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    So as the table was released today, just wondering what people's views on it are...

    1.) Is it of any use to prospective students?
    2.) Was the university right to try and stop its publication in the 90's?
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    (Original post by JUSTaGIRL)
    The Norrington Table is useful to prospective students in a sense, as it gives an indication of which colleges are likely to be the most pressurised academically. However, there are sometimes massive fluctuations in the table so it is certainly not reliable, and should only ever be used as an vague indicator.

    I believe that the university was right to try and prevent its publication. For a start the raw data that it uses is questionable, and the system of awarding 5 points for a first I think skews the table unfairly against particular colleges which get a lot of 2:1s. A considerable minority of people request that their results are not published, so their data can't be used. Also, I think it generates a very unhealthy sense of competitiveness, and falsely suggests that some colleges are 'crap' when they are all excellent academically.
    Well I think it's better to show the truth, that there are disparities between colleges, rather than lie to prospective applicants that all colleges are alike. There's a massive difference academically between Merton's 41 firsts and 12 at St Hilda's. Or one college getting 3 2.2s, and another 18.

    Agreed that it should be used only as a vague indicator, and that a college 9th is not better than a college which is 10th. The flaw of a small number not publishing their results would shift a college by 2 rankings at most. But I think doing the 5-3-2-1 points system is fair; as fair as 3-1-0 for win-draw-lose in football.
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    I didn't realise so few people got worse than a 2:1. With so many people getting 2:1's though there must be quite a wide markband.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Well I think it's better to show the truth, that there are disparities between colleges, rather than lie to prospective applicants that all colleges are alike. There's a massive difference academically between Merton's 41 firsts and 12 at St Hilda's. Or one college getting 3 2.2s, and another 18.

    Agreed that it should be used only as a vague indicator, and that a college 9th is not better than a college which is 10th. The flaw of a small number not publishing their results would shift a college by 2 rankings at most. But I think doing the 5-3-2-1 points system is fair; as fair as 3-1-0 for win-draw-lose in football.
    But the fluctuations in the table almost certainly show that the discrepancies between colleges are not due to teaching standards etc, but simply due to that year's intake (although Merton do have something of a monopoly on that top-spot). Personally I think that, like applications-per-place ratios, the table has the capacity to severely mislead prospective applicants.
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    (Original post by Odd Senex)
    But the fluctuations in the table almost certainly show that the discrepancies between colleges are not due to teaching standards etc, but simply due to that year's intake (although Merton do have something of a monopoly on that top-spot). Personally I think that, like applications-per-place ratios, the table has the capacity to severely mislead prospective applicants.
    Well the table has last year's results too so you can see if there's any crazy anomalies (eg St Catz - from 4th to 16th to 3rd). Whilst there are a few yoyo colleges, a general pattern is established - Merton, St Johns, Balliol and Magdalen are academically the strongest, St Peter's, Corpus, St Hughs etc are "division 2" and Mansfield, LMH, Pembroke and St Hilda's are always in the bottom lot.

    Btw the only major flaw in the table is Harris Manchester magically finding itself off its rooted bottom spot... maybe because only 10 of them declared their results. In reality they'll definitely be bottom, but instead Hilda's gets humiliated. What a shame...
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Well the table has last year's results too so you can see if there's any crazy anomalies (eg St Catz - from 4th to 16th to 3rd). Whilst there are a few yoyo colleges, a general pattern is established - Merton, St Johns, Balliol and Magdalen are academically the strongest, St Peter's, Corpus, St Hughs etc are "division 2" and Mansfield, LMH, Pembroke and St Hilda's are always in the bottom lot.
    cardwell goes to st. hughs!
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    How do you know Cardwell? Why've I had PMs from 4 or 5 people asking if I know him ?!
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    (Original post by Jools)
    How do you know Cardwell? Why've I had PMs from 4 or 5 people asking if I know him ?!
    We had a brief fling. Who else has been asking?
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    Just random newbies, one called "Percy". What college are you at ?
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Just random newbies, one called "Percy". What college are you at ?
    None. I am just obsessed with oxford and its students!
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    Ah right. Where did u meet him ?
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    Everyones knows what the most academic colleges are; Meton, Balliol and John's are up in or around the top 5 every year. Everyones knows what the weaker colleges are; LHM, Mansfield and Queen's are normally down in the botoom 10. And in between they're all pretty similar. I wouldn't advice any propsective student to use the Norrington Table, it's a complete waste of time, and colleges yo-yo too much; Trinity 11th last year and 23rd now, Brasenose along similar lines. It's to unreliable - and you can get a First from any colege anyway.
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    Everyones knows what the weaker colleges are; LHM, Mansfield and Queen's are normally down in the botoom 10.
    Woohoo! Queens is bottom 10!
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    (Original post by shiny)
    Woohoo! Queens is bottom 10!
    :cool:
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    you can get a First from any colege anyway.
    Surely a student has a much better chance of getting a 1st if they're in a more academic/ambitious/stimulating environment, have tutors pushing them to get a 1st, a library with 200,000 rather than 40,000 books, being 1min walk from their academic department rather than halfway down Cowley, etc etc. Which explains why at one college about 40% get a 1st and at another about 10%, despite the candidates having identical A-Level grades upon arrival.
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    (Original post by kildare)
    :cool:
    Are you going to be a Queenie?
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Surely a student has a much better chance of getting a 1st if they're in a more academic/ambitious/stimulating environment, have tutors pushing them to get a 1st, a library with 200,000 rather than 40,000 books, being 1min walk from their academic department rather than halfway down Cowley, etc etc. Which explains why at one college about 40% get a 1st and at another about 10%, despite the candidates having identical A-Level grades upon arrival.
    But the college with probable one of the best libraries in Oxford finished 20th, whereas a college with a library of 50,000 books came in the top 10. Balliol and Trinity are next to each other, bang in the centre of Oxford, yet one's 4th and the other was 24th.

    It's down to the individual mostly, certain college attract certain students; if you're very academic you'll probable go to Merton rather than Mansfield, but at either you'll probable do just as well.
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    Queens suits me fine. After all, I am Cambridge scum :rolleyes:
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    Yeah well put. What the hell happened to Christ Church this year?
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    (Original post by JUSTaGIRL)
    Hilda's actually got the second highest number of 2:1s in the whole table, but because of the weighting thing this is penalised rather than highlighted as a positive thing. Oh, and I don't think the football points thing is fair either. Yes, getting a first is an excellent achievement, but there is little difference between getting 70% and getting 69%.
    Yes, but when a college only gets 13 Firsts, you expect a lot of 2.1s. Hilda's still got more 2.2/Thrids than most colleges.

    But there's a massive difference between getting 80% and getting 60%, yet it's still a First and 2.1. I don't have much of a problem with the scoring system, but I'm more concerned with the accuracy of the averages, a lot of students refuse to give their results.
 
 
 
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