redtortoise
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So the impending doom of the deadline for ucas choices is starting to rear it ugly head so I was wondering what its like to be a student at imperial
eg how much time outside of your studies do you have
how connected do you feel to other people at the uni (do you live far away)

Basically my main concern it that so much time will be spent on the academic part of the course that there's no time(/money for anything else)
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seohyun
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(Original post by dustz33)
Tl;dr: The place sucks, drop out rates are 18% in some departments vs 1-2% at Oxbridge, most people hate their degree, degree structures are inflexible and the whole place is run like a business (accommodation office pretty much has adopted "charge the max, **** the students" as their battle cry).

--------------

Depends on what course you're doing. If it's Aeronautical/Chemical/Mechanical Engineering you will have no life outside of uni if you want to do well. Amongst social life, clubs&societies and significant other choose one, if you're very talented perhaps two. Forget about having a job and as far as money goes you will be having a pretty bad time on under 1.000 GBP/month (at least in my experience, that is assuming you have a double room).

The courses all have interesting titles, but in reality most people end up hating their degrees and try to get into banking. You will very rarely find a sane person that enjoys their degree. Basically everyone stays because they have invested so much money and switching is a CV killer. It is not the type of place that stirrs up fascination and deep insights or personal development. It is all about cramming stuff nobody really cares about and reciting it for your exam. The work load is huge and it is impossible to do it all, the key to success is learning to decide what you do and what you leave out. Staying up until 2 in the morning still will not be enough to master all of your material. Great preparation for 100hour weeks of grunt work in banking.

My friend has 90+ in Chemistry and still hates Imperial, her only motivation is getting into medicince at Oxford for postgrad. As far as support goes by professors, a lot is advertised, in reality it is quite bad. I know of profs who spend heir tutorial sessions having smalltalk with their students and chtting about their own research. My own professor focuses on the material, but has not really helped much. Profs always are irritated that nobody shows up to their office hours because their explanations are so terrible.

In terms of infrastructure, the campus is one of the ugliest I have ever seen, though the location is good. The central library is very shabby. In my accommodation (Wilson House) there are mushrooms growing on the ceiling and mold on the walls.

If you like business or economics, you will be disappointed as well. There are plenty of courses, but so far everyone I have been to has been irrelevant or trivial. In short, if your only academic interest is mathematic and memorising formulae, you will like Imperial. If you want to develope as a person and receive a balanced education, including economics/business/history/politics etc you will hate the place. It is ranked highly, but that is not necessarily due to good teaching or strong programs, the place was described as a "ranking machine" by one professor, since the College is good at optimising it's ranking results without actually being that great.

Afterall, choosing Imperial over Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UChicago etc as some rankings suggest would make you outright lunatic in most people's mind. Quite a few people choose Imperial over Oxbridge, all I have spoken to ended up regretting their decision.

Don't be surprised if students at the open day tell you how great the place is or give hints like "it's hard work, but it's worth it". I do the same since keeping up good appearances is in every student's interest, afterall the value of our degree depends on it. However, what I am writing here is true for about 80% of students I know, eventhough they will only admit it to close friends.

After one year of Engineering at Imperial and many personal conversations with friends in other courses I really cannot recommend Imperial in good conscience. Hardly anyone enjoys their time there. If you are rejected from Oxbrdidge, it is understandable that Imperial seems like the next best thing. It might be in terms of rankings, but certainly not in terms of prestige or quality of experience.
All these posts about the insane workload make me so curious
Thanks for the information

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username638250
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The people I know who go to Imperial seem to have a different view to the poster above. Hmm. I'm expecting hard work since what is uni worth without it but I would like to sustain a 'normal' life...
About Oxbridge, I read that they get worked harder than Imperial students?
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Necrosyrtes
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(Original post by dustz33)
Tl;dr: The place sucks, drop out rates are 18% in some departments vs 1-2% at Oxbridge, most people hate their degree, degree structures are inflexible and the whole place is run like a business (accommodation office pretty much has adopted "charge the max, **** the students" as their battle cry).

