Oxbridge Vs Top Tier American Unis

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tarrygon83
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How does Oxbridge compare with the top tier American Unis like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT and Caltech? Some say that Oxbridge has lost out to them while others still prefer Oxbridge. However, one thing is certain- they are much more financially endowed than all the UK unis, even Oxbridge.

A trend is emerging, whereby scholars flock to American Unis instead of Oxbridge because they feel that American Unis are better now than UK ones.
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Alaric
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(Original post by tarrygon83)
How does Oxbridge compare with the top tier American Unis like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT and Caltech? Some say that Oxbridge has lost out to them while others still prefer Oxbridge. However, one thing is certain- they are much more financially endowed than all the UK unis, even Oxbridge.

A trend is emerging, whereby scholars flock to American Unis instead of Oxbridge because they feel that American Unis are better now than UK ones.
I reckon they're probably marginally better at undergraduate teaching level, and probably considerably better at research given their huge budgets. If I could've afforded it I would have tried to apply to there, probably MIT or Cal. It will be interesting to see what happens if they do actually start campuses outside the US like some are predicting.

Alaric.
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Hash
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I've heard that American employers consider an oxford or cambridge degree more prestigious than, say, harvard or yale.
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davey_boy
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(Original post by Hash)
I've heard that American employers consider an oxford or cambridge degree more prestigious than, say, harvard or yale.

I think I'd agree with that. In academia I understand the top American universities are regarded as being generally better than Oxbridge. On any measure you want to make, amounts of papers published, numbers of nobel prizewinners on the staff etc. the American universities are way ahead of anything in Britain. However, Oxbridge still has a great deal of prestige associated with it and to those on the outside (e.g. employers) Oxford and Cambridge are often considered their equal or even superior. It's very similar to the General British public's perception of Oxford and Cambridge - I think when asked 'which is the better university, Oxford or Cambridge?' a slight majority of British people said Oxford, even though Cambridge is better on almost every measure the Government publishes - Oxford has a slightly better tradition than Cambridge and that hangs around even if the truth doesn't back it up....
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oldthrashbarg
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(Original post by Joey_Johns)
. A lot of American's despite their might still have a complex about not having the history Britain has, you can tell with American archaelogists compared to British ones if you have ever watched one of those programmes my dad watches on Discovery.
The Americans have archaeologists???!!!!

I thought they just had a sheet of paper stuck on a noticeboard in every library reading something like this:


6000 BC: America created by God, Adam and Eve banished (communist interference suspected)

1776: Declaration of independence (Europe discovered by George Washington)

1861-1865: Civil war

1917-1918: The US fights and wins World War I, liberating Europe

1923: General Motors established

1929: Wall Street Crash (communist interference suspected)

1941-1945: The US fights and wins World War II, liberating the World

1955: McDonalds established

1965-1973: Some slight unpleasantness in Asia...

1993: Clinton becomes President (communist interference suspected)
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davey_boy
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(Original post by Joey_Johns)
I disagree with that. Cambridge has much more prestige.
We'll have to agree to disagree. I admit Cambridge produces/has, in general, better research and teaching but I still think in the eyes of the general population Oxford has more prestige.
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Hash
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Cambridge may be slightly academically superior, but Oxford is more prestigious.
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fishpaste
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Where I live it's true that Oxford has more prestige, though people here are so clueless, alot of people I talk to don't realise they're separate institutions, many think they're some kind of private school (wtf?), it's mad. Also, when I visit my family in california, Oxford is far more recognised than Cam, to the point that when I was wondering which to apply to people were saying things like "Sure Cambridge isn't famous like Oxford, but if as you say Cambridge is better for a technical subject like computer science, then the people in the field who matter will know the difference. It's like saying should I goto Harvard or MIT?"
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fishpaste
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(Original post by Joey_Johns)
I think that might be the problem. I've been around Oxbridge graduates all my life with some in my family and a lot of my teachers. They always seemed to give the impression that Cambridge is more prestigious. Who cares anyway, i'd say the same degree from either uni is inter-changeable.
Yeah certainly, as you become more knowledgeable in the processes of applying and being at Oxbridge, you get the feeling that there's a bias towards Cambridge. Certainly the feeling you get from this board eh?

