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What's so good about a Russell Group university? watch

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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    Me too, but it isn't the 'RG' moniker that will open up those doors - it's the opportunities offered by that particular university. In some cases, the opportunities and contacts you will acquire by studying a particular course at at a top non-RG like St. Andrew's or Bath may be better than those offered at a lowly RG like QUB.
    That's very true, it's all quite frustrating when you think about it. why can't all unis offer equal opportunities.
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    The simple way I look at it is that RG Unis=More research focused and Non-RG=More student focused. Idk if I got the wrong perception about this but...meh.
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    Greater reputation and graduate prospects
    Widely recognized globally

    But there are some non-RG universities that are even better than some RG members. For instance St.Andrews Bath are relatively on par with Durham Bristol and relatively better than Liverpool or Newcastle
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    (Original post by sparkledust123)
    That's very true, it's all quite frustrating when you think about it. why can't all unis offer equal opportunities.
    Because hiring is done by humans who bring all their prejudices into the job with them. Some people won't care much about the uni you went to, but might be very fussy about degree subject. Some people might not touch anyone with less than a 2.1. Some people will absolutely want to see some form of paid work experience, while others might be willing to accept voluntary experience.

    Not every hiring process will care which uni you went to, but some will know which unis are respected in their field, some will have potentially out of date ideas about prestige, some might be interested in current league table position, and some will definitely use Russel Group as shorthand for good.

    It does vary between fields, but if you work in a culture where people care about the uni you went to, you may get the idea that you only want to employ applicants with a certain uni on their CV.

    Equally, some people may feel biased towards the uni they went to, and some unis may offer better opportunities for networking than others.

    However, most employers will care more about the rest of your CV than the uni you went to- so building your CV with relevant work experience is probably the most important thing you can do to make yourself as employable as possible.

    But some employers will always have weird biases about stuff like uni prestige.
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    (Original post by Traore)
    No idea..
    - Usually more challenging course
    - Better research -> influences the course syllabus in latter years, more cutting edge topics to cover
    - Better students (higher entry requirements in general)
    - Top employer links (e.g. just this weekend gone by, I was picked out by a quant hedge fund at a hackathon they sponsored on campus)
    - Better societies on average (more motivated students)
    - "prestige"

    Cons:
    - Very independent.. basically you're on your own for sorting out your work. Support is basically up to you to go and get, no one's gonna really notice if you're struggling
    - Not always a friendly environment, can feel like just another student sometimes
    - Relationships with lecturers may not be strong
    - If you're not used to it; lots of rich kids. can be cliquey sometimes

    Pros can be applied to good non-RGs like St As and Bath too, and maybe to a lesser extent for some of the lower level RGs.


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    (Original post by sparkledust123)
    In all honesty Rusell group universities tend to have higher employability prospects than non RG unis. That's Facts. Other than that nothing really.
    Statistically it's a face but it's also misleading. If you go to a RG, you are more likely to get a job and a better paying one at that. But do you not think that's because RG students are on average stronger students in the first place? To get into a RG in the first place requires a higher standard of achievement at GCSE and A Level. RG students tend to get better, higher paying jobs (or jobs at all) because they are in fact better students to begin with on average. If you took a top achieving student at college level and could place them in both a RG and non-RG simultaneously, you'd see a far smaller divide compared to the average RG student and the average non-RG student.

    When your average intake is higher to begin with, it's no surprise that a RG is more likely to yield more job prospects. It's like a RG is a bag filled with 99 pieces of gold and 1 pebble, while a non-RG is filled with 50 pieces of gold and 50 pebbles. Your odds of getting gold from the RG bag is much higher because you have more gold in the first place.
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    You get to be snobby towards those from former polytechs

    Jk

    Some employers tend to prefer graduates from Russel groups, I remember a teacher saying they didn't select some applicants due to their university not being high in the rankings.
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    (Original post by ScottishBrexitor)
    You get to be snobby towards those from former polytechs

    Jk

    Some employers tend to prefer graduates from Russel groups, I remember a teacher saying they didn't select some applicants due to their university not being high in the rankings.
    There was another thread about the RG on here recently, and using one of the largest recruitment website there was only something like 0.07% (rounding up) of jobs requested RG degrees. Any many of those jobs were actually just posts from recruiters who could "sell" the RG thing to employers.