--------------

Depends on what course you're doing. If it's Aeronautical/Chemical/Mechanical Engineering you will have no life outside of uni if you want to do well. Amongst social life, clubs&societies and significant other choose one, if you're very talented perhaps two. Forget about having a job and as far as money goes you will be having a pretty bad time on under 1.000 GBP/month (at least in my experience, that is assuming you have a double room).

The courses all have interesting titles, but in reality most people end up hating their degrees and try to get into banking. You will very rarely find a sane person that enjoys their degree. Basically everyone stays because they have invested so much money and switching is a CV killer. It is not the type of place that stirrs up fascination and deep insights or personal development. It is all about cramming stuff nobody really cares about and reciting it for your exam. The work load is huge and it is impossible to do it all, the key to success is learning to decide what you do and what you leave out. Staying up until 2 in the morning still will not be enough to master all of your material. Great preparation for 100hour weeks of grunt work in banking.

My friend has 90+ in Chemistry and still hates Imperial, her only motivation is getting into medicince at Oxford for postgrad. As far as support goes by professors, a lot is advertised, in reality it is quite bad. I know of profs who spend heir tutorial sessions having smalltalk with their students and chtting about their own research. My own professor focuses on the material, but has not really helped much. Profs always are irritated that nobody shows up to their office hours because their explanations are so terrible.

In terms of infrastructure, the campus is one of the ugliest I have ever seen, though the location is good. The central library is very shabby. In my accommodation (Wilson House) there are mushrooms growing on the ceiling and mold on the walls.

If you like business or economics, you will be disappointed as well. There are plenty of courses, but so far everyone I have been to has been irrelevant or trivial. In short, if your only academic interest is mathematic and memorising formulae, you will like Imperial. If you want to develope as a person and receive a balanced education, including economics/business/history/politics etc you will hate the place. It is ranked highly, but that is not necessarily due to good teaching or strong programs, the place was described as a "ranking machine" by one professor, since the College is good at optimising it's ranking results without actually being that great.

Afterall, choosing Imperial over Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UChicago etc as some rankings suggest would make you outright lunatic in most people's mind. Quite a few people choose Imperial over Oxbridge, all I have spoken to ended up regretting their decision.

Don't be surprised if students at the open day tell you how great the place is or give hints like "it's hard work, but it's worth it". I do the same since keeping up good appearances is in every student's interest, afterall the value of our degree depends on it. However, what I am writing here is true for about 80% of students I know, eventhough they will only admit it to close friends.

After one year of Engineering at Imperial and many personal conversations with friends in other courses I really cannot recommend Imperial in good conscience. Hardly anyone enjoys their time there. If you are rejected from Oxbrdidge, it is understandable that Imperial seems like the next best thing. It might be in terms of rankings, but certainly not in terms of prestige or quality of experience.
This is really interesting, you don't often see people say such harsh words about their Uni, at least publicly. There are a few things I didn't consider about Imperial that you have just brought up, so thanks.

Still, I will wait for some more people to post before I properly form an opinion, as trusting one (very negative) source isn't a good idea.
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StrangeBanana
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(Original post by dustz33)
Depends on what course you're doing. If it's Aeronautical/Chemical/Mechanical Engineering you will have no life outside of uni if you want to do well.
My brother did a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial and got an upper 2.1; he didn't study very hard at all. :/ He joined plenty of societies and went to loads of parties.

You have no way of knowing every student's experience; also, Imperial is one of the very best universities in the country for STEM subjects. In terms of prestige, it's second only to Oxbridge (in the U.K.).

EDIT:
@#!*% , look at these stats from WhatUni.

An average of 4.08/5 stars? That's pretty good.
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I've been told that there is a range of people from people who study in the library all day every day to people who scrape a 2.1, having partied through the whole year and cramming everything in last minute.

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iora
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(Original post by dustz33)
Tl;dr: The place sucks, drop out rates are 18% in some departments vs 1-2% at Oxbridge, most people hate their degree, degree structures are inflexible and the whole place is run like a business (accommodation office pretty much has adopted "charge the max, **** the students" as their battle cry).

--------------

Depends on what course you're doing. If it's Aeronautical/Chemical/Mechanical Engineering you will have no life outside of uni if you want to do well. Amongst social life, clubs&societies and significant other choose one, if you're very talented perhaps two. Forget about having a job and as far as money goes you will be having a pretty bad time on under 1.000 GBP/month (at least in my experience, that is assuming you have a double room).