Of course they're interchangeable, and dare I say it, sometimes I wish I'd gone the other way.
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happysunshine
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(Original post by fishpaste)
Where I live it's true that Oxford has more prestige, though people here are so clueless, alot of people I talk to don't realise they're separate institutions, many think they're some kind of private school (wtf?), it's mad. Also, when I visit my family in california, Oxford is far more recognised than Cam, to the point that when I was wondering which to apply to people were saying things like "Sure Cambridge isn't famous like Oxford, but if as you say Cambridge is better for a technical subject like computer science, then the people in the field who matter will know the difference. It's like saying should I goto Harvard or MIT?"
That's true. There are a couple of people I know of who as soon as they see someone who say they have been to university they will say "I bet it was Oxford". Or "if I go to Oxford or whatever..." when these people who say this will be lucky to get a few passes at GCSE. Even the 'clever' people wont mention Cambridge, just Oxford.
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Jamie
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(Original post by Hash)
Cambridge may be slightly academically superior, but Oxford is more prestigious.
I have to disagree too. From what i knew way back cambridge is the top place in the uk, far more than oxford. after all they always beat them in the tables etc and thats what most of the population hears.
for gods sake, trinity alone has more nobel prize winners than the entire of oxford...or france lol
Oxford though has a better rep in the US.
that is the only 'prestige' difference believe me.

anywho i think that half the peeps on thsi thread are talking bull. The american unis are no way near 'better' academically. Yes all the SCHOLARS go there, but is it any wonder. They can expect to be paid some 40-50% more starting salary. That is the difference, money and resources. The american unis are poaching our scholars to try and make up for the fact the schools are substandard, and they need to get students upto speed.
Kind of like how we poach foreign medical workers...
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blissy
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MIT and Cambridge have an exchange programme. Don't know if that lends any to the argument!
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Jamie
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(Original post by blissy)
MIT and Cambridge have an exchange programme. Don't know if that lends any to the argument!
yeh i was going to do it, but was advised against. Basically MIT sucks compared to cambridge. if it had be cambridge and princeton harvard or yale then it would have been more comparitive
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Adhsur
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(Original post by Alaric)
It will be interesting to see what happens if they do actually start campuses outside the US like some are predicting.

Alaric.
There already are some I think. One of my friends applied to one in Switzerland! It's crazy.
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Adhsur
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(Original post by Hash)
Cambridge may be slightly academically superior, but Oxford is more prestigious.
I think that is true in the international world. Most people in countries far away have heard of Oxford but not Cambridge.
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thebrittzditz
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As an American I have a lot to say on these issues.........though before you all begin judging, believe me, I'm one of the most anti-American Americans I know, and I'm in NYC.

1. When I've mentioned to people here that I'm even applying to Oxford, people are shocked. The general conception is that while Harvard and Yale are very prestigious, Oxford is just in another class within itself, more than just prestigious....it's like a world class university. Most people aren't aware of the Oxbridge professors being suctioned across the Atlantic, and of the difference in funds available, however, so really Oxford is always considered superior. Maybe sometime in the future these facts may catch up with reputation, and roles may switch - but a 1000 year history of excellence is not easily overcome, and Harvard and Yale were created in America trying to model themselves after Oxbridge, in hopes of attaining a fraction of the presige associated with them. Saying you go to an Ivy League school is great but you can picture overachieving, doing-everything-so-that-they-can-make-an-ivy students with no real talent going there, while at Oxford you picture the future Nobel Prize winners, esp in humanities subjects (probably b/c the funding does influence science/math research here) and the future Charles Dickens'. Stereotypes and reputations and hype abound, but there you have it. Personally I like Oxford, so there ya go.

2. Oxford vs Cambridge - Although I can't answer for the UK, in the US it's definately Cambridge. This, again, has little to do with facts, statistics, or even reality, but reputation. Even in books like "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, representative of America in many ways, Gatsby was an "Oxford man" just b/c that sounds like the most prestigious university you can go to.
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blissy
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I have nothing intelligent to add to the argument <is drunk>. So instead I will just:

*cough* Cambridge *cough*
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[email protected]
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I think the general picture that noone can really tell which is better is evident. What is the point of stupid arguments, which lead nowehere? Some people prefer Oxford, some Cambridge. Both are amazing. I've got an offer from Balliol and I still see that Cambridge would prob not be worse. It's an alternative option, but I prefered Oxford when I visited.
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[email protected]
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3-15... It wasn't a big loss. Our kicking was shocking.
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blissy
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<enormous eye roll>
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