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NeoXx
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Even though there are more US than UK unis in the top league tables,
I have a feeling that UK unis are considerably more rigorous and better and that rankings
are very unreliable taking into account mostly prestige.

Lets take an example of comparing Harvard to Cambridge, the amount of work students have to do at Cambridge is higher or even considerably higher than on Harvard or for that matter on any Ivy League uni in the US.
In addition there are lots of imbeciles on Harvard since you have a high chance of getting accepted if someone from your family is famous or paying a donation.

By reading about exchange and current student stories I got an impression
that students learn much more on UK universities.
Also it seems that it is harder to get accepted by a Top UK uni as there are more better qualified people applying in the UK than in the US. (especially since there is a limit of how many unis you can apply in the UK compared to no limit in the US)




Thoughts welcome
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Scienceisgood
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(Original post by NeoXx)
Even though there are more US than UK unis in the top league tables,
I have a feeling that UK unis are considerably more rigorous and better and that rankings
are very unreliable taking into account mostly prestige.

Lets take an example of comparing Harvard to Cambridge, the amount of work students have to do at Cambridge is higher or even considerably higher than on Harvard or for that matter on any Ivy League uni in the US.
In addition there are lots of imbeciles on Harvard since you have a high chance of getting accepted if someone from your family is famous or paying a donation.

By reading about exchange and current student stories I got an impression
that students learn much more on UK universities.
Also it seems that it is harder to get accepted by a Top UK uni as there are more better qualified people applying in the UK than in the US. (especially since there is a limit of how many unis you can apply in the UK compared to no limit in the US)




Thoughts welcome
Just thought I would throw in some figures, personal opinions don't mean *hit unless you back it up with actual stats. - Not that I really see why it matters (I do know one person at my uni who is American and came over here for her degree).

Don't forget to take into account the number of actual universities in the UK compared to the US.
US = 4,140
UK = 161
Comparison = 25 (actually closer to 26):1 ratio.

Number of universities in the top 100:

US = 41
UK = 9

Now just take into account percentages alone (universities within the top 100 and universities within the country total)

US = 0.99%
UK = 5.6%

(Taken to 2 S.F)

While this shows universities in America outnumber the universities in the UK, by sheer landmass (of which US is nearly 40 times the landmass of the UK), it doesn't take a genius to work out this could be true.
However, in terms of percentage (neglecting landmass), it would actually be closer to the UK having over 5 times the number of universities.

Not to mention in recent years it has become INCREDIBLY difficult to enter unis in the UK.
Hell, the ones in 50s-60s ranking in the UK are asking for at least a single B (most however, 2). - I remember when I applied to one of my universiities, the asking grades were BBC (I got a BCC, damn you Edexcel with those *ucked up maths papers!) and so was immediately dropped and managed to get in through clearing into one of the higher unis at least (will not say which one).
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by NeoXx)
Thoughts welcome
you are looking at this too much from your own perspective. Even if you're correct, educating undergraduates is only a (smallish) part of what universities do, and what these tables test for.
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2ndClass
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(Original post by NeoXx)
Lets take an example of comparing Harvard to Cambridge, the amount of work students have to do at Cambridge is higher or even considerably higher than on Harvard or for that matter on any Ivy League uni in the US.
Where did you get that from? :confused:
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NeoXx
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(Original post by 2ndClass)
Where did you get that from? :confused:
Just an impression I got from reading lots of current and exchange student stories.
May not be true at all.
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RussellG
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(Original post by Scienceisgood)
Just thought I would throw in some figures, personal opinions don't mean *hit unless you back it up with actual stats. - Not that I really see why it matters (I do know one person at my uni who is American and came over here for her degree).

Don't forget to take into account the number of actual universities in the UK compared to the US.
US = 4,140
UK = 161
Comparison = 25 (actually closer to 26):1 ratio.
I agree with you that we should see the size difference between US and UK.

But it's not accurate to compare US 4140 universities to UK 161 universities. Most of the 4140 US universities are very small like secondary schools. For example, Franklin W Olin College of Engineering, which is one of the best LACs for engineering studies, has only 315 students in total. There are many colleges like this.

The number of US universities having comparable sizes of UK universities are about 900 (280 national universities + 626 regional universities).

