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Does anyone take the guardian League tables seriously? Watch

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    I mean seriously I looked through this earlier and noticed they place Cambridge fourth for maths. When most sources support that Cambridge is the best university in the world for Maths. Placing Oxford above Cambridge for maths is something most people disagree with but wouldn't be so far out.Same goes for Imperial. However to place St Andrews above Cambridge for maths is just absurd, I am not saying St Andrews is not good for maths, They are considered to be very good for maths. I am saying it is manifestly absurd to put them above Cambridge.

    Coventry is does very well for maths been ranked higher then Bath University ranked 12th , Exeter university ranked 23rd,Newcastle joined 23rd, Bristol university who are ranked 32nd!!!!!! Nottingham university who are ranked 33rd, London school of Economics who are ranked 39th!!! now okay LSE are a bit different because they don't do a straight maths degree they do maths with economics I wont be applying their for that reason but come on their maths course is Very well respected they are one of the best in the country as are Bath and Bristol who do straight maths. Cardiff are ranked 46th and Southampton 53rd!!!!! I accept Cardiff and Southampton are not top tens but they are still high Quality degree programs for maths and don't deserve to be right near the bottom.

    I mean Bristol are ranked 32nd below Keele university, Liverpool John Moores!!!!!!!!! Sussex, Portsmouth, University west of England Bristol , Plymouth Greenwich Nottingham Trent and south wales.

    If the only source I had to go on was the Guardian league tables I would be under the impression that Bristol who are regarded by almost everywhere else to be world class for maths are a **** university for the subject and somewhere I don't want to go to, and that Coventry are an excellent establishment. I don't mean to bash Coventry to much they are not a bad university generally or for maths. They just are not near the standard of Bath, Bristol and LSE let alone significantly better then.

    It seems the Guardian wants to be politically correct and anti elitist to the point of spewing more nonsense then the psychotically deluded.
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    Placing Oxford above Cambridge for maths is something most people disagree with but wouldn't be so far out.
    What would "most" people be basing this on? I'd guess not the REF

    http://results.ref.ac.uk/Results/ByUoa/10
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    (Original post by RichE)
    What would "most" people be basing this on? I'd guess not the REF

    http://results.ref.ac.uk/Results/ByUoa/10
    I take it you are trying to tell me Oxford are legitimately better then Cambridge for maths. most people would disagree with that maybe your right though. I am talking about for pursuing an undergraduate degree though not submitting research papers.

    my point is with Cambridge Imperial and Oxford all three are world class institutions both generally and specifically for maths, and that it wouldn't be to outrageous to rank these 3 in any specific order. where as placing Bristol so low down when they are regarded as world class, and placing St Andrews above Cambridge is getting silly.

    You know what maybe Oxford are better then Cambridge for maths that is not the impression I get but I would hardly be too shocked if that turned out to be the case, But come on St Andrews better then Cambridge??? West of England Bristol better the Bristol?

    how are you going to defend that?
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    I take it you are trying to tell me Oxford are legitimately better then Cambridge for maths. most people would disagree with that maybe your right though. I am talking about for pursuing an undergraduate degree though not submitting research papers.
    In many ways then I don't have issue with anything you're saying because you've actually taken some time to address the topic. I suppose I am fed up with people stating, almost axiomatically, that Cambridge trumps Oxford for maths, Indeed some arguments have turned sour on differences between the two degrees even when some have attempted to quote the relevant syllabi from each degree. I do though get fed up when arguments are fed by outdated rumour from people who never did maths in the first place.

    You are right - research quality is not an immediate guide for quality of the undergraduate programme. For example, in the past, Portsmouth have had a great showing in applied research, but have only a small department. But if a department can show top research across a wide range of topics then yes, you do know that here is a centre that can deliver a strong undergraduate degree. So then you're right that Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, Imperial, and some others, offer much the same experience - whether a small department can genuinely offer the same is a more moot point.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    In many ways then I don't have issue with anything you're saying because you've actually taken some time to address the topic. I suppose I am fed up with people stating, almost axiomatically, that Cambridge trumps Oxford for maths, Indeed some arguments have turned sour on differences between the two degrees even when some have attempted to quote the relevant syllabi from each degree. I do though get fed up when arguments are fed by outdated rumour from people who never did maths in the first place.

    You are right - research quality is not an immediate guide for quality of the undergraduate programme. For example, in the past, Portsmouth have had a great showing in applied research, but have only a small department. But if a department can show top research across a wide range of topics then yes, you do know that here is a centre that can deliver a strong undergraduate degree. So then you're right that Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, Imperial, and some others, offer much the same experience - whether a small department can genuinely offer the same is a more moot point.
    I know that most of the league tables place Cambridge above Oxford, and on these forums and everywhere else i have read/heard it discussed people have said Cambridge is better then oxford for maths.

    maybe they are wrong It is difficult for me to say as I have attended neither institution for maths. I am currently studying maths A levels and hope to be in a position to apply and get into Cambridge. I was always going to apply to Cambridge rather then Oxford for reasons entirely different to which one is the best for the subject.

