Article: How to make sure you're choosing the right university

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shooks
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Are you a slave to university league tables?

We asked high-ranking unis to tell us what students should be thinking about before they look at the league tables. Find out what they had to say...
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Doones
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(Original post by shooks)
Are you a slave to university league tables? We asked high-ranking unis...
Um...

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Luke7456
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Wow we agree for once was bound to happen sooner or later not really high ranking unis.

Maybe Loughborough.
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DBR247
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The University of Manchester is highly recommended for anyone applying or considering an offer, chose it over UCL and have no regrets!
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jonathanemptage
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Finally some one has done this I'd also add thinking about distance because you don't want to end up travelling up to 6 hours a day so you need to know.

1) How far is the train station from the uni and how frequent are busses if you'll need one. (this is also useful if you live in halls but visit home sometimes and after breaks)

2) What is your door to door time.

3) How much is a train ticket with a student rail card.

4) How often are the trains.

Thats if your commuting a good rule of thumb is if your total commute time is more than 1 hour (half an hour in half in hour back) stay in halls because over that time you'l be wasting time and i mean to the minute you'll find at uni you need to time things this way otherwise nothing ever happens.

Just so you know I lived in halls i was only an hour away from home but my time table was pretty brutal I experienced 11 hour days with no breaks apart from lunch and then days that were 9-10 and then 6-7 you can't self study for that long you'll burnout it's 9 hours it also would have cost me £20 a day to go from Reading to Southampton so i would be looking at £100 a week minimum as opposed to £93a week in halls.
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PQ
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(Original post by jonathanemptage)
Finally some one has done this I'd also add thinking about distance because you don't want to end up travelling up to 6 hours a day so you need to know.

1) How far is the train station from the uni and how frequent are busses if you'll need one. (this is also useful if you live in halls but visit home sometimes and after breaks)

2) What is your door to door time.

3) How much is a train ticket with a student rail card.

4) How often are the trains.

Thats if your commuting a good rule of thumb is if your total commute time is more than 1 hour (half an hour in half in hour back) stay in halls because over that time you'l be wasting time and i mean to the minute you'll find at uni you need to time things this way otherwise nothing ever happens.

Just so you know I lived in halls i was only an hour away from home but my time table was pretty brutal I experienced 11 hour days with no breaks apart from lunch and then days that were 9-10 and then 6-7 you can't self study for that long you'll burnout it's 9 hours it also would have cost me £20 a day to go from Reading to Southampton so i would be looking at £100 a week minimum as opposed to £93a week in halls.
On number 3) - most student rail discounts wont apply on rush hour trains. So depending on your timetable you can end up completely screwed over (but with some rail companies it's often possible to get much cheaper tickets if you purchase the day before on specified trains)
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CompSci16
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None of these universities are prestigious or 'high ranking'.

I was expecting to hear from Oxbridge, Imperial, Durham, LSE, St Andrews etc.

If you're going to do click-bait style articles, at least ensure that the universities are actually universities students would want to hear from. I hardly care what UEA, Sussex or Heriot-Watt think.
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Luke7456
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(Original post by CompSci16)
None of these universities are prestigious or 'high ranking'.

I was expecting to hear from Oxbridge, Imperial, Durham, LSE, St Andrews etc.

If you're going to do click-bait style articles, at least ensure that the universities are actually universities students would want to hear from. I hardly care what UEA, Sussex or Heriot-Watt think.
Their often the sponsors though, a guy on the plane back explained it to me and now I get it. Its why you can't really on this site for an unbiased viewpoint or discussion on universities. You have to take it with a pinch of salt and apply independent thought just like everything else.
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returnmigrant
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Rankings are utter nonsense - just fake marketing. None of these daft league tables will ever tell you if its the right course for you, or if you will enjoy being at that Uni.

(And another thing folks - aside from a few self-obsessed Law firms and merchant banks, employers do not actually sift job applications based on which Uni you went to. Life is what you make it, it isnt determined by some imaginary bar-code stamped on your forehead.)
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bigbattygal
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There's really no point getting a degree from these silly unis. It's a waste of time and money. Go to a Top 20 (at least) or dont bother wasting money on a degree.
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cambio wechsel
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Never mind the Bolloxfords. Here's the Sussex Pistols.
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Luke7456
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(Original post by bigbattygal)
There's really no point getting a degree from these silly unis. It's a waste of time and money. Go to a Top 20 (at least) or dont bother wasting money on a degree.
In theory I agree completely with your view points but I do have some nit picks I mean for maths Manchester, Southampton and Cardiff are outside the top 20 but in the top 30 according to complete university guide.

