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Lancaster isn't a well-respected University? watch

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    Hey

    I have just got an offer from Lancaster University for History. I was really happy, although it's not my first choice: I am also applying for Warwick, St Andrews, York and Durham (where I really want to go). However, my parents were adamantly against me even considering going there, actually laughing when I told them I was very pleased to get an offer. Apparently, they don't consider it to be a 'well-respected University', I think because it's not considered 'traditional'. My Mum didn't even think it was in the Russel Group, even though it's fifth in the League tables for my subject and in the top 10 overall (according to the Guardian).

    This got me thinking about the perceptions of Universities, especially amongst older people. For example, Edinburgh is thought to be a really well-respected University, yet is only 44th for my subject. I know League tables don't mean that much (many of the factors they take into consideration are subjective etc.) but they must surely count for something. Would it be better to go to Edinburgh than Lancaster, because it may have a better reputation amongst employers (?) although it's not nearly as high in the League table?

    Interested to know what you think!
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    (Original post by SophieRoe)
    Hey

    I have just got an offer from Lancaster University for History. I was really happy, although it's not my first choice: I am also applying for Warwick, St Andrews, York and Durham (where I really want to go). However, my parents were adamantly against me even considering going there, actually laughing when I told them I was very pleased to get an offer. Apparently, they don't consider it to be a 'well-respected University', I think because it's not considered 'traditional'. My Mum didn't even think it was in the Russel Group, even though it's fifth in the League tables for my subject and in the top 10 overall (according to the Guardian).

    This got me thinking about the perceptions of Universities, especially amongst older people. For example, Edinburgh is thought to be a really well-respected University, yet is only 44th for my subject. I know League tables don't mean that much (many of the factors they take into consideration are subjective etc.) but they must surely count for something. Would it be better to go to Edinburgh than Lancaster, because it may have a better reputation amongst employers (?) although it's not nearly as high in the League table?

    Interested to know what you think!
    Lancaster is a respectable university, but it's not a university that's going to impress anyone if you went to it. When you compare it against the other universities you're applying to, there's a big gap in perceived prestige. It also does not help Lancaster's reputation when it has the third highest offer rate in the country. Nevertheless, it's not a university to be ashamed of.

    Your mum's right though; Lancaster isn't in the RG but that shouldn't mean much to be honest. I would also advice against using league tables, especially The Guardian's, as the sole basis for how universities are perceived.
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    (Original post by SophieRoe)
    Hey

    I have just got an offer from Lancaster University for History. I was really happy, although it's not my first choice: I am also applying for Warwick, St Andrews, York and Durham (where I really want to go). However, my parents were adamantly against me even considering going there, actually laughing when I told them I was very pleased to get an offer. Apparently, they don't consider it to be a 'well-respected University', I think because it's not considered 'traditional'. My Mum didn't even think it was in the Russel Group, even though it's fifth in the League tables for my subject and in the top 10 overall (according to the Guardian).

    This got me thinking about the perceptions of Universities, especially amongst older people. For example, Edinburgh is thought to be a really well-respected University, yet is only 44th for my subject. I know League tables don't mean that much (many of the factors they take into consideration are subjective etc.) but they must surely count for something. Would it be better to go to Edinburgh than Lancaster, because it may have a better reputation amongst employers (?) although it's not nearly as high in the League table?

    Interested to know what you think!

    Considering most people will be in thousands of pounds worth of debt, I think it's important to be spending that amount of money on a good/excellent university - at least one that ranks top 10 consistently in the UK.
    Obviously, league tables aren't everything but I'll just note that for 2018, complete univerisity guide ranks it 9th whereas times higher education ranks it 23th and top universities ranks it joint 20th with York.
    From my experience, Lancaster isn't well regarded and I would not consider Lancaster as 'good'. From your list of where you applied, St Andrews and Durham are excellent.
    However, this is just my opinion and won't neccessarily reflect employers views. For many, getting a 1st or 2:1 is more important rather than place.

    In short, I would not suggest Lancaster as a good place to study due to league tables position and its general reputation. I hope you get an offer for Durham and St Andrews (if you haven't already).

    (P.S I do think it's a bit mean your parents laughed at you like that. It would've been better if they took a more serious approach.)
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    (Original post by SophieRoe)
    Hey

    I have just got an offer from Lancaster University for History. I was really happy, although it's not my first choice: I am also applying for Warwick, St Andrews, York and Durham (where I really want to go). However, my parents were adamantly against me even considering going there, actually laughing when I told them I was very pleased to get an offer. Apparently, they don't consider it to be a 'well-respected University', I think because it's not considered 'traditional'. My Mum didn't even think it was in the Russel Group, even though it's fifth in the League tables for my subject and in the top 10 overall (according to the Guardian).

