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    I also think it would be more challenging to achieve a 2.1 at somewhere like Warwick than at Essex.
    On what do you base this fact? Bare in mind Essex has some departments held in very high regard.
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    It's an opinion. Influenced by the "calibre" of the students.
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    It's an opinion. Influenced by the "calibre" of the students.

    What do you mean by the calibre of students? And what experience of them do you have?

    I graduated from Essex, and am about to graduate with a distinction (read: first) in my masters from KCL. I see absolutely no difference in the difficulty between the two universities. In fact I have also attended a top US school and I see absolutely no difference in the teaching or the abilities of the students.

    Are you now about to tell me its harder to get a 2.1 from Warwick than from KCL?
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    Just going by logic as the two institutions set different entry requirements. The entry standards will probably be higher for Warwick (compared to Essex) and thus the attainment/work ethic of students will probably be higher, and the competition for 2.1's will probably be tougher.
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    (Original post by WoWZa)
    Just going by logic as the two institutions set different entry requirements. The entry standards will probably be higher for Warwick (compared to Essex) and thus the attainment/work ethic of students will probably be higher, and the competition for 2.1's will probably be tougher.

    Exactly. I really cant quite fathom this arguement that a 2.1 is the same from just about any university. In the 1st year I am sure different universities start at different levels. At Oxford where everyone has AAA and is also amazing at their individual subject they are going to start at a higher level than somewhere where the students all have Bs and Cs its logic really. Otherwise either the students at the top universities would all be bored out of their mind or the universities that attract a lower calibre of student would not have many students left because half of them had failed their first year. They must start at different levels, and surely end at different levels as a result. If all undergraduate degrees are of the same difficulty why doesnt everyone going to Oxbridge get starred 1sts?
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    Degree classifications aren't based on a performance curve. If a whole class is of a 1st class standard, they will get a 1st class degree. The calibre of students would not affect the quality of the teaching etc. Even if their calibre was lower, that would, if anything make it harder for them to achieve 2.1s as they have to work harder to get up to scratch.

    University degrees are assessed from outside by other universities to ensure standards are maintained. 2.1s aren't easier to get at universities with lower entry requirements, its just that less people get them.

    If there was freedom for institutions to lower their standards to achieve higher grades, then there would be no way of preventing elite universities from doing the same to increase their 2.1s and 1sts.

    There is no "competition" for 2.1s. There isn't a limit that can be assigned. If you are good enough, you get one.

    It is ironic because your "logic" is illogical. Lower entry standards = lower quality students yes (though not always of course). That does not automatically translate to lower requirements for 2.1s. If that were the case, then surely Essex would have the same % of 1sts and 2.1s as Warwick. That just isn't true. Fewer people make the grade at Essex because standards are kept the same.
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    It's only certain employers (Investment Banks etc) who may care about prestige though.
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    Exactly. I really cant quite fathom this arguement that a 2.1 is the same from just about any university. In the 1st year I am sure different universities start at different levels. At Oxford where everyone has AAA and is also amazing at their individual subject they are going to start at a higher level than somewhere where the students all have Bs and Cs its logic really. Otherwise either the students at the top universities would all be bored out of their mind or the universities that attract a lower calibre of student would not have many students left because half of them had failed their first year. They must start at different levels, and surely end at different levels as a result. If all undergraduate degrees are of the same difficulty why doesnt everyone going to Oxbridge get starred 1sts?
    Everyone at Oxford doesn't get firsts because they aren't good enough. A-levels are not directly related to performance at university. They just simply aren't. I out perform the oxbridge grads in my department at KCL. In fact, the best performers are those from Essex (yes another Essex grad), and York. So much changes in people over the course of their time at Uni. The way you study for A-levels is completely different to that of a degree. The idea that everyone should get 1sts at Oxford because they have AAA is ludicrous.

    In fact I think this has been discussed elsewhere on TSR, oxbridge grads with 2.1s thinking they would have got 1sts anywhere else.

    We are talking about a higher tier Uni (Warwick) and mid tier unis (Essex and UEA) anyway.
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    It's only certain employers (Investment Banks etc) who may care about prestige though.
    lol that was established long ago. It is wider than many think though. (e.g. government departments hold the same biases too).

    The last couple of pages of this thread have illustrated the inherent biases we have been talking about. I have direct experience with both top uni's and mid-tier ones and I see there is no difference. Unfortunately, those without experience form assumptions based on entry criteria etc, and therefore that the quality of the degree from less prestigious unis is lower than that from more prestigious universities.