I would still say these are courses worth going to. However these universities still have strong international reputations and are Russel group.

We still get Herriot Watt Sussex and Dundee in that area whom are not worth going to in my opinion.

Never ever listen to or pay attention to the Guardian league table Who put Bristol and Nottingham at 32 and 33.

Ultimately though if the worst does happen and you don't get the grades you still have the ability to resit and attain the grades at a later point and get onto a top course.

Also the Open university is always an option which is cheaper and respected.
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bigbattygal
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(Original post by Luke7456)
In theory I agree completely with your view points but I do have some nit picks I mean for maths Manchester, Southampton and Cardiff are outside the top 20 but in the top 30 according to complete university guide.

I would still say these are courses worth going to. However these universities still have strong international reputations and are Russel group.

We still get Herriot Watt Sussex and Dundee in that area whom are not worth going to in my opinion.

Never ever listen to or pay attention to the Guardian league table Who put Bristol and Nottingham at 32 and 33.

Ultimately though if the worst does happen and you don't get the grades you still have the ability to resit and attain the grades at a later point and get onto a top course.

Also the Open university is always an option which is cheaper and respected.
Yeah i guess i really mean top 20/ good degree from a russell group.

Idk about open uni, its a bit meh
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howitoughttobe
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(Original post by returnmigrant)
Rankings are utter nonsense - just fake marketing. None of these daft league tables will ever tell you if its the right course for you, or if you will enjoy being at that Uni.

(And another thing folks - aside from a few self-obsessed Law firms and merchant banks, employers do not actually sift job applications based on which Uni you went to. Life is what you make it, it isnt determined by some imaginary bar-code stamped on your forehead.)
Yeah so this is a load of bs, employers most definitely do look at the uni you went to and this whole "a degree is a degree no matter where you get it from" myth does more damage than good tbh as people don't realise what a difference your choice of university makes and graduate with £40,000+ debt and are no better off than before they started. That doesn't mean you still can't do well if you go to a bad uni it just means you'll probably have to work a lot harder and may find you have to start from the bottom as you would've without the degree.
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Doones
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(Original post by howitoughttobe)
Yeah so this is a load of bs, employers most definitely do look at the uni you went to.
Are you a graduate with experience of job seeking?

Or even, as many of the posters are, currently employed in role that actively hires graduates?

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MMT0609
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Why do people with crap A Levels bother going to some second rate university. It should be like it was years ago where only the most gifted students went to university and get grants to do so. If you're getting lower than C grades at A Level you shouldn't be able to go to uni.
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PQ
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(Original post by MMT0609)
Why do people with crap A Levels bother going to some second rate university. It should be like it was years ago where only the most gifted students went to university and get grants to do so. If you're getting lower than C grades at A Level you shouldn't be able to go to uni.
How many years ago are you talking about? Because pre 2000 it was common for people with D grades to get into universities that wouldn't accept lower than an A today.
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MMT0609
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(Original post by PQ)
How many years ago are you talking about? Because pre 2000 it was common for people with D grades to get into universities that wouldn't accept lower than an A today.
Good point. This was Year 2000. If you got 3 A's you went to Oxford/Cambridge but that was almost unheard of. I wasn't as smart as that but got 3 B's and went to the University of Leeds. I know lots of people who got C's or below and went to 'less prestigious' universities. I can't get my head round why you can get into university with, say, 2 D's in A Levels, it seems to defeat the object.

On the theme of old A Level grades like mine, what do you think the modern day equivalent is of A's and B's in the early noughties??
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PQ
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(Original post by MMT0609)
Good point. This was Year 2000. If you got 3 A's you went to Oxford/Cambridge but that was almost unheard of. I wasn't as smart as that but got 3 B's and went to the University of Leeds. I know lots of people who got C's or below and went to 'less prestigious' universities. I can't get my head round why you can get into university with, say, 2 D's in A Levels, it seems to defeat the object.

On the theme of old A Level grades like mine, what do you think the modern day equivalent is of A's and B's in the early noughties??
I know people who got into Russell group universities in the late 90s with EEE.

As for the equivalent of As and Bs in current A levels? As and Bs.
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MMT0609
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As for the equivalent of As and Bs in current A levels? As and Bs.[/QUOTE]

The entry requirements back then were BBC and are now AAB, something's not quite adding up. One grade easier at least.
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