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    (Original post by Jools)
    No I never said that. Somerville usually hover around the bottom of the table but this year jumped from 28th to 15th - 23 1sts, 59 2.1s and 10 2.2s (out of the 85% or so who declared their results).
    I was very surprised by this leap in the Norrington table. I don't expect Somerville to hold this position, but who knows. And anyway, even getting in the worst college in Oxford is something to be proud of. And happy about.

    (Original post by RxB)
    Apparently in 2003, 5 of the 12 2:2s in the University in PPE came from Somerville.
    Thanks. This was the information I was talking about. Well, it doesn't sound very uplifting, I must say. But then there are still three years before we graduate, and the things can change greatly in that time. Hopefully, they will...
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    (Original post by Jools)
    No I never said that. Somerville usually hover around the bottom of the table but this year jumped from 28th to 15th - 23 1sts, 59 2.1s and 10 2.2s (out of the 85% or so who declared their results).
    So, where would it have been if all their results had been declared? Ditto most of the colleges - all the threads on this that I have seen suggest that many of the colleges try to suppress a fair number of examination results just to manipulate the Table (which they all outwardly abhor anyway!). I don't want to sound cynical, but really.......!
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    No, I'm an EU student, so I pay hope fees, which hopefully will be no more than £1200 pounds + accomodation. But there is a huge problem to arrange all that with British authorities. Mostly, because I'm slow and inexperienced.

    Yeah, this block also costs £770 per term, but it seems to have resonably big windows and the JCR is located somewhere nearby, so I'm not complaining. At least not until I get there.


    Argh, lucky you. I have no clue what to do with this electrical safety stuff. It doesn't make any sense to me. I wonder if I can get my stuff tested after I arrive..

    By the way, did you go to an IB school? Or some kind of Singapore national school? How do you think it compares to A-levels? Because, frankly, I think that my teaching was rather bad, and I'm freaking out because I feel that i'm totally unprepared for university... I wonder if there's anyeone who shares these feelings.

    (Original post by tanncmi)
    I'm not sure we are in the same situation; do you have to pay full fees as well -- 8,000 pounds for university, and 4,000 to the college? It's not a small sum, but it seems to be really difficult to arrange.. I'd have thought a not-so-wealthy college be more proactive about collecting their money.

    Oh well I guess I'll sort it out somehow...

    So y ou're in the ugly block? Not so nice =(... do they charge you 770 pounds per term too? They should give a discount.. I'm hoping I can stay in college during the holidays, or at least part of it, because a return flight home is 500 pounds!

    Here in Singapore we do have our own electrical safety marks, I hope it's OK, because it's an expensive bother to get all those little appliances tested. I'm hoping to wriggle through somehow, and at the very least claim ignorance of the matter

    Looking forward to seeing you there in October, I can't wait!
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    (Original post by Geogger)
    So, where would it have been if all their results had been declared? Ditto most of the colleges - all the threads on this that I have seen suggest that many of the colleges try to suppress a fair number of examination results just to manipulate the Table (which they all outwardly abhor anyway!). I don't want to sound cynical, but really.......!
    Well, if all colleges hide their worst results, then the league table still kind of works. All colleges look better than they are, but they still can be ranked by the approximate percentage of 1st and 2:1 degrees.
    And, who cares about these tables anyway? It seems that they were just created to stroke the ego of Mertonians and humiliate everyone else.
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    (Original post by Geogger)
    So, where would it have been if all their results had been declared? Ditto most of the colleges - all the threads on this that I have seen suggest that many of the colleges try to suppress a fair number of examination results just to manipulate the Table (which they all outwardly abhor anyway!). I don't want to sound cynical, but really.......!
    Typically 10-20% of results are withheld. If you look at how the table and calculations work, I'm convinced that for the 'actual' results most colleges would only shift 1 or 2 places. Also note that whilst you'd expect all withdrawn results to be 2.2s and 3rds, it's far from the case; several who got a 1st at Hilda's withdrew their results.

    Therefore it's stupid to say that a college 14th is academically superior to one 15th, but you can't deny a significant difference in results between the top 5 and bottom 5, for example.
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    (Original post by RxB)
    Apparently in 2003, 5 of the 12 2:2s in the University in PPE came from Somerville.