    As someone who went to a RG and non-RG uni, anecdotally I found the non-RG uni to be much better in pretty much most departments. That said the RG uni I went to was QUB, which isn't widely regarded as a top university (despite being in the RG).
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    (Original post by jestersnow)
    There was another thread about the RG on here recently, and using one of the largest recruitment website there was only something like 0.07% (rounding up) of jobs requested RG degrees. Any many of those jobs were actually just posts from recruiters who could "sell" the RG thing to employers.

    As someone who went to a RG and non-RG uni, anecdotally I found the non-RG uni to be much better in pretty much most departments. That said the RG uni I went to was QUB, which isn't widely regarded as a top university (despite being in the RG).
    Most top employers for entry level positions will not explicitly say RG.. If they were to say anything, they would say "top tier university" or "excellent academic background" but most don't say anything just so they can pump up application numbers.

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Most top employers for entry level positions will not explicitly say RG.. If they were to say anything, they would say "top tier university" or "excellent academic background" but most don't say anything just so they can pump up application numbers.

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    You could be right, and it depends on what you study. As you know in CS/Tech it's more about what you can do and your demonstrable experience rather than whether you explicitly went to XYZ (though there are exceptions). I also understand that for some degrees (e.g. Law) where you studied does matter a bit more.
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    All the fuss about better unis having the better prospects...

    I went to a non-RG uni ranked 70th and still got myself a placement year on a competitive programme in a large international firm.

    I'd say it's more about what you make of your university experience which matters.
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    Went to Hertfordshire university for my first year undergraduate then transferred to Manchester University for second year. Honestly, the teaching quality and assessments were crazy similar. Obvs, older universities with the Russel Group label have been around longer thus have had more research than the newer universities which is why they are deemed more prestigious.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    Statistically it's a face but it's also misleading. If you go to a RG, you are more likely to get a job and a better paying one at that. But do you not think that's because RG students are on average stronger students in the first place?
    This is a very good point. However, employers don't really have a quick and easy way to sort applicants based on their actual ability. They could go back to A level results but many would not bother given they are several years old. So it makes sense for them to favour RG graduates as they are more likely to be cleverer.

    Therefore you run a big risk in going to a lower-ranked university when you could do better. You might still be brilliant but you won't have a badge that proves it.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    This is a very good point. However, employers don't really have a quick and easy way to sort applicants based on their actual ability. They could go back to A level results but many would not bother given they are several years old. So it makes sense for them to favour RG graduates as they are more likely to be cleverer.

    Therefore you run a big risk in going to a lower-ranked university when you could do better. You might still be brilliant but you won't have a badge that proves it.
    Again this depends on the subject. Some amazing engineers and computer science professionals get great jobs despite not going to big uni's because what they can do or what they have made is so impressive that it's more important than their degree. I totally get that doesn't go for all degrees though.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    This is a very good point. However, employers don't really have a quick and easy way to sort applicants based on their actual ability. They could go back to A level results but many would not bother given they are several years old. So it makes sense for them to favour RG graduates as they are more likely to be cleverer.

    Therefore you run a big risk in going to a lower-ranked university when you could do better. You might still be brilliant but you won't have a badge that proves it.
    That's kind of the point I was making. Employers will favour RG graduates because they're probably going to be stronger students. Part of that reason is the higher entry requirements to get in to begin with. Although in some respects it also depends on what that university offers to you. There are plenty of non-RG universities with direct links to industries, there are plenty of non-RG unis that are well known for what they offer. In some ways, this should matter more. RG only describes the university as a whole, if for example you came from a well respected department in a non-RG uni, that could hold weight. And of course what a student does in their own time matters; the RG student with no experience and a poor CV may still lose out to the non-RG student with a detailed portfolio, CV or work history. And of course, there are lots of other things to consider, no point going to a RG that you hate as a poor frame of mind will hurt your degree.

    I don't want to get into the RG vs non-RG discussion in detail as it's like beating a dead horse. But students who are capable of going to RG and doing well are most likely going to succeed because they're willing to put the work in. Losing out on the RG badge of honour might hurt but it's one of many factors that are considered. Of course I'm only speaking from experience here and it's going to differ for everyone. Which is largely why these discussions tend to fall down. Absolutely nobody is in a position to say one way or the other because nobody is simultaneously in both RG and non-RG positions at the same time.