The courses all have interesting titles, but in reality most people end up hating their degrees and try to get into banking. You will very rarely find a sane person that enjoys their degree. Basically everyone stays because they have invested so much money and switching is a CV killer. It is not the type of place that stirrs up fascination and deep insights or personal development. It is all about cramming stuff nobody really cares about and reciting it for your exam. The work load is huge and it is impossible to do it all, the key to success is learning to decide what you do and what you leave out. Staying up until 2 in the morning still will not be enough to master all of your material. Great preparation for 100hour weeks of grunt work in banking.

My friend has 90+ in Chemistry and still hates Imperial, her only motivation is getting into medicince at Oxford for postgrad. As far as support goes by professors, a lot is advertised, in reality it is quite bad. I know of profs who spend heir tutorial sessions having smalltalk with their students and chtting about their own research. My own professor focuses on the material, but has not really helped much. Profs always are irritated that nobody shows up to their office hours because their explanations are so terrible.

In terms of infrastructure, the campus is one of the ugliest I have ever seen, though the location is good. The central library is very shabby. In my accommodation (Wilson House) there are mushrooms growing on the ceiling and mold on the walls.

If you like business or economics, you will be disappointed as well. There are plenty of courses, but so far everyone I have been to has been irrelevant or trivial. In short, if your only academic interest is mathematic and memorising formulae, you will like Imperial. If you want to develope as a person and receive a balanced education, including economics/business/history/politics etc you will hate the place. It is ranked highly, but that is not necessarily due to good teaching or strong programs, the place was described as a "ranking machine" by one professor, since the College is good at optimising it's ranking results without actually being that great.

Afterall, choosing Imperial over Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UChicago etc as some rankings suggest would make you outright lunatic in most people's mind. Quite a few people choose Imperial over Oxbridge, all I have spoken to ended up regretting their decision.

Don't be surprised if students at the open day tell you how great the place is or give hints like "it's hard work, but it's worth it". I do the same since keeping up good appearances is in every student's interest, afterall the value of our degree depends on it. However, what I am writing here is true for about 80% of students I know, eventhough they will only admit it to close friends.

After one year of Engineering at Imperial and many personal conversations with friends in other courses I really cannot recommend Imperial in good conscience. Hardly anyone enjoys their time there. If you are rejected from Oxbrdidge, it is understandable that Imperial seems like the next best thing. It might be in terms of rankings, but certainly not in terms of prestige or quality of experience.

I am really really really sorry you feel this way, but I cannot DISAGREE more. And most of the people I know don't feel the way you do! And I certainly do not feel the same. And here are the reasons why:

Yes, it is hard. But that means that you are working for it! Work hard, play hard! Imperial is much more industry oriented than Oxbridge..which for me it s a good thing. The support here is actually amazing: The Career service has talks on a weekly basis trying to help you with your cv and interview skills, they also have a bunch of workshops. Everybody at the Student Hub is really nice and helpful. As for professors. Yes there are some bad ones there. But also some amazing amazing ones. And the amazing ones make up for it. As for support from the Department. . I had a lot of students and professors who were really helpful if I had trouble with the courses but most importantly my Personal Tutor who encouraged me to do UROPE and always asks for our feedback.

The Central Library was actually voted as one of the coolest out there (maybe I find that top and put a link here). And, yes, London is expensive! But it's an awesome city, there are so many places to see and things to do... But you can still have a homey campus feeling in South Ken , because the campus and the surrounding halls are like a small hub.

As for the question being asked on this thread. I had LOADS of fun. Societies and Clubs are numerous and you can surely find a group(Or more) of people who have the same interests as you do. As I said it's a work hard, play hard environment. There is plenty of time, if you are able to manage it properly!

I had a an amazing time at Imperial so far, and I hope no one was discouraged too much after reading my fellow Imperial colleague's comment.