    This precisely why I recommended that the OP go to Warwick. An Essex education will be just as good, but it will make job finding that much harder because of these biases.
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    I also don't buy this argument that degrees are the same wherever you go. If on one course all the students have AAA and on the same course at another uni the average grades achieved were BCC then it's quite clear that the students on the former course are going to be more academically able than those on the latter. Fair enough, as some argue, people develop at different ages etc., and I'm sure that's true for some people, but to assume that everyone is the same is madness. The competition for Firsts and 2.1s will surely be tougher on a course where people have previously proven themselves more able (ie, at GCSE and A level).

    At Ulster, for instance, the average A level entry score is 278 UCAS points yet 62% of students achieve a 2.1 or above. At Lampeter, the average A level score is 257 yet nearly 61% are awarded at least a 2.1. Similarly, at Bath Spa, the average A level score is 263 while nearly 68% are awarded a 2.1 or higher.

    However, at Aberdeen, the average entry score is 447 and the amount of 2.1s + is actually lower at 64%. It's the same with Glasgow, where the average A level score is 425 and yet the percentage of 2.1s + is also 64%. At Manchester the average is 406 points, yet 68% manage at least a 2.1.

    Have all these somewhat mediocre A level performers suddenly blossomed overnight? Is the famed water in Bath proving worthy of its reputation? Or are lower ranked unis handing out a similar amount of Firsts and 2.1s as higher ranked ones which have better qualified students? Fair enough, I'm being a bit of a ****, but people aren't all the same. And while GCSE's A levels aren't the best indicators of intelligence/potential, they are least a useful guide, and surely count for something.
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    (Original post by simon123)
    Its harder to get a 2.1 the better the university you go to. I dont get this idea that a 2.1 is equal from everywhere. I am sure that the top universitys start at a higher level as they have a higher quality of candidates.
    This assertion comes up again and again. However, I think you'll find that 2:1s in the same subject are, broadly speaking, equal everywhere. There are measures in place, such as external marking and so on to ensure this. The fact that the higher universities will have more advanced teaching and set work more frequently doesn't mean that the level at which one obtains a 2:2, a 2:1 and a 1st is different.

    If you look at the TGUG, you'll find a big difference in the percentage of students getting a 2:1 or above, varying at about 30% from the top universities as compared with the bottom, this is what you would expect if the assessment is the same, but the intake of students is different.
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    we are talking top tier vs mid tier universities. I wouldn't exactly use Aberdeen and Glasgow as representative of top tier
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    If you look at the TGUG, you'll find a big difference in the percentage of students getting a 2:1 or above, varying at about 30% from the top universities as compared with the bottom, this is what you would expect if the assessment is the same, but the intake of students is different.
    Bingo.
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    (Original post by JohnyJ)
    Everyone at Oxford doesn't get firsts because they aren't good enough. A-levels are not directly related to performance at university. They just simply aren't. I out perform the oxbridge grads in my department at KCL. In fact, the best performers are those from Essex (yes another Essex grad), and York. So much changes in people over the course of their time at Uni. The way you study for A-levels is completely different to that of a degree. The idea that everyone should get 1sts at Oxford because they have AAA is ludicrous. In fact I think this has been discussed elsewhere on TSR, oxbridge grads with 2.1s thinking they would have got 1sts anywhere else.

    We are talking about a higher tier Uni (Warwick) and mid tier unis (Essex and UEA) anyway.
    Apart from I didnt actually state that they should. I said that if the standard required for a 1st at Oxford is the same as middle ranking universities either everyone at Oxford would get a 1st or loads of people at middle uni`s would fail. Niether of these things happen, indicating that perhaps the level requred to achieve a 1st differs.
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    I meant should as in they more than likely would, not that they deserve too.

    I said that if the standard required for a 1st at Oxford is the same as middle ranking universities either everyone at Oxford would get a 1st or loads of people at middle uni`s would fail. Niether of these things happen, indicating that perhaps the level requred to achieve a 1st differs.
    Or it could mean that A levels aren't as indicative of academic potential in a university setting as some people like to think. Or it could mean that the difference between an A at A-level and a C at A-level is not as much as some people like to think.

    What you are assuming is that if you got As at A-level, you are likely to get a first at university, unless places like oxford make it tougher. Maybe a 1st in a degree is actually much more difficult to get than an A at A-level though?

    What you are saying is that if all things were equal, then Oxford students getting 2.1s would mean Essex students failing. Why couldn't they get 2.2's instead? Or low 2.1s?
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    And for some Data:

    From the brand new Time rankings in the other thread. They include a column for good honours, which means a 2.1. or above, as defined here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/lif...null&offset=12

    Oxford:89.4%
    Warwick: 79.3%
    Essex: 56.8%


    So clearly, Oxford does produce more good degrees. Therefore it seems to indicate that degree standards are on par. This shows that the lower calibre students achieve lower as would be expected.

    The thread is here by the way:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=437537
 
 
 
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