    I guess at a more fundamentally basic level, if you have the option to go to an RG then you don't have much to worry about, whether you actually go or not. There's really no point worrying about what could have been, no matter what you choose. Life goes on
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    Yeah, I think we agree.

    (Original post by Acsel)
    students who are capable of going to RG and doing well are most likely going to succeed because they're willing to put the work in.
    I don't think it's hard work that makes the difference. I think it's your general intelligence.

    Absolutely nobody is in a position to say one way or the other because nobody is simultaneously in both RG and non-RG positions at the same time.
    I'm kind of close - undergrad at Oxbridge, postgrad at RGs, now teach at ex-poly!

    I guess at a more fundamentally basic level, if you have the option to go to an RG then you don't have much to worry about, whether you actually go or not. There's really no point worrying about what could have been, no matter what you choose. Life goes on
    But the one thing that is really important is people choosing their applications. My advice is don't go for a easier university because you think it won't make a difference once you graduate. You may well be hamstringing yourself and failing to show employers your true potential.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Yeah, I think we agree.
    Yeah I realised after I wrote it that it made it seem as though I was in disagreement, rather than just giving my perspective on your points


    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    I don't think it's hard work that makes the difference. I think it's your general intelligence.
    By putting the work in, I meant more along the lines of putting work in outside classes, working on your own projects and just generally not relying on what you learn at uni to fill out a CV. But the whole notion of "hard work" isn't something I agree with in general. It's more important to work smarter, not harder.

    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    I'm kind of close - undergrad at Oxbridge, postgrad at RGs, now teach at ex-poly!
    Nice one. I've heard some people in similar positions, e.g. undergrad at RG and postgrad at non-RG (or vice versa), etc. That's about as close as you'd get. But you'll never find a large sample size of people who can truly compare the same degree at an RG and non-RG. Even those students who switch unis (of which there aren't many to begin with) are going into the switch with different information.

    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    But the one thing that is really important is people choosing their applications. My advice is don't go for a easier university because you think it won't make a difference once you graduate. You may well be hamstringing yourself and failing to show employers your true potential.
    Agreed. Equally I say don't go for an RG purely because it's an RG. Pick a university that is a good fit for you so that you enjoy your course, can do well and generally enjoy your time at uni (education alongside living there). I see plenty of people who do well at A Level and get pressured into choosing a RG without really getting their own say in the matter.
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    (Original post by Traore)
    No idea..
    They are good, they carry out evidence based research and are highly respected
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    - Usually more challenging course
    - Better research -> influences the course syllabus in latter years, more cutting edge topics to cover
    - Better students (higher entry requirements in general)
    - Top employer links (e.g. just this weekend gone by, I was picked out by a quant hedge fund at a hackathon they sponsored on campus)
    - Better societies on average (more motivated students)
    - "prestige"
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    Sorry to be off topic Princepieman, how much programming experience did you have coming into uni to participate at a hackathon? Or could I learn starting September and be ready for one?
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    And better research. And higher admissions standards. And higher starting and early career salaries.

    However, this is a classic cause of cause and effect being mixed up by people.

    As a preliminary point, do note that the RG encompasses a stupidly wide range of universities. So we're not talking about a homogeneous mass.

    More importantly, the RG unis that are considered to be 'leading' in the UK or in the world aren't good because they are in the RG. They're good because they're good, and they set up/joined/were invited to the RG as a consequence of this. Having the 'RG' sticker doesn't suddenly boost your REF GPA by .10, or increase starting salaries by a couple of £k a year.
    At the same time, however, there are plenty of Non-Russell Group universities who have similar entry standards and employability rates. Look at somewhere such as Royal Holloway: not a part of the Russell Group by virtue of its smaller size, but has very good employability rates and the research it conducts is at a very high level of quality. It is part of the University of London and was a member of the 1994 group when it existed.

    Russell Group Universities are only so because they selected themselves to be. Going to one is certainly something to be proud of and is sought after by graduate recruiters; however, it certainly isn't the be all and end all.
 
 
 
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