/Rant over )
tl;dr It's not that way for everybody. I love it here! Work hard, play hard! I had loads of support from everybody and managed to balance both social and academic life.
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Serpentine111
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(Original post by dustz33)
Tl;dr: The place sucks, drop out rates are 18% in some departments vs 1-2% at Oxbridge, most people hate their degree, degree structures are inflexible and the whole place is run like a business (accommodation office pretty much has adopted "charge the max, **** the students" as their battle cry).

--------------

Depends on what course you're doing. If it's Aeronautical/Chemical/Mechanical Engineering you will have no life outside of uni if you want to do well. Amongst social life, clubs&societies and significant other choose one, if you're very talented perhaps two. Forget about having a job and as far as money goes you will be having a pretty bad time on under 1.000 GBP/month (at least in my experience, that is assuming you have a double room).

The courses all have interesting titles, but in reality most people end up hating their degrees and try to get into banking. You will very rarely find a sane person that enjoys their degree. Basically everyone stays because they have invested so much money and switching is a CV killer. It is not the type of place that stirrs up fascination and deep insights or personal development. It is all about cramming stuff nobody really cares about and reciting it for your exam. The work load is huge and it is impossible to do it all, the key to success is learning to decide what you do and what you leave out. Staying up until 2 in the morning still will not be enough to master all of your material. Great preparation for 100hour weeks of grunt work in banking.

My friend has 90+ in Chemistry and still hates Imperial, her only motivation is getting into medicince at Oxford for postgrad. As far as support goes by professors, a lot is advertised, in reality it is quite bad. I know of profs who spend heir tutorial sessions having smalltalk with their students and chtting about their own research. My own professor focuses on the material, but has not really helped much. Profs always are irritated that nobody shows up to their office hours because their explanations are so terrible.

In terms of infrastructure, the campus is one of the ugliest I have ever seen, though the location is good. The central library is very shabby. In my accommodation (Wilson House) there are mushrooms growing on the ceiling and mold on the walls.

If you like business or economics, you will be disappointed as well. There are plenty of courses, but so far everyone I have been to has been irrelevant or trivial. In short, if your only academic interest is mathematic and memorising formulae, you will like Imperial. If you want to develope as a person and receive a balanced education, including economics/business/history/politics etc you will hate the place. It is ranked highly, but that is not necessarily due to good teaching or strong programs, the place was described as a "ranking machine" by one professor, since the College is good at optimising it's ranking results without actually being that great.

Afterall, choosing Imperial over Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UChicago etc as some rankings suggest would make you outright lunatic in most people's mind. Quite a few people choose Imperial over Oxbridge, all I have spoken to ended up regretting their decision.

Don't be surprised if students at the open day tell you how great the place is or give hints like "it's hard work, but it's worth it". I do the same since keeping up good appearances is in every student's interest, afterall the value of our degree depends on it. However, what I am writing here is true for about 80% of students I know, eventhough they will only admit it to close friends.

After one year of Engineering at Imperial and many personal conversations with friends in other courses I really cannot recommend Imperial in good conscience. Hardly anyone enjoys their time there. If you are rejected from Oxbrdidge, it is understandable that Imperial seems like the next best thing. It might be in terms of rankings, but certainly not in terms of prestige or quality of experience.
Tbh I was going to do a post how it isn't that bad, but you make a few very true points. HOWEVER, I know a few people that go out partying pretty much every few days (whether they pass their exams this year or not is another question). If I'm honest I think I'd be having a much better time at another university. The support from the uni and tutors is rubbish and close to nil.
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(Original post by redtortoise)
So the impending doom of the deadline for ucas choices is starting to rear it ugly head so I was wondering what its like to be a student at imperial
eg how much time outside of your studies do you have
how connected do you feel to other people at the uni (do you live far away)

Basically my main concern it that so much time will be spent on the academic part of the course that there's no time(/money for anything else)
Which course have you applied for?
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(Original post by dustz33)
Tl;dr: The place sucks, drop out rates are 18% in some departments vs 1-2% at Oxbridge, most people hate their degree, degree structures are inflexible and the whole place is run like a business (accommodation office pretty much has adopted "charge the max, **** the students" as their battle cry).

