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Oxbridge Vs Top Tier American Unis watch

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    (Original post by tonification)
    That list should settle most of peoples questions. Basically, the US dominates, at least 3 UK universities are world class, California does very well, but theres nothing from any country except the USA and UK :confused:
    That study is very biased towards English-speaking institutions. For example, the number of citations in two science journals, Nature and Science, which are British and American respectively, are considered when deciding the rankings. I wouldn't trust it too much.
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    (Original post by Squishy)
    That study is very biased towards English-speaking institutions.
    ....and when comparing 'Oxbridge Vs Top Tier American Unis' (thread title), that should matter why?


    In any case, English is the international language of science. If you look in a copy of Science or Nature, you will find papers from France, Japan etc. Getting a prestigious paper into such journals is just as desirable in those countries as in the UK and US.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Hmmm...my friend did her Gap year in Ghana, and when people heard she was going to university when she got back to the UK, they'd ask "Oxford or Cambridge?" So she had to explain, yes, she was going to Cambridge, but there were other universities in the UK as well.

    Dunno why Oxford is more prestigious in the US, when Cambridge is easily as good. I could get annoyed about this, but it would be pointless.

    Had a good night then, Blissy?
    It is only because of the Rhodes scholarships, if you ask me.
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    (Original post by house badger)
    I think everyone has overlooked an important part of this discussion. You all seem happy to compare whole institutions on whatever criteria you seem to choose, whether it's prestige, academic reputation, league table ranking, sound of the name but this is a really bad way to compare universities. People go to Universities to get degrees and its these you should be comparing. As I'm a lawyer I'll talk about law, Oxford's BCL is looked upon more favourably by the bar, employers etc.. than the Cambridge LLM or the equivalents from Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc. This is reflected by the number of students from American universities/Cambridge moving to Oxford. Law bachelors degrees have a similar but less noticeable pattern. Equally, different degrees for example sciences are better respected at other Univesities and in particular at Caltech/MIT style Unis. This is how you should make comparisions not on a whole Uni level. Universities vary greatly from subject to subject (Brookes history is better ranked than Oxford) and it is near impossible to assess the quality of a "university" without making distinctions.

    btw: Previously mentioned stat about Cambridge's nobel prizewinners, fair point but Christ Church Oxford has more Prime Ministers than the whole of Cambridge. It doesn't help prove anything other than an arts/science bias.

    Sorry i just have to quote this again..... brilliant
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    Quoted from
    http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/methodology.htm
    "We rank universities by several indicators of academic or research performance, including Nobel laureates, highly cited researchers, articles published in Nature and Science, articles in Science Citation Index-expanded and Social Science Citation Index, and academic performance per faculty.

    For each indicator, the highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100, and other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score. The distribution of data for each indicator is examined for any significant distorting effect; standard statistical techniques are used to adjust the indicator if necessary.

    Scores for each indicator are weighted as shown below to arrive at a final overall score for an institution. The highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100, and other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score. The scores are then placed in descending order. An institution's rank reflects the number of institutions that sit above it."

    I think this is complete crap. It proves nothing. Immediately the skewed effect towards more science based instiutions is apparents, as this will give them relatively higher number of nobel prizes.
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    This discussion is stupid. If you are going to compare the universities in a meaningful way, you need to establish some sort of framework for the comparison (and decide what you're actually trying to compare). So, for instance, in areas where money is important - such as may be true of some capital intensive graduate research - it is possible that the American universities may have a lead, but in other areas - such as undergraduate teaching - some may regard the Oxbridge tutorial system as superior.
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    (Original post by tonification)
    ....and when comparing 'Oxbridge Vs Top Tier American Unis' (thread title), that should matter why?


    In any case, English is the international language of science. If you look in a copy of Science or Nature, you will find papers from France, Japan etc. Getting a prestigious paper into such journals is just as desirable in those countries as in the UK and US.
    I was responding to the question of why there are only UK/US universities in the "Top 10 World Universities". And while Nature and Science indeed receive submissions from the international scientific community, it is still biased towards English speakers. A Japanese scientist for example must make quite an effort to learn reasonably fluent English (or pay a rather large amount of money that most scientists can't afford for a translator) if he or she hopes to publish in those journals or attend science conferences. Hence brilliant Japanese scientists who may for whatever reason have a poor command of English are less likely to get their work seen, and may not have their work widely recognised.

