Erroneous perceptions of UK unis Watch

username4851058
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#1
This is purely a question I am curious about. Please answer only if being serious.

Of the various UK unis, which do people think are perceived of as being better or worse, despite being actually being that?

Do people think unis in places like Birmingham and Nottingham are considered lower because of negative perceptions about their cities?

By contrast, would people agree that capital city universities (Edinburgh, the various Londons) benefit unduly?

I am a postgrad at Oxford in a fairly niche subject, so I know quite a few other postgrads at different unis. It seems to me that undergraduate perceptions of unis are invariably wrong when discussing postgrads.

Please no 16yr olds pontificating despite having no actual qualifications other than GCSEs.
0
reply
nulli tertius
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by username4851058)
This is purely a question I am curious about. Please answer only if being serious.

Of the various UK unis, which do people think are perceived of as being better or worse, despite being actually being that?

Do people think unis in places like Birmingham and Nottingham are considered lower because of negative perceptions about their cities?

By contrast, would people agree that capital city universities (Edinburgh, the various Londons) benefit unduly?

I am a postgrad at Oxford in a fairly niche subject, so I know quite a few other postgrads at different unis. It seems to me that undergraduate perceptions of unis are invariably wrong when discussing postgrads.

Please no 16yr olds pontificating despite having no actual qualifications other than GCSEs.
To start with “better” and “worse” are loaded terms. Different students (and their parents) are seeking different things from universities. You may be judging the quality of a university from your value set, which may be completely different from someone else’s value set.

To a lot of foreign students name recognition plays a significant part and if they cannot have university name recognition, they want place recognition.

Oxford is known as a place for study as well as an individual university. It is not known as a centre for aviation. Hence Brookes and all the schools and tutorial colleges bask in Oxford’s reputation as a place. No-one sending their 16 year old to Cherwell Tutors believes they are attending Oxford University but they rightly believe that prestige attaches to studying in Oxford. However Kidlington Airport is now called “London Oxford” which shows where Oxford stands in aviation prestige.
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
3
reply
BlueIndigoViolet
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by nulli tertius)
To start with “better” and “worse” are loaded terms. Different students (and their parents) are seeking different things from universities. You may be judging the quality of a university from your value set, which may be completely different from someone else’s value set.

To a lot of foreign students name recognition plays a significant part and if they cannot have university name recognition, they want place recognition.

Oxford is known as a place for study as well as an individual university. It is not known as a centre for aviation. Hence Brookes and all the schools and tutorial colleges bask in Oxford’s reputation as a place. No-one sending their 16 year old to Cherwell Tutors believes they are attending Oxford University but they rightly believe that prestige attaches to studying in Oxford. However Kidlington Airport is now called “London Oxford” which shows where Oxford stands in aviation prestige.
London Oxford?:rofl:


62 miles from London lol
1
reply
9876543211234
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 weeks ago
#4
I would say that universities in cities with bad reps tend to be considered poorly on TSR.

People go on about ranking unis on TSR, when they have very little experience of different unis.

The redbricks in Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield and Nottingham are all far better than TSR regulars seem to think. NB, I did not go to any of those unis (Oxford grad)

Bristol seems to avoid poor rep, though.
0
reply
A Rolling Stone
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 weeks ago
#5
Bristol is infact growing a notoriety, it's been in the news for the wrong reasons a lot lately. all the middle class people i know who went there spent the 3 years on drugs, which was barely heard of at my uni
(Original post by 9876543211234)
I would say that universities in cities with bad reps tend to be considered poorly on TSR.

People go on about ranking unis on TSR, when they have very little experience of different unis.

The redbricks in Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield and Nottingham are all far better than TSR regulars seem to think. NB, I did not go to any of those unis (Oxford grad)

Bristol seems to avoid poor rep, though.
0
reply
9876543211234
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 weeks ago
#6
I didn't realise it was getting that bad a rep.

I knew it was becoming considered more of an 'Oxbridge reject' uni like Durham and Exeter.
(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
Bristol is infact growing a notoriety, it's been in the news for the wrong reasons a lot lately. all the middle class people i know who went there spent the 3 years on drugs, which was barely heard of at my uni
0
reply
A Rolling Stone
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 weeks ago
#7
smart students go there, but very recently there have been a spate of suicides (which do happen at all unis), and i think i can see why this may be more of a phenomenon at Bristol rather than other unis like Bath tbh
(Original post by 9876543211234)
I didn't realise it was getting that bad a rep.

I knew it was becoming considered more of an 'Oxbridge reject' uni like Durham and Exeter.
0
reply
9876543211234
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 weeks ago
#8
I wasn't agreeing with the Oxford reject thing - I was just saying that I've heard it.

