Sciences Po Paris, KU Leuven, Durham or Warwick?

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NicolaBre
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Hello everyone, I'm Nicola, an Italian student of the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
I have been accepted by 4 universities for a postgraduate degree in International Relations (the titles of the course change but the field stays the same). KU Leuven, Sciences Po Paris, Durham University or Warwick?
Which one is most renowned by employers and has the best international reputation? Everyone here (French speaking Belgium) tells me Sciences Po Paris, but I am scared the stellar reputation is only in France, and as the degree is two years' long and Paris is expensive af, I'm afraid I'd have to eat plain bread everyday not to spend too much.
How much better is Sciences Po when compared to Durham/WW/Leuven? Is it actually? Is Sciences Po renowned in the UK?
Help me please!
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TCA2b
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What do you intend to use the degree for?
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NicolaBre
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(Original post by TCA2b)
What do you intend to use the degree for?
Hey!
Either trying to enter diplomatic service in Italy, European External Action Service (EU foreign affairs) or the UN, but I am more and more tempted by doing a PhD with every day that goes by. Haven't made my mind up yet, prefer to keep my options open
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artful_lounger
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Mm, Sciences Po is pretty well known within Europe generally (including in the UK). However all of them are - perhaps KU Leuven a little less outside of academia, but even still. As above though it depends somewhat on your plans for the degree; if you want to go into academia, "prestige" of the university is noting compared to that of your thesis supervisor(s) and the individual department(s) involved...

For going into e.g. business generally then, "prestige" is I suppose all that matters typically. They're all fine, as above KU Leuven may be a little less well known outside of Belgium in business (although very Euro-centric or international businesses may be more familiar with it anyway). The UK ones I imagine are reasonably well known/regarded, and Sciences Po will be known. In France itself for business I would imagine HEC/X/Ulm are probably the biggest names but Sciences Po isn't too far behind as I understand?

As for working in politics and international relations then...I can't really say unfortunately, as I'm not really that familiar with the area. My impression is this often necessitates getting a PhD anyway so, the academia recommendations above may be relevant?
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TCA2b
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(Original post by NicolaBre)
Hey!
Either trying to enter diplomatic service in Italy, European External Action Service (EU foreign affairs) or the UN, but I am more and more tempted by doing a PhD with every day that goes by. Haven't made my mind up yet, prefer to keep my options open
If you're thinking of EU bureaucracy, or the UN, Sciences Po is then very well known. You can get an idea of a university's renown from global rankings, of which there's several. Again for academia, the university is well known. You can also get an idea based on its alumni.
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jam277.5
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Sciences Po is a wonderful prestigious uni to study at and more known than any of the other places across the planet. Warwick is the next best out those lot but I think your experience would be best matched by Sciences Po for anything politics related, as well as generally for rep

EDIT: Wasn't looking at the ranks but going of research and other opinions, but QS rankings confirm my initial : https://www.topuniversities.com/univ.../2018/politics I'd question it being better than some of them best it's at the very least top 15.
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NicolaBre
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Mm, Sciences Po is pretty well known within Europe generally (including in the UK). However all of them are - perhaps KU Leuven a little less outside of academia, but even still. As above though it depends somewhat on your plans for the degree; if you want to go into academia, "prestige" of the university is noting compared to that of your thesis supervisor(s) and the individual department(s) involved...

For going into e.g. business generally then, "prestige" is I suppose all that matters typically. They're all fine, as above KU Leuven may be a little less well known outside of Belgium in business (although very Euro-centric or international businesses may be more familiar with it anyway). The UK ones I imagine are reasonably well known/regarded, and Sciences Po will be known. In France itself for business I would imagine HEC/X/Ulm are probably the biggest names but Sciences Po isn't too far behind as I understand?