    (Original post by tomcoolinguk)
    It is only because of the Rhodes scholarships, if you ask me.
    I think that is a major reason why Oxford is more famous in the US (although Harvard and MIT are both in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and that's named after Cambridge, England obviously). It depends what people respect more...Oxford is a stronger university for politics, Cambridge for science/philosophy.
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    Your assumption about the specialities of Oxford and Cambridge is naive. There are few subjects where either is truly better than the other, as there seems to be a balance. For example, I would say philosophy is more reputable at Oxford, because of the large faculty size etc. However, Cambridge is the birthplace of modern philosophy. The only subjects where I think it is clear cut which is better, in my opinion are:

    Maths- Cambridge all the way
    Physics- Cambridge all the way, especially Theoretical
    Chemistry- Oxford all the way
    Politics- Oxford

    There are others but I think the distinctions are blurred. What does anyone else think?
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    (Original post by tomcoolinguk)
    Your assumption about the specialities of Oxford and Cambridge is naive.
    Well, my statement was a sweeping generalisation. However, Cambridge does have the lead in a lot of the sciences, and Oxford in politics/law. By the way, do you think that the size of a department is directly correlated to its quality? I know Oxford probably has larger Chem and Philosophy departments than Cambridge, but off the top of the head, I can name far more famous Cambridge philosophers and chemists than Oxford ones, and I'm not an expert in either subject.
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    Tom, by physics do you mean NatSci? Wouldn't that mean chemistry and physics at cambridge are roughly to the same standard; since there is only 1 year that natsci students wouldnt have in common (unless they do Msc).

    That list isn't all that trustworthy; it is more related to post-graduate work, the criteria aren't very related to undergraduate opportuinities/teaching. Sure, stanford has the best particle accelerator, but measly undergrads would never be using it

    That said, I am applying to stanford and it looks pretty good! minus the horribly expensive price tag that comes with. Does anyone know if on campus jobs are easy to obtain for international who haveent received financial aid?

    For i read that US immigrants, under F-1 student status (that's us), are ONLY allowed on-campus employment during the academic year, and they "may not displace any US citizen from a post" Anyone got any experience in this?

    Oh, and also about that list, many amazing US schools don't even make it cos they only teach undergrad eg:Pomona, Wellesley, Swarthemore, etc. so once again don't trust it
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    i've enjoyed reading this thread but it makes me wonder wether many of the people who have posted entries here actually have any experience of the universities of oxford or cambridge. my mum, dad and stepdad have all been to cambridge so naturally this was my first choice although i've no doubt that oxford is on a par in terms of excellence and reputation. it was also my favourite when i went to visit. but it annoys me when people pledge their allegiance for one of these uni's for no other reason than their best mates sister went there or they live closest to it or something.

    no *****iness intended...just had to speak my mind.
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    the question you initially posted is tough.

    everything comes down to reputation, right? but the top schools in the usa always gyrate within the top 15 or every year. but who cares? politics at Princeton sucks. politics at a state school Rutgers is MUCH higher rated.


    politics at Rutgers newark is a dump, while politics at RU - New Brunswick is considered outstanding.

    be extremely wary of hte rankings. esp. when things like alumni donations are considered as part of the numerical equation. also, rejection rates, admission rates--they are all manipulated by administrators so as to inflate their rankings, thereby justifying extravagent salaries.

    univ. of chicago law school, for instance, jumped in rankings from in the mid-30's to the single digits in only 2 short years. how? they hired a new director of marketing who greatly increased the number of apps by going on a marketing campaign, cut the number of seats, thus lowering the acceptance rate, hence the increase in standings. what changed?

    get real.

    mostly local businesses hire local students. some professions are school/major specific.

    and after the first job, no one cares where you went.

    wake up kiddies and stop focusing on useless arguments such as if oxford is better than harvard.

    think about the chicken or the egg.
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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.
    At the moment the comparitive status and quality is about equal and you can add IC LSE and to a lesser extent UCL to Oxbridge for the purposes of this discussion. The top American Universities have been for the last couple of decades overtaking our own elite and i expect them to be quite clearly superior within another couple of decades - quite simply because they are so much better funded than our own. At the moment Cambridge and Oxford are arguably the most famous and prestigious universities in the world(albeit with Very little between them and Harvard) and bear in mind that Cambridge has the most Nobel Laureates of any institution in the world. As i say though the American academic star is rising while our own is falling because of mismanagement and awful underfunding.
    (Original post by tarrygon83)
    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.
    This is certainly the case but not because they feel the American Unis are 'better', its because the American Unis can offer an academic who would earn perhaps 70k here closer to 200k+
 
 
 
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