--------------

Depends on what course you're doing. If it's Aeronautical/Chemical/Mechanical Engineering you will have no life outside of uni if you want to do well. Amongst social life, clubs&societies and significant other choose one, if you're very talented perhaps two. Forget about having a job and as far as money goes you will be having a pretty bad time on under 1.000 GBP/month (at least in my experience, that is assuming you have a double room).

The courses all have interesting titles, but in reality most people end up hating their degrees and try to get into banking. You will very rarely find a sane person that enjoys their degree. Basically everyone stays because they have invested so much money and switching is a CV killer. It is not the type of place that stirrs up fascination and deep insights or personal development. It is all about cramming stuff nobody really cares about and reciting it for your exam. The work load is huge and it is impossible to do it all, the key to success is learning to decide what you do and what you leave out. Staying up until 2 in the morning still will not be enough to master all of your material. Great preparation for 100hour weeks of grunt work in banking.

My friend has 90+ in Chemistry and still hates Imperial, her only motivation is getting into medicince at Oxford for postgrad. As far as support goes by professors, a lot is advertised, in reality it is quite bad. I know of profs who spend heir tutorial sessions having smalltalk with their students and chtting about their own research. My own professor focuses on the material, but has not really helped much. Profs always are irritated that nobody shows up to their office hours because their explanations are so terrible.

In terms of infrastructure, the campus is one of the ugliest I have ever seen, though the location is good. The central library is very shabby. In my accommodation (Wilson House) there are mushrooms growing on the ceiling and mold on the walls.

If you like business or economics, you will be disappointed as well. There are plenty of courses, but so far everyone I have been to has been irrelevant or trivial. In short, if your only academic interest is mathematic and memorising formulae, you will like Imperial. If you want to develope as a person and receive a balanced education, including economics/business/history/politics etc you will hate the place. It is ranked highly, but that is not necessarily due to good teaching or strong programs, the place was described as a "ranking machine" by one professor, since the College is good at optimising it's ranking results without actually being that great.

Afterall, choosing Imperial over Yale, Princeton, Columbia, UChicago etc as some rankings suggest would make you outright lunatic in most people's mind. Quite a few people choose Imperial over Oxbridge, all I have spoken to ended up regretting their decision.

Don't be surprised if students at the open day tell you how great the place is or give hints like "it's hard work, but it's worth it". I do the same since keeping up good appearances is in every student's interest, afterall the value of our degree depends on it. However, what I am writing here is true for about 80% of students I know, eventhough they will only admit it to close friends.

After one year of Engineering at Imperial and many personal conversations with friends in other courses I really cannot recommend Imperial in good conscience. Hardly anyone enjoys their time there. If you are rejected from Oxbrdidge, it is understandable that Imperial seems like the next best thing. It might be in terms of rankings, but certainly not in terms of prestige or quality of experience.
I think there is a large element of truth to this, however two things to consider:

1. The difficulty of science and engineering degrees is not constant between people. Some will genuinely struggle very hard to get a 2.1; others can do much less and get a 1st. Unfortunately the school system has been degraded to the point that people no longer have much information about how good they are at that a high a level, so it's a gamble to some extent.

2. I've heard similar stories from science and engineering students at a lot of universities, including Oxbridge. I've also heard very similar stories about LSE.

I think a lot of the problem with Imperial is that you've taken a lot of ambitious people doing difficult subjects, dumped everyone else, and then put it somewhere so expensive that almost no one can afford to do anything and can barely afford their rent. The result is a pressure cooker for workaholics, but this is more of an atmosphere than anything. The people who got in, to do the subjects they are doing, would likely have been workaholics anywhere, they would just have been in an atmosphere diluted by non-workaholics, or at least non-science workaholics.

On the plus side, it does mean something to survive it, especially with a good grade. The comparison to Princeton and Columbia purely in terms of academics is valid. Probably solidly above Yale, considering it's not a lawyer/politician factory.
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I did my undergraduate and masters at Imperial. I absolutely loved the place. The workload is hard, but as long as you manage your time well you should be okay. Most of my friends managed to keep up with their hobbies and social life while getting good grades, but I won't lie, sometimes you do have to prioritise and miss out on events so you can focus on deadlines or exams. It's not a place for everyone, but I found my experience at Imperial very rewarding.
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Bear in mind that in Germany a bachelor's degree takes four years and a masters two. A German with a masters is closer to a PhD graduate under the traditional British system (3+3.5=6.5 years) than to a bachelors degree graduate (3 years). Now given that German education is near-free and of a high quality I would not move abroad unless I wanted to work in an English speaking country for personal reasons, but I'm not convinced there is a significant difference in quality when comparing like with like. They spend a lot more time in education and consequently have less work experience, at a given career point.