(Original post by Scienceisgood)
Not to mention in recent years it has become INCREDIBLY difficult to enter unis in the UK.
Hell, the ones in 50s-60s ranking in the UK are asking for at least a single B (most however, 2). - I remember when I applied to one of my universiities, the asking grades were BBC (I got a BCC, damn you Edexcel with those *ucked up maths papers!) and so was immediately dropped and managed to get in through clearing into one of the higher unis at least (will not say which one).
Well...there has been a grade inflation at A levels, so A levels today are quite different from A levels which used to be.

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hslakaal
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(Original post by NeoXx)
Lets take an example of comparing Harvard to Cambridge, the amount of work students have to do at Cambridge is higher or even considerably higher than on Harvard or for that matter on any Ivy League uni in the US.
In addition there are lots of imbeciles on Harvard since you have a high chance of getting accepted if someone from your family is famous or paying a donation.
Where did you pull those two opinions out of? How many people have you talked to? No one discloses from either Oxbridge nor Ivy Leagues whether donations get you in. In fact, the same accusation could be levelled at the British Institutions. You are not honestly gonna sit there and tell me Oxford and Cambridge do not have rich, upper-class, old Oxbridge boys' children, are you?

I would disagree, having applied to both UK and US, and having (I'd like to believe than most UK students posting on TSR would) direct friends/relatives in US universities, I'd say getting into top US is harder, at least from an international's perspective. Cambridge had 15,000 students apply for 3,437 places in 2012, whilst 35,023 applied for 2,047 places in Harvard, btw...

Let us not forget that UK universities (and the educational system as a whole) puts a greater emphasis on speciality. So, if you're good in English, then you will only need to be good in English essentially to get in to an English degree, whilst in the US, you apply to a college where you've gotta truly be an all-rounder. Let's say there's a course called "Informatics Sociological Studies" (ofc, it's made up) in Cambridge, and it's offered as a major in Havard or Yale. Let's say it isn't a very popular degree, and hence not many applicants apply for it at Oxbridge, hence making it easier for entry. In the US side, you wouldn't be applying for that, so you'd be competing with everyone else applying to that institution.

In terms of actual academics that matter a damn thing (which is postgraduate research for most of the rankings), US institutions far outstrip any UK institution. Go look at any endowments for UK institutions and compare the 500~600 mil of UCL, almost 4 bil of Oxford, to the 20+bils of major Ivy Leagues, and it's no wonder they can afford to do more research, with better staff and equipment. Anyone who'd argue any country's university anywhere in the world can beat the top 20 US universities in terms of funding and research is being ridiculous.

What I'm trying to say, is that both countries and institutions have incredibly bright and talented people, and you really can't judge one from another.

(Original post by Scienceisgood)
Just thought I would throw in some figures, personal opinions don't mean *hit unless you back it up with actual stats. - Not that I really see why it matters (I do know one person at my uni who is American and came over here for her degree).

Don't forget to take into account the number of actual universities in the UK compared to the US.
US = 4,140
UK = 161
Comparison = 25 (actually closer to 26):1 ratio.

Number of universities in the top 100:

US = 41
UK = 9

Now just take into account percentages alone (universities within the top 100 and universities within the country total)

US = 0.99%
UK = 5.6%

(Taken to 2 S.F)

While this shows universities in America outnumber the universities in the UK, by sheer landmass (of which US is nearly 40 times the landmass of the UK), it doesn't take a genius to work out this could be true.
However, in terms of percentage (neglecting landmass), it would actually be closer to the UK having over 5 times the number of universities.