Why do you think Bristol in particular is having a spate of tragedies?
(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
smart students go there, but very recently there have been a spate of suicides (which do happen at all unis), and i think i can see why this may be more of a phenomenon at Bristol rather than other unis like Bath tbh
0
reply
A Rolling Stone
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#9
Report 2 weeks ago
#9
i would say it is one of the main Oxbridge unis along with the London ones, Durham, St Andrews (mine), Warwick and Bath. but then a lot of oxbridge rejects also like to go to places like Notts, Leeds and Manchester for the night life

just something weird about Bristol, that i think ties into the middle class druggie culture. i dunno exactly but it has been in the news a lot recently with a lot of students unhappy there
(Original post by 9876543211234)
I wasn't agreeing with the Oxford reject thing - I was just saying that I've heard it.

Why do you think Bristol in particular is having a spate of tragedies?
1
reply
JamesManc
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#10
Report 2 weeks ago
#10
I've been to Russell group and ex-polytechnic universities and the polytechnics were generally a more enjoyable experience and better teaching.
0
reply
MaskOfKeaton
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#11
Report 2 weeks ago
#11
People on here haven't got a clue. There's an erroneous negative perception towards the redbricks and there's also an erroneous positive perception towards universities like Bath, Warwick, Exeter (etc.). Although good universities, personally I never think of them as even being great universities like UCL or even KCL (for example). I'd include Durham in this category as well, being known mainly as a university for 'Oxbridge rejects' is not a sign of real prestige in my opinion, or even necessarily a good thing.
0
reply
Royal Oak
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 weeks ago
#12
(Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
People on here haven't got a clue. There's an erroneous negative perception towards the redbricks and there's also an erroneous positive perception towards universities like Bath, Warwick, Exeter (etc.). Although good universities, personally I never think of them as even being great universities like UCL or even KCL (for example). I'd include Durham in this category as well, being known mainly as a university for 'Oxbridge rejects' is not a sign of real prestige in my opinion, or even necessarily a good thing.
People on here haven't got a clue because most of the people handing out university 'advice' are still in sixth-form.
6
reply
MaskOfKeaton
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 weeks ago
#13
(Original post by username4851058)

Do people think unis in places like Birmingham and Nottingham are considered lower because of negative perceptions about their cities?

By contrast, would people agree that capital city universities (Edinburgh, the various Londons) benefit unduly?
Presumably universities like Birmingham and Manchester also benefit on the back of being in huge cities which everyone has heard of, I would've thought? I always thought they had a similar prestige to Edinburgh. Apparently not, according to this place.
0
reply
9876543211234
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 weeks ago
#14
I agree that internationally Birmingham, Manchester, etc. benefit from name recognition, but in the UK itself, there is a general stereotype of ugly, criminal, poor, etc.

TSR is a microcosm of such perceptions - 17yr olds without degrees deciding that certain universities are unworthy of them, despite not having gotten into any
(Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
Presumably universities like Birmingham and Manchester also benefit on the back of being in huge cities which everyone has heard of, I would've thought? I always thought they had a similar prestige to Edinburgh. Apparently not, according to this place.
0
reply
MaskOfKeaton
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 weeks ago
#15
(Original post by 9876543211234)
I agree that internationally Birmingham, Manchester, etc. benefit from name recognition, but in the UK itself, there is a general stereotype of ugly, criminal, poor, etc.

TSR is a microcosm of such perceptions - 17yr olds without degrees deciding that certain universities are unworthy of them, despite not having gotten into any
Yep, and having an international name is beneficial inside the UK as well as internationally (correct me if I'm wrong but I think 'international' means 'including the UK'). You would have to an be incredibly narrow-minded and petty to think the quality of a university is somehow worse because of really trivial perceptions associated with the city (which is a lot of people on here). You could apply those stereotypes to any city if you wanted to. The irony is that these universities in huge cities tend to be much better financed, much more notorious for research, tend to have more global recognition (etc.) which is a bigger asset than anything else. In the real world they are big names.
0
reply
9876543211234
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 weeks ago
#16
In higher education, 'international' means non-UK - e.g. international students.

You also need to consider whether students are going to work abroad, in which case they will benefit from the international reputation, or if they plan to work within the UK, in which case they might (that is, not definitely) suffer from negative rep of the city. The fact that they have big research budgets, etc. does not necessarily mean the general population or employers know that. For example, many employers assume that certain universities are in the Russell Group (e.g. St Andrews), and that others (such as Sheffield) are not.

You seem to be implying that I agree with such stereotypes. I don't. There really is no need to swear - I have therefore reported your post, as children use this forum. Either bleeping swear words does not set a good example.


(Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
Yep, and having an international name is beneficial inside the UK as well as internationally (correct me if I'm wrong but I think 'international' means 'including the UK'). You would have to an be incredibly narrow-minded petty little **** to think the quality of a university is somehow worse because of really trivial perceptions associated with the city (which is a lot of people on here). You could apply those stereotypes to any city if you wanted to. The irony is that these universities in huge cities tend to be much better financed, much more notorious for research, tend to have more global recognition (etc.) which is a bigger asset than anything else. In the real world they are big names.
0
reply
MaskOfKeaton
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 weeks ago
#17
(Original post by 9876543211234)
In higher education, 'international' means non-UK - e.g. international students.