It's hard to account for academics' interest in students. An academic cannot really be made to do anything, and isn't hired for teaching ability or interest, so it's pot luck. At Oxbridge, there's face to face contact in small groups with the tutorial system, and it's harder to be openly indifferent to someone you frequently meet personally, but I've even heard complaints about this system. At the ostensibly superior US universities - Columbia and so forth - they go even further the other way and it's common for lectures to be delivered and work to be graded by graduate students and other non-faculty.

I'd agree that Imperial is run like a business; it is quite obvious and leaves a somewhat sour taste, when they could easily pretend otherwise for little cost. But I'm not sure how much of a difference it ultimately makes to the quality of education provided. I also wouldn't blame them at all for the price of accommodation; while expensive in absolute terms it's heavily subsidised. South Kensington has simply become a poor location for a university as London property prices have ballooned.
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(Original post by redtortoise)
So the impending doom of the deadline for ucas choices is starting to rear it ugly head so I was wondering what its like to be a student at imperial
eg how much time outside of your studies do you have
how connected do you feel to other people at the uni (do you live far away)

Basically my main concern it that so much time will be spent on the academic part of the course that there's no time(/money for anything else)

I heard student life was really good there and the student union was superb! :yy: Of course, a great amount of your time will be spent studying but if you manage your time effectively, you'll still have some free time to get involved in societies or takepart in a sport (I'm going at Imperial next year and although my timetable will be packed and the workload quite heavy, I'm thinking of starting playing Taekwondo and joining some societies along).
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(Original post by dustz33)
@Observatory:

A German Bachelor's degree takes 3 years and a Master takes 2 year. At least at the Bachelor level there should be no difference. I am not in the position to evaluate the respective qualities, I can only repeat the observations of exchange students and foreign professors have made. Personally I simply dislike how the college conducts itself very arrogantly with regard to its ranking, stressing the privlege of studying at such a great university rather than actually providing a great experience. My point is that people who should be in the position to judge say the rankings are just fluff.

As for the accomodation issue, the college closed Garden Hall which was low cost and right next to campus. They are going to close Evelyn Gardens soon rather than renovating it. Students will be moved out to Acton. Nearly the entire student body signed a petition against this, nobody cared. Prices are rising at 4% which exceeds inflation. Why? They already own the real estate, why let prices rise quicker than costs? The place is supposed to be a charity, seems pretty profit driven to me.
Private rental prices also rise at a rate exceeding inflation in London (and CPI, the more commonly quoted measure of inflation, explicitly excludes housing). They can rationalise selling off very valuable buildings quite easily: they can use the money to improve the research facilities of the university, while students can still live reasonably well in less expensive parts of London. I agree that one can put an opposing argument but this isn't a totally unreasonable thing to do.

Ultimately Imperial acts like a business because it is a business. It produces research and sells it to governments and private companies; in practice this means its business is to procure research grants. It also has to teach students but this is more of a sideline. Its income isn't dependent on attracting students, so it doesn't need to try as hard. And the world rankings are assessed by measures of research quality, not by quality of undergraduate education. Its only real interest in students is to avoid a very poor teaching establishment hurting its research brand.

Note that this is not nearly so much the case for a lot of other British universities. Oxbridge are alone in England in having very large endowments, allowing them to cover many of their own costs with the exception of large expenditure on lab equipment and so forth. Those costs are not important in many fields, particularly non-scientific fields, so academics in those fields are substantially independent. This may also be why you see a lot fewer international students at Oxbridge than at LSE or Imperial. Meanwhile lesser institutions like Bristol and Nottingham, and almost all below that tier, don't receive enough research grant income for its importance to so heavily outweigh that of student funding and fees.
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(Original post by dustz33)
On a somewhat unrelated note, since this can happen anywhere. Having a high international proportion may seem cool and it does have its benefits most of the time.