    This got me thinking about the perceptions of Universities, especially amongst older people. For example, Edinburgh is thought to be a really well-respected University, yet is only 44th for my subject. I know League tables don't mean that much (many of the factors they take into consideration are subjective etc.) but they must surely count for something. Would it be better to go to Edinburgh than Lancaster, because it may have a better reputation amongst employers (?) although it's not nearly as high in the League table?

    Interested to know what you think!
    Ask your female parent what is traditional about Warwick or York?

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    (Original post by ughhhhhfam)
    Considering most people will be in thousands of pounds worth of debt, I think it's important to be spending that amount of money on a good/excellent university - at least one that ranks top 10 consistently in the UK.
    Obviously, league tables aren't everything but I'll just note that for 2018, complete univerisity guide ranks it 9th whereas times higher education ranks it 23th and top universities ranks it joint 20th with York.
    From my experience, Lancaster isn't well regarded and I would not consider Lancaster as 'good'. From your list of where you applied, St Andrews and Durham are excellent.
    However, this is just my opinion and won't neccessarily reflect employers views. For many, getting a 1st or 2:1 is more important rather than place.

    In short, I would not suggest Lancaster as a good place to study due to league tables position and its general reputation. I hope you get an offer for Durham and St Andrews (if you haven't already).

    (P.S I do think it's a bit mean your parents laughed at you like that. It would've been better if they took a more serious approach.)
    (Original post by Lucas_97)
    Lancaster is a respectable university, but it's not a university that's going to impress anyone if you went to it. When you compare it against the other universities you're applying to, there's a big gap in perceived prestige. It also does not help Lancaster's reputation when it has the third highest offer rate in the country. Nevertheless, it's not a university to be ashamed of.

    Your mum's right though; Lancaster isn't in the RG but that shouldn't mean much to be honest. I would also advice against using league tables, especially The Guardian's, as the sole basis for how universities are perceived.
    Thanks everyone for your comments, it's really helped to get an outside perspective

    My Mum doesn't consider Warwick to be a good or traditional University, and doesn't want me to go there at ALL. It's definitely going to be one of my firm or insurance choices if I get a place though (*fingers crossed*) because it has such an amazing course (I get to go to Venice for a term). She hasn't mentioned York, but I'm guessing she judges it to be better because it's an older University, with more historic buildings etc.

    I haven't got an offer for Durham or St. Andrews yet (I only sent my UCAS form off a week today), but both sound absolutely amazing, so I really hope I do. What are you all doing/have done for Uni?
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    Really depends on subject, I wouldn't consider Lancaster a top 10 university, but it does certainly have its strength and is all around a pretty strong university.

    I would still say the course is the most important thing. Look through Lancaster's history course yourself and decide whether it's better suited for you. Employers care a lot more about you than what university you went to, so you should go somewhere you'll be happy studying for three years - it'll be a lot easier to develop as a person that way.
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    (Original post by SophieRoe)
    Thanks everyone for your comments, it's really helped to get an outside perspective

    My Mum doesn't consider Warwick to be a good or traditional University, and doesn't want me to go there at ALL. It's definitely going to be one of my firm or insurance choices if I get a place though (*fingers crossed*) because it has such an amazing course (I get to go to Venice for a term). She hasn't mentioned York, but I'm guessing she judges it to be better because it's an older University, with more historic buildings etc.

    I haven't got an offer for Durham or St. Andrews yet (I only sent my UCAS form off a week today), but both sound absolutely amazing, so I really hope I do. What are you all doing/have done for Uni?
    That's ironic - Warwick is definitely better than York for History. Warwick is 6th, York 14th.
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    (Original post by LeapingLucy)
    That's ironic - Warwick is definitely better than York for History. Warwick is 6th, York 14th.
    I know right! That's what I keep telling her. But I'm just thinking if SHE thinks that, as an adult, maybe employers think that York is a better Uni than Warwick too? Therefore, York may be better for Employability etc. Would that be accurate?
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    (Original post by SophieRoe)
    I know right! That's what I keep telling her. But I'm just thinking if SHE thinks that, as an adult, maybe employers think that York is a better Uni than Warwick too? Therefore, York may be better for Employability etc. Would that be accurate?
    No. 100% not. Warwick is more respected for history, and harder to get into, hence better employability for the subject.

