Are uni prospectuses misleading? Is TSR a better source of information?

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fluteflute
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Came across this article in the Guardian today. They're wondering if prospectuses are just marketing, whereas on TSR you get honest opinions. Or is it the other way around? Perhaps people just promote their uni on TSR, but prospectuses have factual information?

What's been your experience?
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Like_A_G6
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(Original post by fluteflute)
Came across this article in the Guardian today. They're wondering if prospectuses are just marketing, whereas on TSR you get honest opinions. Or is it the other way around? Perhaps people just promote their uni on TSR, but prospectuses have factual information?

What's been your experience?
You get the best impression by actually visiting the university. Of course prospectuses are marketing by the uni, but they are not as bad as American college prospectuses. Prospectuses generally don't offer much information anyway, they're just used to give a brief outline of the positive sides to a course you can expect.

TSR, on the other hand, is more balanced, but again contains bias. You only need to read the comments on the league table thread to get an idea (people ****ging off unis they've never been to and comparing their uni to Oxbridge, even though they've never been).
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by fluteflute)
They're wondering if prospectuses are just marketing, whereas on TSR you get honest opinions.
Now that's a bit of a misleading prospectus in its own right.
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perflous
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Well, all prospectuses come out with **** like "we have the highest student satisfaction of all southern universities!" "here are some pictures of smiling students that don't make any difference to the quality of our university!" "we're ranked in the top 1% of all universities worldwide!"

I'd say that prospectuses are more helpful for providing course info - although I don't think they tell you anything you can't get from their website
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F1's Finest
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(Original post by fluteflute)
whereas on TSR you get honest opinions.
:lolwut:

really?

As someone mentioned above, just looking at the league table discussion thread on here suggests otherwise.
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F1's Finest
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(Original post by perflous)
Well, all prospectuses come out with **** like "we have the highest student satisfaction of all southern universities!" "here are some pictures of smiling students that don't make any difference to the quality of our university!" "we're ranked in the top 1% of all universities worldwide!"

I'd say that prospectuses are more helpful for providing course info - although I don't think they tell you anything you can't get from their website
Hang on. You've just described my uni :teehee:
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syrettd
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Well you're not going to get a completely honest account in a prospectus are you? I don't think anyone believes they would! You'd never find something written like 'XYZ University is rated in the top ten for student satisfaction! It would be top five, but the engineering lecturers are very rubbish and mean to their students'.
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Armin.
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TSR is on the whole more factual than those prospectuses however you also get people on TSR giving their own predilections instead of giving a non-biased answer.
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She-Ra
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I think it's interesting......

But - all of the comments are from students who haven't been to university yet. So I'm curious to know how they have come to the conclusion that prospectuses are better than "word of mouth" and actual feedback and experiences shared from students that currently attend that university?

"He says he's looked at 16 prospectuses and that if he had to recommend one way to choose a uni, he'd say the prospectus.
He says: "It's an official source and has got things in it that you can't get from word of mouth. On the Student Room lots of people tell you where they think is best, but it's not always accurate because people have their preferences."

You have to take a balanced view with these things. The bonus of the information provided by TSR-ians is that students at those institutions have the the low down and can provide a "realistic" view of what it's actually like. So checking in with the individual university forums can be really helpful.



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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by fluteflute)
...whereas on TSR you get honest opinions.
(Original post by James A)
:lolwut:

really?

As someone mentioned above, just looking at the league table discussion thread on here suggests otherwise.
Those opinions are not dishonest. They are only wildly ill-informed.
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MalteseMalteser
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I think that TSR will have mainly opinions, some facts, some marketing with some bias - whether it be from answering questions about the uni or singing its praises, to degrading other universities.

Prospectuses, meanwhile, are an obvious form of marketing - they're one of the major ways to try and sell you the university. Having said that, it will need to tell you the facts and figures, because they don't want you to be unhappy at the university. That, and they don't want you dropping out due to not liking the modules/the area/the campus etc.
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Motorbiker
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Prospectus:

Full of smiling people.
Normally attractive blonde girls in the science lab pictures when you'll have 2 females in your year of 60.