However, I could send you screenshots (I bet that is against TSR rules so I won't) of a fellow Imperial student in civil engineering publicly endorsing the stoning of homosexuals, since he places Islam above everything else. When you come to a place like Imperial be prepared to be confronted with oppinions from around the world that differ from your own. Might be the same for Oxbridge/LSE, I don't know.

This is not Imperial specific, but it is something you should keep in mind when unis brag about their internationality. 99% of the time everything is great and you will learn a lot about different cultures, but be prepared for the occasional nutcase. It is great to have such a diverse community, but be prepared to be surprised. In my experience culture enclaves do tend to form, with people from western europe or certain countries sticking together, same for many Asians and British.

This internationality will be an important part of your time at Imperial, so I figured it was worthwhile mentioning in a thread about student experience. As I said, I think the good definitely outweighs the bad, but just keep in mind that there will also be some points of friction.
Don't mean to be rude but this is getting a bit out of hand now. I understand you really really really despise your university but at the same time you're bringing up issues that could easily be an issue at any other university. You don't honestly think that broken chairs and mould on the walls and people who hold views other than yours is something reserved exclusively for Imperial? If it's such an issue, why don't you report it and have it rectified instead of get so hot and bothered about it and come and rant and rave about it on a site for students? I've been following this thread since it started cause I'm trying to decide whether or not I should firm Imperial and what you said initially did put me slightly off (eg the accommodation and the lecturers) and I dare say a lot of other people are being put off too but you're now bringing up things that are absolutely absurd. Why don't you say something, even if only ONE thing, GOOD about Imperial, instead of bombarding us with all the bad things? And you're saying dire things like 'Once again, nobody at the open day will tell you this with a professor hanging over their back.' as if some huge secret is being kept from the general public. I don't mean to be rude, but you can't be spokesperson for everybody who ever attended Imperial, and you're not presenting a fair picture to those who're hoping to get a fair picture of it.
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username638250
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#16
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#16
(Original post by JacobAlevels)
Don't mean to be rude but this is getting a bit out of hand now. I understand you really really really despise your university but at the same time you're bringing up issues that could easily be an issue at any other university. You don't honestly think that broken chairs and mould on the walls and people who hold views other than yours is something reserved exclusively for Imperial? If it's such an issue, why don't you report it and have it rectified instead of get so hot and bothered about it and come and rant and rave about it on a site for students? I've been following this thread since it started cause I'm trying to decide whether or not I should firm Imperial and what you said initially did put me slightly off (eg the accommodation and the lecturers) and I dare say a lot of other people are being put off too but you're now bringing up things that are absolutely absurd. Why don't you say something, even if only ONE thing, GOOD about Imperial, instead of bombarding us with all the bad things? And you're saying dire things like 'Once again, nobody at the open day will tell you this with a professor hanging over their back.' as if some huge secret is being kept from the general public. I don't mean to be rude, but you can't be spokesperson for everybody who ever attended Imperial, and you're not presenting a fair picture to those who're hoping to get a fair picture of it.
Where are you trying to decide between and for which course?
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KanKan
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#17
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(Original post by dustz33)
However, I could send you screenshots (I bet that is against TSR rules so I won't) of a fellow Imperial student in civil engineering publicly endorsing the stoning of homosexuals, since he places Islam above everything else.
Ugh what ... how is this even allowed?
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Observatory
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#18
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(Original post by dustz33)
That pretty much is spot on. Operating like a business can be fine, if it increases efficiency. In the case of my department two-thirds of the business options were cut, because the Business School wanted to free up capacity for corporate trainings, since it can charge more for three days of executive training than for educating an engineering student for half a year. I believe that is a a pretty clear case of neglecting their duties to educate in favour of profit. They may as well take the place private if providing a high quality education comes second to increasing their profit.