As for working in politics and international relations then...I can't really say unfortunately, as I'm not really that familiar with the area. My impression is this often necessitates getting a PhD anyway so, the academia recommendations above may be relevant?
As TCA2b put it well, I am fairly sure that for those aiming for a public, strictly international institution, Sciences Po is pretty well known.
Though by looking at global rankings, Sciences Po is basically non-existent (it only scores highly, top 20 in the world, in department-specific rankings): around 300th last time I checked. The other three are consistently top-100 universities on every list. Also, the prestige of getting an English degree is highly sought after in Europe, so I was scared that Durham/WW might, bizarrely enough have the same weight in my CV as Sciences Po. And considering they offer one-year masters, the English govt loan they'd cost a whole lot less. In Belgium tuition is 900E, so Leuven blows it out of the water in that regard.
Though if as you say for academia, the strength of the department is what matters, I should not hesitate in going in Sciences Po's PSIA.
But it reassures me to hear Sciences Po actually has a name in the UK, as only a few Italians of my entourage know it, while here in the French speaking world it is heralded as the non plus ultra
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by NicolaBre)
As TCA2b put it well, I am fairly sure that for a public, strictly international institution, Sciences Po is pretty well known.
Though by looking at rankings, Sciences Po is basically non-existent (it only scores highly, top 20 in the world, in department-specific rankings): around 300th last time I checked. The other three are consistently top-100 universities on every list. Also, the prestige of getting an English degree is highly sought after in Europe, so I was scared that Durham/WW might, bizarrely enough have the same weight in my CV as Sciences Po. And considering they offer one-year masters, the English govt loan they'd cost a whole lot less. In Belgium tuition is 900E, so Leuven blows it out of the water in that regard.
Though if as you say for academia, the strength of the department is what matters, I should not hesitate in going in Sciences Po's PSIA.
But it reassures me to hear Sciences Po actually has a name in the UK, as only a few Italians of my entourage know it, while here in the French speaking world it is heralded as the non plus ultra
You've sort of missed my point about the department strength - this is very specific to the individual research project. It may well be the department, or even just one supervisor, at KU Leuven is in fact the first and last word on the topic and could be far and away the best option to try and do your masters thesis with them (and then a PhD, there or elsewhere).

Otherwise, rankings are kind of meaningless, especially international ones...I've seen Penn State rated above École Polytechnique (the former being primarily known in the US as a "party" school/sports school with degrees that are worth slightly more than a piece of paper) in even the Times/QSS (whatever they're now called post split). As an extremely general reference it can be helpful but honestly once you get to the international stage, I don't think they're that useful.

That said, I am not personally that familiar with the state of business recruiting in Europe broadly - for example any particular interest or preference for degrees from the UK. So do take this with a grain of salt...

Ultimately though, if you are barely going to be able support yourself at Sciences Po then this will undoubtedly affect your academics. It may be more prudent to choose another course you can excel in (thrive, rather than survive, so to speak) than one you will be constantly be worrying about money and food.
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NicolaBre
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You've sort of missed my point about the department strength - this is very specific to the individual research project. It may well be the department, or even just one supervisor, at KU Leuven is in fact the first and last word on the topic and could be far and away the best option to try and do your masters thesis with them (and then a PhD, there or elsewhere).

Otherwise, rankings are kind of meaningless, especially international ones...I've seen Penn State rated above École Polytechnique (the former being primarily known in the US as a "party" school/sports school with degrees that are worth slightly more than a piece of paper) in even the Times/QSS (whatever they're now called post split). As an extremely general reference it can be helpful but honestly once you get to the international stage, I don't think they're that useful.

That said, I am not personally that familiar with the state of business recruiting in Europe broadly - for example any particular interest or preference for degrees from the UK. So do take this with a grain of salt...

Ultimately though, if you are barely going to be able support yourself at Sciences Po then this will undoubtedly affect your academics. It may be more prudent to choose another course you can excel in (thrive, rather than survive, so to speak) than one you will be constantly be worrying about money and food.
Makes sense, the individual research part is clearer now.
And concerning rankings: teachers and employers I have talked to here in Europe don't seem to care about it that much. They go off of perceived reputation, rather than googling "xx university ranking". Was under the impression that rankings did matter a lot in the UK. Happy to see they are general guidelines more than a determining factor.
Thanks for the help!
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A Rolling Stone
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definitely Sciences Po. even though i don't know how to pronounce it
(Original post by NicolaBre)
Hello everyone, I'm Nicola, an Italian student of the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
I have been accepted by 4 universities for a postgraduate degree in International Relations (the titles of the course change but the field stays the same). KU Leuven, Sciences Po Paris, Durham University or Warwick?
Which one is most renowned by employers and has the best international reputation? Everyone here (French speaking Belgium) tells me Sciences Po Paris, but I am scared the stellar reputation is only in France, and as the degree is two years' long and Paris is expensive af, I'm afraid I'd have to eat plain bread everyday not to spend too much.
How much better is Sciences Po when compared to Durham/WW/Leuven? Is it actually? Is Sciences Po renowned in the UK?
Help me please!
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