The useful part of the prospectus is the course requirements/details of the course but these can all be found online. The rest is all "we're awesome, look what a lovely sunny day it is and how amazing we are".

TSR:

Has a lot more opinions, pro and con on each univerisity which can help make a reaosnaed choice. As opposed to every prospectus telling you how great they are. They can't all be great.

I'd say the main problem on TSR is people massively favouring their own uni and massively taking a dislike to all others. You do get some people that share the negative expereinces as well but mostly if you ask a thread between 3 unis , people from each uni will all just come on and tell you to go to theirs because it's great.
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ParetoOptimum
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Appraise the validity, accuracy and subjectivity of every information source and make sure to do your own third-party research and you'll be fine, whatever source you look at
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redferry
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(Original post by syrettd)
Well you're not going to get a completely honest account in a prospectus are you? I don't think anyone believes they would! You'd never find something written like 'XYZ University is rated in the top ten for student satisfaction! It would be top five, but the engineering lecturers are very rubbish and mean to their students'.
That is so Bristol.
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fluteflute
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Are paper prospectuses still a thing? The collection of printed prospectuses I had was a huge waste of paper!
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redferry
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(Original post by Motorbiker)
Prospectus:

Full of smiling people.
Normally attractive blonde girls in the science lab pictures when you'll have 2 females in your year of 60.

The useful part of the prospectus is the course requirements/details of the course but these can all be found online. The rest is all "we're awesome, look what a lovely sunny day it is and how amazing we are".

TSR:

Has a lot more opinions, pro and con on each univerisity which can help make a reaosnaed choice. As opposed to every prospectus telling you how great they are. They can't all be great.

I'd say the main problem on TSR is people massively favouring their own uni and massively taking a dislike to all others. You do get some people that share the negative expereinces as well but mostly if you ask a thread between 3 unis , people from each uni will all just come on and tell you to go to theirs because it's great.
I think the main problem on TSR is people giving opinions on Unis they literally have no knowledge of.
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syrettd
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(Original post by redferry)
That is so Bristol.
:eek: OMG! Before I wrote XYZ I picked a random university name-Bristol! I don't even know anything about the uni! Freaky!
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redferry
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(Original post by syrettd)
:eek: OMG! Before I wrote XYZ I picked a random university name-Bristol! I don't even know anything about the uni! Freaky!
SO WEIRD! Seriously though the student satisfaction is really low basically because of the Physics and Engineering departments. Or at least that was the case when I was there.
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russellsteapot
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I think it's obvious they are misleading, but anyone who doesn't realise that perhaps needs to think whether university is right for them. I doubt any prospectus will contain the helpful hint that the river next to the main accommodation block smells like a sewer during the spring months, or that the history department is world-famous for providing **** essay feedback, or that local ruffians frequently rob students on their way out of the library.

TSR is anecdote, misinformation and assumption for the most part, and you have to be incredibly selective about the bits you actually pay attention to. Anyone reading the majority of stuff on TSR from kids who haven't set foot in a university before but think they know everything down to exactly what employers look for in interviews will be in for a nasty shock. At least prospectuses contain an element of truth. At the same time, a non-biased first-hand account can be invaluable, and you can find those on TSR sometimes.

I still wouldn't trust either a uni prospectus or this website to do any more than provide some background information. Mix that with a campus visit, talking to students and staff and deciding if you like the area, and you'll be somewhere near the most informed you can be before picking where to go.
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User1248243
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Wouldn't trust any of ya!
Bias is everywhere.

It depends on your year group and individual experiences. Best thing to do is visit the university see what current university students think,
and then make a thread on tsr asking drop outs from university what they disliked and liked so you are fully aware.

And take the information with a pinch of salt.
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