    I assume you study maths at Oxford, so you should know more about this then me though i have a feeling Cambridge Math students would disagree with you.

    I don't really desire to get into an argument about which ones better because I am ill equipped for that and it is also not really a productive discussion.

    I am more concerned with how other universities are ranked because realistically whilst I would love to go to Cambridge for maths and I won't give up on that until its clear I can't I have to be realistic and accept I probably won't end up at Cambridge so I need to look at other universities and I know their are more things to consider then league tables but it does wind me up when they mislead.

    I have done too much research to be misled by one league table, however other students may not have and are poorly served by this PC nonsense. Which really winds me up, it also annoys me that I will have people telling me I am silly for not considering Coventry for maths. just a pet hate thing.

    However whilst your reading this forum I should take the opportunity to ask you about maths at Oxford just in case I am making a mistake. I assume you have something similar to Cambridge supervisions where it is 1-3 students to a lecturer? how many of these do you have at Oxford?

    what sort of support is their for students if they struggle with Maths? I like to think I would breeze through it but I don't I know there is good reason to believe otherwise as it is a very hard course.

    been on the autistic spectrum I have remained unemployed for long periods of time, and sustained myself with online poker exploiting sports promo bets and occasional prices competing at computer games for these I used maths, but not really anything complicated, its just GCSE maths but for some reason most people don't know how to apply it.

    One thing that attracts me to a maths degree among many others is this a skill that one can use to make money on their own if they are not employed. I know you could probably say that for any subject like you could make a youtube channel about well anything and maybe comp science is more useful in that regard maybe not but I am actually interested in maths not comp science.

    would you say their are many modules at Oxford that could teach me how to manipulate data to make more money? I primarily think of gambling and trading at the mo but I am aware there are probably a whole world of things I don't currently know about.
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    Their table is based of satisfaction, rather than prestige, research quality and non student determined departmental strength. Although I wouldn't use this to make my choice, it is useful for students to know if they are actually going to be happy with what they pick.
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
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    I am not trying to make an argument, and honestly I think you seem to be finding a sensible way through the muddle of deciding which universities to apply for. I would like to reassure you, Cambridge, Oxford, or whichever similar institution you end up at you will be well catered to when it comes to studying maths.

    I would though take any league table with a pinch of salt, certainly when compared to the sense/appreciation you might feel from visiting a university on an open day. League tables are written by journalists weighted to spurious metrics according to spurious weightings. Broadly they may get it right, but individually seem capable of getting it very wrong (as you've noted) so I would treat them with dollop of salt.
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    Don't base your decision on University league tables, especially not the Guardian's, which imo is only reliable in its unreliability.
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    Because subjective, historically-defined reputation based on Victorian industrial cities =/= 2016 objective methodology.
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    Because the Guardian likes standing out in its own hippy lefty way. And that means focusing on something that other league tables do not to the same extent - student satisfaction.

    It's one of those things where you have to decide what's important to you and look at the table which most fits your priorities (be it CUG, THE, Guardian or QS/ARWU etc)
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    >Guardian

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    (Original post by JohnGreek)
    Because the Guardian likes standing out in its own hippy lefty way. And that means focusing on something that other league tables do not to the same extent - student satisfaction.

    It's one of those things where you have to decide what's important to you and look at the table which most fits your priorities (be it CUG, THE, Guardian or QS/ARWU etc)
    The ironic thing is that with their hippy left ideals they are hurting the people they would like to help. I mean students that go to private schools will likely have a lot of guidance and advice on which universities to apply to. Yet a student at a weak school from a poor area where almost no one goes to university who decides he wants better for himself won't have the same guidance and might actually end up picking Coventry over Bristol.

    Way to screw the poor well done good job there.

    anyway satisfaction is a misleading term, it applies to an extent sure and should definitely be taken into account However different people want different things. For example if you pick a university near the very bottom the type that ask for CCE etc it is likely a lot of their students do not work hard, yes there will be exceptions I am talking Generally. They may well be satisfied with hardly any work and a lot of partying, I certainly would not.

    But I find this hard to believe anyway I mean if this is true it means most of the students at Bristol are miserable, this is not the impression I get. Normally when mentioning universities for maths or just generally people say Bristol is a great university and you should be delighted to go there.

    I have heard a quite a few students say some negative things about UCL and Imperial for maths, not so much that it is bad for maths I have heard no one say that, rather that they don't have much support for students or good tutor/student ratios. Apparently the seminars are big class sizes and when you go to support work shops its normally 150 students vying for the attention of 5 lectures/phd students.

    That may be complete nonsense I will research that properly when I start applying next year, However clearly quite a few students were not satisfied, otherwise they would not be saying such things. So I do question why Imperial and UCL are not much lower down for maths if this is based on satisfaction.

    I think its more hippy left delusional nonsense.
 
 
 
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