Then again, even Oxford had to cut the best degree in the universe (Engineering, Economics and Management), because it was too expensive. Perhaps allowing universities to set tuition more freely or dictating a share of tuition that has to be invested directly into teaching would be the key to providing a better education. The US universities depend on alumni donations and thus have a natural incentive to select the best students and provide a good experience. Emulating such a setup might benefit the UK.
On the other hand US students graduate with $$100s k of debt. I'd much rather go somewhere like Swansea where even international fees for expensive degrees like engineering are £15k/year, than emulate the US where megabucks are spent on huge campuses of faux-Oxbridge buildings that add little of educational value, football coaches earn more than any academic staff member, and classes are taught by research students. Maybe Harvard and Yale will pay your tuition and give the fluff, but they have billions in endowment; most US universities don't and all UK universities except Oxbridge don't.

For me, as a home student with the old funding arrangements, £12k of loans compounding below inflation for an Imperial bachelors and masters was a steal, warts and all. Maybe it's not so attractive for £9k or £25k/year in cash.

And if you are interested in and good at research, their ruthless business-like approach can help you a great deal. I was able to work with an extremely distinguished scientist because I was at Imperial. I was also told by two fairly high level managers in the engineering sector in the UK that they rate Imperial graduates over Oxbridge graduates. Small sample size and Germanic disdain for British engineering aside, that likely counts for something.

If you're not interested or not good, they will let you sink. That might not be a good thing, but like I said, it means something to have survived.
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Juichiro
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#19
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(Original post by Observatory)
Private rental prices also rise at a rate exceeding inflation in London (and CPI, the more commonly quoted measure of inflation, explicitly excludes housing). They can rationalise selling off very valuable buildings quite easily: they can use the money to improve the research facilities of the university, while students can still live reasonably well in less expensive parts of London. I agree that one can put an opposing argument but this isn't a totally unreasonable thing to do.

Ultimately Imperial acts like a business because it is a business. It produces research and sells it to governments and private companies; in practice this means its business is to procure research grants. It also has to teach students but this is more of a sideline. Its income isn't dependent on attracting students, so it doesn't need to try as hard. And the world rankings are assessed by measures of research quality, not by quality of undergraduate education. Its only real interest in students is to avoid a very poor teaching establishment hurting its research brand.

Note that this is not nearly so much the case for a lot of other British universities.
Oxbridge are alone in England in having very large endowments, allowing them to cover many of their own costs with the exception of large expenditure on lab equipment and so forth. Those costs are not important in many fields, particularly non-scientific fields, so academics in those fields are substantially independent. This may also be why you see a lot fewer international students at Oxbridge than at LSE or Imperial. Meanwhile lesser institutions like Bristol and Nottingham, and almost all below that tier, don't receive enough research grant income for its importance to so heavily outweigh that of student funding and fees.
Interesting.
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redtortoise
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#20
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(Original post by iora)
I am really really really sorry you feel this way, but I cannot DISAGREE more. And most of the people I know don't feel the way you do! And I certainly do not feel the same. And here are the reasons why:

Yes, it is hard. But that means that you are working for it! Work hard, play hard! Imperial is much more industry oriented than Oxbridge..which for me it s a good thing. The support here is actually amazing: The Career service has talks on a weekly basis trying to help you with your cv and interview skills, they also have a bunch of workshops. Everybody at the Student Hub is really nice and helpful. As for professors. Yes there are some bad ones there. But also some amazing amazing ones. And the amazing ones make up for it. As for support from the Department. . I had a lot of students and professors who were really helpful if I had trouble with the courses but most importantly my Personal Tutor who encouraged me to do UROPE and always asks for our feedback.

The Central Library was actually voted as one of the coolest out there (maybe I find that top and put a link here). And, yes, London is expensive! But it's an awesome city, there are so many places to see and things to do... But you can still have a homey campus feeling in South Ken , because the campus and the surrounding halls are like a small hub.

As for the question being asked on this thread. I had LOADS of fun. Societies and Clubs are numerous and you can surely find a group(Or more) of people who have the same interests as you do. As I said it's a work hard, play hard environment. There is plenty of time, if you are able to manage it properly!

I had a an amazing time at Imperial so far, and I hope no one was discouraged too much after reading my fellow Imperial colleague's comment.

/Rant over )
tl;dr It's not that way for everybody. I love it here! Work hard, play hard! I had loads of support from everybody and managed to balance both social and academic life.
Thanks for that I was just wondering what course are you doing?
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