Not to mention in recent years it has become INCREDIBLY difficult to enter unis in the UK.
Hell, the ones in 50s-60s ranking in the UK are asking for at least a single B (most however, 2). - I remember when I applied to one of my universiities, the asking grades were BBC (I got a BCC, damn you Edexcel with those *ucked up maths papers!) and so was immediately dropped and managed to get in through clearing into one of the higher unis at least (will not say which one).
If you were to argue it this way, then surely Singapore or Hong Kong (let's count it as a separate state) is far superior, no? You can't compare no unis per total uni no. imho.
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geodawson
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Here we go again..
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RussellG
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(Original post by hslakaal)
I would disagree, having applied to both UK and US, and having (I'd like to believe than most UK students posting on TSR would) direct friends/relatives in US universities, I'd say getting into top US is harder, at least from an international's perspective. Cambridge had 15,000 students apply for 3,437 places in 2012, whilst 35,023 applied for 2,047 places in Harvard, btw...
I feel Harvard is more competitive to enter than Cambridge too, but this comparison is not accurate for several reasons. (1) US universities doesn't limit number of universities to apply, whereas UK limits 5 (+ extra, if you are rejected by all). So UK universities naturally have higher acceptance rate than US. (2) US universities doesn't have minimum entry requirements, so anyone can apply. The quality of applicants are various. (3) US universities have a diversity of entrance. There are early decision, legacy admissions and athlete admission. For example, early action acceptance rate at Harvard is 21%. In fact, we never know the bottom standards of US universities. About Harvard, all we know is bottom 25% of students have 32 of ACT Composite or lower (i.e. 32 or below means top 2% or below, which is about the same selectivity of AAA(theoretically about top 1.5%) or below). (4) The entrance difficulty is also different between international and American students. The universities doing needs blind admission for international students (HYPMDA) tend to be harsh to international students. (But for other universities, rich international students are cash cows, so they are easier to get in. for ordinary international students, very little chance) (5) Since US has 5 times more population than UK, There are many universities at similar levels. Like Havard is at the same level of HYPSMC (+ some top LACs).

So considering above, the story is not that simple. But I'd say Harvard is still a bit more competitive than Cambridge (because it's the most popular university among HYPSMC).


(Original post by hslakaal)
Let us not forget that UK universities (and the educational system as a whole) puts a greater emphasis on speciality. So, if you're good in English, then you will only need to be good in English essentially to get in to an English degree, whilst in the US, you apply to a college where you've gotta truly be an all-rounder. Let's say there's a course called "Informatics Sociological Studies" (ofc, it's made up) in Cambridge, and it's offered as a major in Havard or Yale. Let's say it isn't a very popular degree, and hence not many applicants apply for it at Oxbridge, hence making it easier for entry. In the US side, you wouldn't be applying for that, so you'd be competing with everyone else applying to that institution.
Oxbridge anyway have minimum entry requirements from A*AA to AAA. And as I said above, US universities have various type of entrance. Though it depends on the definition of "entrance difficulty" (things like being good as an American football player, showing some extraordinary talent for non-academic issues or having parents connecting to top schools are more difficult than just studying hard IMO), UK admission is at least academically more rigorous compared to US counterpart universities.

(Original post by hslakaal)
In terms of actual academics that matter a damn thing (which is postgraduate research for most of the rankings), US institutions far outstrip any UK institution. Go look at any endowments for UK institutions and compare the 500~600 mil of UCL, almost 4 bil of Oxford, to the 20+bils of major Ivy Leagues, and it's no wonder they can afford to do more research, with better staff and equipment. Anyone who'd argue any country's university anywhere in the world can beat the top 20 US universities in terms of funding and research is being ridiculous.
Endowments is not a critical issue for most of UK universities, because UK universities have different business models. Because of student loans company system, UK universities individually don't have to pay attention for free education for poor students. On the other hand, US universities need endowments to offer reasonable tuition fees for supporting non-rich students.

About research standards, UK universities (even apart from Oxbridge) are not inferior to US counter part universities at all.

Look at ARWU field rankings.

Imperial College
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) 27th
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) 19th
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) 42nd
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) 20th
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 151-200th (by only business school)

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 35.7

University of Pennsylvania
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) 27th
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) 38th
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) 21st
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) 24th
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 9th

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 37.7

UCL
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) 51-75th
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) 151-200th
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) 22nd
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) 14th
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 51-75th

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 31.3

New York University
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) 76-100th
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) 101-150th
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) 51-75th
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) 76-100th
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 10th

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 22.8

LSE
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) - (doesn't exist)
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) - (doesn't exist)
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) - (doesn't exist)
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) - (doesn't exist)
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 15th

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 26.8

Northwestern
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) - 30th
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) - 17th
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) - 51-75th
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) - 41st
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 13th

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 27.1

The University of Manchester
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) - 34th
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) - 37th
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) - 101-150th
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) - 51-75th
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 76-100th

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 24.4

Boston University
Natural Sciences and Mathematics ( SCI ) - 51-75th
Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences ( ENG ) - 76-100th
Life and Agriculture Sciences ( LIFE ) - 101-150th
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy ( MED ) - 37th
Social Sciences ( SOC ) 40th

Average research outcomes per researcher (PCP) 20.9


As you can see, the gap of endowments surprisingly doesn't affect research standards, at least for UK universities. It's because UK universities don't have business depending on endowments. You should read some annual reports by US and UK universities. They are quite different from each other.

