is subject, not master, SOAS may end up having to drop Turkish from its lineup, and just increasing its teaching capacity for law. There's so much demand for law degrees, SOAS can guarantee its revenue by doing so.

    (4) Well I don't know about recruitment numbers, but I do know that SOAS just established a new doctoral campus which looks pretty snazzy.
    This isn't worthy of comment.

    (5) Which courses are difficult? Which were cut?
    Too many. However difficulty is just one factor among many for why a course might not have enough DEMAND to justify the COST of its continued existence. The most important factor is career prospects. If people don't see a lucrative career in something, they won't take a degree in it. People go to university for an accredited slip of paper they can use to build a career on, not 'for the unique sake and noble selfless cause of education'.

    I'm not really in a position to comment on LSE and their purported rejects, except to say that while they're both small social science schools, their expertise varies widely and doesn't beg the kind of comparison you assume.
    In this horrible place the majority of us have to live in but from which you currently enjoy some temporary relief (good for you), LSE is one of the most highly regarded universities in the world for Economics and Finance related degrees. It's in the top 10 of every UK league table for everything else, such as law. Therefore, because of this mysterious cosmic force called supply and demand, it asks for very high A level grades. Many apply, and few get in. Those that don't get in, have a fall-back university on their UCAS form (this is a British system for admission to university). Their fall-back is a university that demands lower grades (but not TOO low). SOAS and QMUL tend to be those fall-backs for those who don't make it into LSE but still have reasonably good grades.

    As for SOAS' acquisition of the North Block (I can't believe you didn't mention anything about colonialism and SOAS' history here) leading to flood of students with weak English...well I'll just leave aside the xenophobic undertones and put this here and we can check back after they move in to see if it changes:
    Nothing xenophobic about demanding that students who attend a British university should have decent English skills. If they can barely speak fluently and with mostly accurate grammar, it throws doubt on SOAS's credibility, and that damages us all. After all, a lot of assessment at SOAS is by coursework, and anyone can help you with coursework. Throw in the ghostwriter industry (an industry this website is a part of FYI) and an army of editors and proofreaders advertising everywhere including SOAS noticeboards into the mix and you have the right conditions for a couple thousand younger sons of Gadaffi. It's a threat to perceptions of SOAS, if students aren't articulate in English.

    The very fact you consider this POV 'xenophobic' makes it absolutely clear where you're coming from. And I thank you for that.

    Last and certainly not least, although I did not mention the citizens of Timbuktu in any way shape or form, I respect their opinions on higher education as much as I do yours or anyone else on this site and certainly would not deny them the freedom to research higher education without the bias and shortsightedness of league tables. I did, however, mention that in my humble experience, SOAS garners far more positive name recognition outside the UK than in it, which, again, partly contributes to my perception that league tables are not an exhaustive indicator of the quality of an institution.
    It is often claimed that SOAS is better regarded outside the UK than within it. I am sure that used to be the case. However these days the environment is different and everything is measured. In the UK and USA there are a few systems of measurement including league tables, and although you've made your dislike of league tables clear, you haven't been able to justify how, why and on what basis a small university like SOAS can simply dismiss, ignore and abandon them.

    I'm not sure if you're aware but the rest of the world, including the developing world, relies a lot on new league tables systems. China has its own, in which SOAS doesn't really figure, and India has a restricted list of what they consider 'good quality' British universities with which its own universities are allowed to cooperate: a list from which SOAS was deleted last year. Apart from that there are the world university rankings, in which over the space of less than 10 years SOAS moved from a very high rank (40-something) to a middling rank in 2004/5 (280-something) before finally dropping off altogether a couple of years ago.

    I'm sorry but league tables reflect a reality in which SOAS is a small player in a game bigger than itself. A moon rather than a planet in a solar system. Therefore all universities are in this rather unfair but decisive game of hardball. It doesn't really matter if someone gets hurt feelings on this forum, and voting posts up or down won't affect SOAS's league table position. The reason I occasionally post here is because I think SOAS needs huge kick in the posterior, and that means the students, and not just the Marketing dept, the VC's office, the policy directorate and the academics, need to get on board and give up playing ideological games pretending certain realities don't matter. If this doesn't happen, it won't look good for any of us with SOAS degrees. At the moment maybe things are fine for us rep-wise, but think beyond the next 4 or 5 years.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The post makes a lot more sense if you don't chop up every phrase/sentence to interject ad hominems and selective memory. Nevertheless, my case for dismissing, ignoring, and abandoning league tables/rankings (by students, not by schools) is quite simple: they do not constitute an accurate portrayal of institutional quality/standards for individuals who understand that their own circumstances and interests should determine the worth of a degree. Unless, of course, only degrees which are ranked highly on league tables are of any worth to you - to which I say, well - there's not really much worth saying to someone who follows that mode of thought. I'll also just say this and hopefully let this tit-for-tat die a peaceful death - my initial post had nothing to do with yours and everything to do with the first (that is, the question of the thread to which my post was answer). Best of luck in kicking SOAS' posterior with your "occasional" posting (462?) on thestudentroom.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I never thought asking for a clearing list would cause such an upheaval... o.0 thank you very much for your information and different points of view. I do hope they take into account suggestions for improving the teaching and services at SOAS, as I would really like to be attending a university in September that gives value for the money we're paying. thanks again!
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
Useful resources

Articles:

SOAS Guide

Featured accommodation profiles:

Scape Student Living

Scape Student Living

"Brand new super studios at Scape Shoreditch, three minutes away from Old Street station!"

Quick links:

Unanswered SOAS ThreadsFind out what student life in London is really like in students' own wordsStalking pages becomes University Connect, connect to other SOAS applicants now!

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.