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Rank 50 university this year or rank 30 university next year? Watch

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    BACKSTORY
    I wasn't able to continue on with my a levels last year but i ended up with 3 ASes at grade BCD and im currently doing my first year of btec and im hoping to get a D*D* and a D*D*D* if i continue on with my second year.

    Yesterday i found out that a lot of the universities that are ranked about accept their students based on their UCAS points and that I will have enough UCAS points to apply to them this year. I realise that I will be applying much later than most students and that will make it harder for me to get accepted but i was wondering if it was worth it. I'm feeling torn. I feel like I might regret going to the rank 50 university when i could have applied to one that was ranked 20-30.

    QUESTION
    I realise that I'm not being very clear but I'm in a slight state of panic. Will my experience be substantially worse? Is it worth giving up a year of my life to go to a better university?
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    (Original post by adil_)
    BACKSTORY
    I wasn't able to continue on with my a levels last year but i ended up with 3 ASes at grade BCD and im currently doing my first year of btec and im hoping to get a D*D* and a D*D*D* if i continue on with my second year.

    Yesterday i found out that a lot of the universities that are ranked about accept their students based on their UCAS points and that I will have enough UCAS points to apply to them this year. I realise that I will be applying much later than most students and that will make it harder for me to get accepted but i was wondering if it was worth it. I'm feeling torn. I feel like I might regret going to the rank 50 university when i could have applied to one that was ranked 20-30.

    QUESTION
    I realise that I'm not being very clear but I'm in a slight state of panic. Will my experience be substantially worse? Is it worth giving up a year of my life to go to a better university?
    You need to look at more than just the rank. The lists fluctuate each year so unis do gain and lose places a lot - but they obviously don't get better or worse that quickly.

    Look at the course, and see if the modules are what you want to cover. The same course will vary wildly at different places. Some will have more free choice, so you might be able to do a language or something on the side if you wanted to.
    Look at accommodation. Is it expensive or really awful? What about year 2 and 3 - you'll probably be living off campus, but is the accommodation really far away or really over subscribed?
    What about the area itself? Do you want to be near the sea, or in a big city or a smaller town? Is it easy to get to? You'll need to take all your stuff, so want an easy train journey or somewhere your relatives will be willing to drive you. If you need to get home at short notice will the journey be ridiculously expensive?
    Even things like library opening hours and campus shops can vary. Some uni libraries will be open 24 hours for your late night essay crisis, but others will close much earlier.
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    If by rankings you mean student satisfaction rubbish like Guardian one, then don't waste your time.

    More to uni than SS ranks. Employer reputation and world rankings are far more useful in terms of gauging prestige.
    And what the above post says about the course.
    Worth visiting each too.
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    (Original post by Inazuma)
    If by rankings you mean student satisfaction rubbish like Guardian one, then don't waste your time.

    More to uni than SS ranks. Employer reputation and world rankings are far more useful in terms of gauging prestige.
    And what the above post says about the course.
    Worth visiting each too.
    In gauging prestige, sure the world rankings are great. In terms of quality of the course and what you can get out of the degree not so much, CUG is much better for that although still not perfect, you also need to look at module content and people's view of the university and course.
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    (Original post by Helloworld_95)
    In gauging prestige, sure the world rankings are great. In terms of quality of the course and what you can get out of the degree not so much, CUG is much better for that although still not perfect, you also need to look at module content and people's view of the university and course.
    The problem with that is that SS and people's views are always going to be 3/4 years outdated, I doubt many courses or unis don't change in some way in that time. Plus most people who bother responding to student satisfaction surveys like the NSS are likely to be the one who have grievances rather than ones who liked it.

    That's why I prefer to dismiss them altogether (or get views from random current students on TSR lol)
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    Well, I've decided that there isn't any information out there that will help me make a decision that I won't potentially regret so I'm just going to wait until next year to apply to ones that I know enough about. I shouldn't make such a vital decision haphazardly.
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    Thanks for all of the replies though
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    What is it that you want to do at university? You might want to consider a foundation degree. This is a normal degree, but with an extra preliminary year added to cover A-level content and some uni content to get you on level footing with other candidates. You'd meet the requirements for universities like Durham, Bristol etc.
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    (Original post by RasputinReborn)
    What is it that you want to do at university? You might want to consider a foundation degree. This is a normal degree, but with an extra preliminary year added to cover A-level content and some uni content to get you on level footing with other candidates. You'd meet the requirements for universities like Durham, Bristol etc.
    Thats tempting but with the ever rising costs of tuition fees I'm not sure if i want to spend 4 years at uni
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    (Original post by adil_)
    Thats tempting but with the ever rising costs of tuition fees I'm not sure if i want to spend 4 years at uni
    You could do the 4 year foundation degree, move to a different country, and not have to pay any debt to the UK at all - though this doesn't work if you actually want to live here, haha.


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