(Original post by hslakaal)
What I'm trying to say, is that both countries and institutions have incredibly bright and talented people, and you really can't judge one from another.

If you were to argue it this way, then surely Singapore or Hong Kong (let's count it as a separate state) is far superior, no? You can't compare no unis per total uni no. imho.
About the statement above, I agree with you. Both US and UK universities are excellent in different ways.
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FrostyLemon
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Do you go to Cambridge OP? Hope not.
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(Original post by hslakaal)
Where did you pull those two opinions out of? How many people have you talked to? No one discloses from either Oxbridge nor Ivy Leagues whether donations get you in. In fact, the same accusation could be levelled at the British Institutions. You are not honestly gonna sit there and tell me Oxford and Cambridge do not have rich, upper-class, old Oxbridge boys' children, are you?

I would disagree, having applied to both UK and US, and having (I'd like to believe than most UK students posting on TSR would) direct friends/relatives in US universities, I'd say getting into top US is harder, at least from an international's perspective. Cambridge had 15,000 students apply for 3,437 places in 2012, whilst 35,023 applied for 2,047 places in Harvard, btw...

Let us not forget that UK universities (and the educational system as a whole) puts a greater emphasis on speciality. So, if you're good in English, then you will only need to be good in English essentially to get in to an English degree, whilst in the US, you apply to a college where you've gotta truly be an all-rounder. Let's say there's a course called "Informatics Sociological Studies" (ofc, it's made up) in Cambridge, and it's offered as a major in Havard or Yale. Let's say it isn't a very popular degree, and hence not many applicants apply for it at Oxbridge, hence making it easier for entry. In the US side, you wouldn't be applying for that, so you'd be competing with everyone else applying to that institution.

In terms of actual academics that matter a damn thing (which is postgraduate research for most of the rankings), US institutions far outstrip any UK institution. Go look at any endowments for UK institutions and compare the 500~600 mil of UCL, almost 4 bil of Oxford, to the 20+bils of major Ivy Leagues, and it's no wonder they can afford to do more research, with better staff and equipment. Anyone who'd argue any country's university anywhere in the world can beat the top 20 US universities in terms of funding and research is being ridiculous.

What I'm trying to say, is that both countries and institutions have incredibly bright and talented people, and you really can't judge one from another.



If you were to argue it this way, then surely Singapore or Hong Kong (let's count it as a separate state) is far superior, no? You can't compare no unis per total uni no. imho.


You are a complete idiot if you believe endowment is a measure of prestige let me tell you why first. A number of universities around the world have endowments equal to and more than american universities and are considered less prestigious. For instance King Abdullah university of science and technology has an endowment of $20 billion equal to that of yale. Does it mean solely on the basis of research fund it should be considered among the top 20 universities in the world given that it follows an american system???????? Of course not endowment cannot measure the quality of research by higher education institutions and the fact that the UK universities research is on par with the american universities with a lower endowment shows that the UK higher education system is more efficient.
Other examples of mediocre to lower achieving universities with massive endowments include

king saud university $2.7 billion endowment, king khalid university $ 812 million, Tehran university $800 million, American university of beirut $500 million
Do i need to go on if you want to go to a rich school simply go to saudi arabia or the middle east. Please research these universities their all on wikipedia.

Therefore, I conclude your argument in case of endowments as both pathetic and meaningless. King abdullah science and technology university with a $20 billion endowment has more money than most us universities therefore why isn't it on the top 10 world wide? this proves that UK universities are just as prestigious and great as ivies and no ivies aren't on a league of their own because of endowment. If that was the case the middle east will be on another universe in comparison.
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hslakaal
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(Original post by Ali1302)
x
First of all, I have never said UK universities are any worse than their American counterparts; all I have said - apologies for any miscommunication - is that no UK university can match their American counterparts. I had never claimed UK universities aren't as prestigious as American ones (if I am, why the **** would I be studying in a British university, when I could have easily gone to, and indeed been accepted to American colleges)

Let us consider what all the Middle Eastern Universities have done, which many universities with smaller funding haven't been able to do:

catch up at a phenomenal pace.