    I couldn't tell you why, though.
    That's true, I believe; Hilda's also had a fair few 2:2s. Unfortunately, due it its ever increasing size, PPE has become one of the most polarised subjects in the university; with the superpowers at the top, and the lightweights at the bottom. Personally, I would reduce the amount of college that offer the subjects.
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    That's true, I believe; Hilda's also had a fair few 2:2s. Unfortunately, due it its ever increasing size, PPE has become one of the most polarised subjects in the university; with the superpowers at the top, and the lightweights at the bottom. Personally, I would reduce the amount of college that offer the subjects.
    Interesting. But what could be the reason of such polarization? Is the quality of tutorials very low in the weaker colleges? And how important are the tutorials anyway, provided that one reads all required books and attends the same lectures that everyone else in the university?

    (Sorry for bothering you with all those questions. It's just always nice to know what to expect in tems of quality of teaching, etc.)
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    (Original post by Aster)
    Interesting. But what could be the reason of such polarization? Is the quality of tutorials very low in the weaker colleges? And how important are the tutorials anyway, provided that one reads all required books and attends the same lectures that everyone else in the university?

    (Sorry for bothering you with all those questions. It's just always nice to know what to expect in tems of quality of teaching, etc.)
    It's not that there's a huge variation in teaching quality, just that some tutors may have you better prepared eg if their specialist subject comes up, which explains why there's often fluctuations in "7/11 got a 1st from __ college" annually. Also there's a notable difference in work ethos between e.g. Merton and LMH, tutors may be a lot stricter at some places and let you off doing the odd essay or three elsewhere. Facilities such as 24/7 library and computing facilities vs library closing at 10pm and printer always broken etc, all these little things can add up.

    In the wider scope of things these differences are fairly minimal. Don't worry about it. As Baz once very rightly said, you can get a 1st from any college if you want to.
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    I do the A levels here, but it's a modified, local version awarded by UCLES - university of cambridge local examination syndicate. We take three or four full A levels in two years, mine are in History, Economics, Eng. Literature and Mathematics. We don't have AS levels or anything, but we do have 'S' levels, which are sort of higher level A levels.

    I don't know about my teaching, but it's 2 years since I've been in school -- I've been doing compulsory national service since I left school -- so I'm not very confident at all. I've forgotten most of the stuff I learnt and it's worrying me a lot.

    I think one can get a First at any college, not just Merton. At University level I suppose a lot of the effort should come from yourself, and not just tutors, so there's a lot you can do about your results I think.

    (Original post by Aster)
    No, I'm an EU student, so I pay hope fees, which hopefully will be no more than £1200 pounds + accomodation. But there is a huge problem to arrange all that with British authorities. Mostly, because I'm slow and inexperienced.

    Yeah, this block also costs £770 per term, but it seems to have resonably big windows and the JCR is located somewhere nearby, so I'm not complaining. At least not until I get there.


    Argh, lucky you. I have no clue what to do with this electrical safety stuff. It doesn't make any sense to me. I wonder if I can get my stuff tested after I arrive..

    By the way, did you go to an IB school? Or some kind of Singapore national school? How do you think it compares to A-levels? Because, frankly, I think that my teaching was rather bad, and I'm freaking out because I feel that i'm totally unprepared for university... I wonder if there's anyeone who shares these feelings.
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    Combination of reasons:

    1) The obvious differences between college as mentioned by Jools, the best colleges for PPE very often have the best facilities. They also tend to be the richest.

    2) Very little departmental influence; the colleges run the show. Also with a three-way department finishing school, no one unit (department) is dominate; very hard for decision to be implemented from above.

    3) Sheer size: when they admit about 280 students every year there's going to be a HUGE different in term of ability between the top 10% and the bottom 10%, and a large majority of the best students go to the stronger colleges.

    4) All the colleges teach it, thus university/departmental resources are stretched to the limit to cover everybody. This means colleges have got to go out head hunting themselves; and when it comes to finding talent, the colleges with the money get their man (or women.) Balliol v. Somerville? Not really a hard decision.

    5) The weaker colleges are at the mercy of the stronger ones when it comes to tutorials and classes. Balliol, John's and Merton are pretty much self-sufficient and can structure their time tables as they want; weaker colleges need to work around this as they don't have the specialist staff to cover all the courses.

    As for tutorials, they're as useful as you want them to be; personally, sometimes they're a complete waste of time, others you couldn't survive without. Luck of the draw. In an attempt to tie this all together in a nice, positive conclusion, it undeniable that there are differences between colleges, some are always going to be better than others; but, anyone can get a First if they have the talent to do it, you'll just have to work that little bit harder.
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    Jools, BazTheMoney , thank you for your detailed replies. I can't say that they made me feel very optimistic, since I certainly don't think I'm tallented enough to get a good degree without proper assistance. But anyway, I'll wait and see how it goes.
 
 
 
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