    It's probably just that Warwick has only been around since the 1970s so she's less familiar with it.
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    (Original post by LeapingLucy)
    No. 100% not. Warwick is more respected for history, and harder to get into, hence better employability for the subject.

    It's probably just that Warwick has only been around since the 1970s so she's less familiar with it.
    Just a small point of correction for you and the OP's mother... Warwick was founded in 1965, York was two years earlier.

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    All of those unis are perfectly good unis. Some are better than others and Lancaster is likely the weakest in terms of reputation for those, but it doesn't mean it's bad. It is ranked very highly for History and has an interesting degree structure so it could play to your advantage. Is your offer AAA or AAB? You should also think about the place that you would most enjoy going to.
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    Which is why the prestigious universities can pick and choose the students with the highest grades (three As minimum, or forget it, it seems), and the perceived not-so-good universities take everybody else. Employers should not favour graduates from the top unis, but that's the way of the world. Personally I'm focusing on working damned hard to get the grades, as this is a bit of a rat race. Or, if you've worked much harder for your grades, then you deserve your place? You've earned it and that's fair?
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    (Original post by SophieRoe)
    Hey

    I have just got an offer from Lancaster University for History. I was really happy, although it's not my first choice: I am also applying for Warwick, St Andrews, York and Durham (where I really want to go). However, my parents were adamantly against me even considering going there, actually laughing when I told them I was very pleased to get an offer. Apparently, they don't consider it to be a 'well-respected University', I think because it's not considered 'traditional'. My Mum didn't even think it was in the Russel Group, even though it's fifth in the League tables for my subject and in the top 10 overall (according to the Guardian).

    This got me thinking about the perceptions of Universities, especially amongst older people. For example, Edinburgh is thought to be a really well-respected University, yet is only 44th for my subject. I know League tables don't mean that much (many of the factors they take into consideration are subjective etc.) but they must surely count for something. Would it be better to go to Edinburgh than Lancaster, because it may have a better reputation amongst employers (?) although it's not nearly as high in the League table?

    Interested to know what you think!
    It's a weird one really.. Lancaster itself is a decent university with great strengths in research but I'd say the average calibre of students there and by extension, the level of employer attention (specifically top employers) lags greatly behind all the traditionally strong universities.

    Another point is when I was considering going there (went on a visit day two years ago) they seemed to really rely a lot on being "top 10". As in, everywhere you go there'd be signs boasting about their league table status. Which is funny because a real top 10 university wouldn't boast; they'd know they were a solid university without having to shout about it.

    Lancaster definitely has the potential to catch up but for now I wouldn't really say it's reputation is in sync with the rankings.

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    If I wrote my own list of 30 universities with a strong reputation in history. I am not convinced Lancaster would be on it.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    If I wrote my own list of 30 universities with a strong reputation in history. I am not convinced Lancaster would be on it.
    30 across the world or only in the UK?

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    (Original post by wolfmoon88)
    30 across the world or only in the UK?

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    In the UK. That wouldn't in any way be based on league tables or undergraduate experience or on the research assessment exercise but on reputation in history. It would have a considerable bias, which I recognise, to wards British, Imperial and European history because that it where my interests and knowledge lie.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    In the UK. That wouldn't in any way be based on league tables or undergraduate experience or on the research assessment exercise but on reputation in history. It would have a considerable bias, which I recognise, to wards British, Imperial and European history because that it where my interests and knowledge lie.
    That's fair! Definitely would be heavily biased though which you pointed out. How would reputation in history be tabulated? (Participation in world events? Participation in important discoveries? Etc...)

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    (Original post by wolfmoon88)
    That's fair! Definitely would be heavily biased though which you pointed out. How would reputation in history be tabulated? (Participation in world events? Participation in important discoveries? Etc...)

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    I think prominence either of the department or individual historians in areas of historical research.

    I can't pin down any area of research where I would say Lancaster is a leader in its field. I then looked at the list of researchers and research interests and I was none the wiser.
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    Lancaster is a good university, but if you have a chance of going to Edinburgh, it is better to go there if you care about prestige.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I think prominence either of the department or individual historians in areas of historical research.

    I can't pin down any area of research where I would say Lancaster is a leader in its field. I then looked at the list of researchers and research interests and I was none the wiser.
    Oh I thought you meant "reputation throughout history" for a second there, so measuring the university as a whole. :lol:

    Makes sense :yep: but are there 30 unis in the UK with specialist interests in certain historical fields?

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