Do you know the significance of endowments and what they are used for? The UK doesn't lag in research, but it will certainly begin to show signs of financial difficulties should the governmental grants decrease, and they'd show very quickly. The actual research funds are not taken out of endowments - UCL has a multi-billion dollar MRC centre, but that money isn't the university's nor is it going to be invested into better facilities for students or quality of teaching. Should the UK government find itself at a position where it finds it difficult to fund research, endowments will play a key role in maintaining research projects. US colleges, with its higher endowments would be able to sustain what UK universities might view as being non-essential, including support for undergraduate studies. At the current rate, it seems your (I'd assume you're British, or maybe Middle Eastern - can't tell, sorry if I'm wrong) government seems to be running out of money (as many governments are), and is reducing the budget for general HE funding. With fees fixed, and funding outside of contracts with industries in decline, it'll be a matter of time until UK universities run out of money, literally. Look at the trend - most UK universities are highly specialised in terms of research interest and areas. Running such vast institutions on ever-declining money is difficult. Even my university had to close its Engineering (supposedly the oldest in the country) due to funding cuts. Not many big US universities shutting down departments due to lack of funding, to draw a comparison.

Heck, even actual academics (also this) and Oxford Vice Chancellor thinks this isn't sustainable.

Let's not forget Universities UK's brilliant response:
“While we have one of the top university systems in the world, competitor countries have overtaken us in terms of how much they invest in higher education. That suggests we have a very efficient sector, but we have to make sure that long term our universities are sustainably funded.

“As government announces the latest round of spending cuts, this is further evidence that the UK must invest more in higher education and research if we are to increase growth and stay internationally competitive.”
I have yet to hear someone who's more knowledgeable/in the field argue that UK doesn't face an endowment crisis, or a funding crisis. Yes, these cries are heard all around, but they seem to be more frequently heard in the UK. I'm not, by any stretch, a political specialist, but a lot of social welfare in the UK seems to be a taboo topic to actually discuss and solve. In all honesty, I cannot see how the UK can sustain this large level of financial support for students (which is of course, ideal and wonderful) in the long run.
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(Original post by hslakaal)
First of all, I have never said UK universities are any worse than their American counterparts; all I have said - apologies for any miscommunication - is that no UK university can match their American counterparts. I had never claimed UK universities aren't as prestigious as American ones (if I am, why the **** would I be studying in a British university, when I could have easily gone to, and indeed been accepted to American colleges)

Let us consider what all the Middle Eastern Universities have done, which many universities with smaller funding haven't been able to do:

catch up at a phenomenal pace.

Do you know the significance of endowments and what they are used for? The UK doesn't lag in research, but it will certainly begin to show signs of financial difficulties should the governmental grants decrease, and they'd show very quickly. The actual research funds are not taken out of endowments - UCL has a multi-billion dollar MRC centre, but that money isn't the university's nor is it going to be invested into better facilities for students or quality of teaching. Should the UK government find itself at a position where it finds it difficult to fund research, endowments will play a key role in maintaining research projects. US colleges, with its higher endowments would be able to sustain what UK universities might view as being non-essential, including support for undergraduate studies. At the current rate, it seems your (I'd assume you're British, or maybe Middle Eastern - can't tell, sorry if I'm wrong) government seems to be running out of money (as many governments are), and is reducing the budget for general HE funding. With fees fixed, and funding outside of contracts with industries in decline, it'll be a matter of time until UK universities run out of money, literally. Look at the trend - most UK universities are highly specialised in terms of research interest and areas. Running such vast institutions on ever-declining money is difficult. Even my university had to close its Engineering (supposedly the oldest in the country) due to funding cuts. Not many big US universities shutting down departments due to lack of funding, to draw a comparison.

Heck, even actual academics (also this) and Oxford Vice Chancellor thinks this isn't sustainable.

Let's not forget Universities UK's brilliant response:


I have yet to hear someone who's more knowledgeable/in the field argue that UK doesn't face an endowment crisis, or a funding crisis. Yes, these cries are heard all around, but they seem to be more frequently heard in the UK. I'm not, by any stretch, a political specialist, but a lot of social welfare in the UK seems to be a taboo topic to actually discuss and solve. In all honesty, I cannot see how the UK can sustain this large level of financial support for students (which is of course, ideal and wonderful) in the long run.
Alright i get what your saying but my argument is that the UK universities can work more efficiently as they have lower endowments. Even though imperial had a total income of 822 million pounds and UCL had a total income 970 million pounds which is quite a lot. I can't see Cambridge or oxfords problem with spending they have a combined endowment of $14 billion. Cambridge actually had an american style fund raising event and managed to raise about 1 billion pounds from that alone. Therefore on that basis you're right us universities around the world generate higher endowments because of the private non profit system that seems to work with them. In the UK the government covers less than 50% of the costs for Oxbridge and 18% of the cost for all universities combined. However these universities always have the option of going private and following a need based scholarship scheme similar to the us and increase endowment through tuition paid by students. I guess only oxford, Cambridge, imperial and UCL can afford to have need based scholarships but they will obviously earn a lot from tuition. But i think UK universities are doing just fine right now and you still avoid my argument. If king Abdullah university of science and technology is worth $20 billion which it is please google it and King Saud university is worth 2.7 billion does that mean their world class? Does that mean they are superior to the UK? No they just increase funding i still think oxford and Cambridge can compete with the top ivies on funding and research. I believe they surpass most ivies in that field anyway but i do agree depending on the government isn't doing these universities any good due to budget cuts. I still don't understand why the UK can't have any private institutions? Of course they have to be non profit and everything but it seems everyone still wants a free education.
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Proper Oxbridge Colleges though have some first rate wine cellars. All the great vintages are there. They can sell them off if they are short of cash !!!!
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
Proper Oxbridge Colleges though have some first rate wine cellars. All the great vintages are there. They can sell them off if they are short of cash !!!!
The cellars tend not to be that good.

Firstly a lot did sales in the 1970s and early 1980s. That was a time when investment performance was poor relative to cost inflation and wine sales helped balance the books.

Secondly, wines are being produced to be drunk younger and good wine is thus being sold more expensively. Historically wine buyers such as Oxbridge colleges didn't pay a lot of money for wine but were prepared to carry cellar stock for years. If you look at the cost of good wine today, it is still expensive even if bought in the wood. Colleges invest time, not money, in wine.

City livery companies tend to have far better cellars.
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If I was 18 and could go anywhere I think I would choose Stanford.
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(Original post by NeoXx)
Even though there are more US than UK unis in the top league tables,
I have a feeling that UK unis are considerably more rigorous and better and that rankings
are very unreliable taking into account mostly prestige.

Lets take an example of comparing Harvard to Cambridge, the amount of work students have to do at Cambridge is higher or even considerably higher than on Harvard or for that matter on any Ivy League uni in the US.
In addition there are lots of imbeciles on Harvard since you have a high chance of getting accepted if someone from your family is famous or paying a donation.

By reading about exchange and current student stories I got an impression
that students learn much more on UK universities.
Also it seems that it is harder to get accepted by a Top UK uni as there are more better qualified people applying in the UK than in the US. (especially since there is a limit of how many unis you can apply in the UK compared to no limit in the US)




Thoughts welcome
Getting into a top US school, like any of the Ivies is incredibly tough, they don't just require high grades, they require extracurriculars, high grades, high test scores, its a huge process to apply in the US.

Its true that there are a bunch of less than bright people at ivies because of their policies for donors, kids of alumni (legacies), athletes, under-represented minorities (blacks and hispanics), first generation college (only one i actually agree with), but for the people who did not get in through these systems are truly the cream of the crop.

There is an entrepreneurial spirit present in top US schools that is much weaker in the UK.
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#18
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#18
Just wondering but, how did everyone do in their Jan exams?
Got my first result back today (75%) and am quite happy knowing I achieved a first. =)
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ukmed108
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#19
Report 6 years ago
#19
(Original post by Scienceisgood)
Just wondering but, how did everyone do in their Jan exams?
Got my first result back today (75%) and am quite happy knowing I achieved a first. =)
Congrats, i don't know how this is relevant though
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Baron of Sealand
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#20
Report 6 years ago
#20
Acceptance rates are quite irrelevant because every country has a different system and demands for local higher education places.

Numbers of universities overall are relevant because the money invested and opportunities for universities do affect how many universities there are on the league table, although a fairer comparison would be something like how many schools are in the Top 10/20/40/50/100/150/200/on the rankings. But that'd still be unfair. There are more money in America with a proportionally smaller number of prestigious universities, so the money and attention go to them.

Anyhow, I don't think you can just compare universities in countries this way. Each discipline and each university needs to be considered individually. Cambridge would champ in the field of education, but MIT is definitely superior in technology, whilst Harvard would be better in the business field.
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