You also need to consider whether students are going to work abroad, in which case they will benefit from the international reputation, or if they plan to work within the UK, in which case they might (that is, not definitely) suffer from negative rep of the city. The fact that they have big research budgets, etc. does not necessarily mean the general population or employers know that. For example, many employers assume that certain universities are in the Russell Group (e.g. St Andrews), and that others (such as Sheffield) are not.

You seem to be implying that I agree with such stereotypes. I don't. There really is no need to swear - I have therefore reported your post, as children use this forum. Either bleeping swear words does not set a good example.
Does it? Is the UK not part of this international outlook as well?

If anything I would have thought employers are more likely to be aware of what is in the Russell Group compared to the general population, although anyone with half a brain would probably guess the big, central cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh etc. have universities which are part of this (Sheffield isn't necessarily one of those cities but I'm sure most decent employers are probably aware it's in the Russell Group).

I was not implying that you agree with such stereotypes, I was using plural 'you' and agreeing with you about the negative attitude a lot of people here display towards the unversities you originally pointed out. Btw I didn't swear - I typed the four stars myself; I was thinking of the word 'snot' instead of a swear word, but I thought I'd type four stars instead just to indicate rather than be explicit, which ironically gets reported (although I received no notification of this). I think it's a bit of a stretch to call that report-worthy but whatever.
Last edited by MaskOfKeaton; 2 weeks ago
0
reply
9876543211234
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#18
Report 2 weeks ago
#18
Higher ed engages in international research, outlook, etc. (for example international research networks include the UK), but when we refer to 'international' things, by and large academics mean non-domestic (i.e. non-UK). For example, tuition fees are divided into Home/EU fees and International fees. Students are likewise Home/EU or International. Lots of universities have 'International Academies' where over the summer before starting a course, international students can get adjusted to UK higher ed and make sure they have an appropriate level of English for study (i.e. not only can they write essays in English, but are they able and comfortable enough to engage in discussions in seminars, effectively communicate with lecturers, etc.).

I have about four friends who are now working in recruitment in a variety of sectors, and I have met their colleagues through them. I was at the wedding of one of my friends recently, and was having a chat to several HR types about unis, and very few of them knew the actual composition of the RG. They knew Birmingham and Bristol, because they are the oldest two, and Edinburgh and UCL, but after that they didn't know about it. They assumed that most of hte Univeristy of London was in it, Manchester and Sheffield 'simply could not be', and Durham 'must be'.

Like you, I assumed that employers would, even if they couldn't list of the RG unis (I can't), have a fairly accurate mental list of which ones were in and which were RG-equivalent (like St andrews and durham), followed by almost-RG unis, like Swansea. Instead, they seemed to have very strange ideas, as the original poster of this thread seems to allude to. It reminded me somewhat of the 16yr olds on TSR making endless lists of uni rankings despite having relatively little info to back their assertions up. Obviously, this is anecdotal, but despite the fact that talking about this subject was obviously a favourite conversation for these HR types, from their reactions I was clearly the first person who they'd met who actually knew even a little about the RG.

With regards to the report, I tend to find TSR very easily becomes quite a bitter place. 1st: Helpful advice, 2nd: Swearing, 3rd: Threads being taken over by people engaging in personal insults. You (the plural 'you') probably wouldn't swear in front a random sixteen year old, so you (again, plural) should police your language online in a space for young people.
(Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
Does it? Is the UK not part of this international outlook as well?

If anything I would have thought employers are more likely to be aware of what is in the Russell Group compared to the general population, although anyone with half a brain would probably guess the big, central cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh etc. have universities which are part of this (Sheffield isn't necessarily one of those cities but I'm sure most decent employers are probably aware it's in the Russell Group).

I was not implying that you agree with such stereotypes, I was using plural 'you' and agreeing with you about the negative attitude a lot of people here display towards the unversities you originally pointed out. Btw I didn't swear - I typed the four stars myself; I was thinking of the word 'snot' instead of a swear word, but I thought I'd type four stars instead just to indicate rather than be explicit, which ironically gets reported (although I received no notification of this). I think it's a bit of a stretch to call that report-worthy but whatever.
0
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#19
Report 2 weeks ago
#19
(Original post by 9876543211234)
Higher ed engages in international research, outlook, etc. (for example international research networks include the UK), but when we refer to 'international' things, by and large academics mean non-domestic (i.e. non-UK). For example, tuition fees are divided into Home/EU fees and International fees. Students are likewise Home/EU or International. Lots of universities have 'International Academies' where over the summer before starting a course, international students can get adjusted to UK higher ed and make sure they have an appropriate level of English for study (i.e. not only can they write essays in English, but are they able and comfortable enough to engage in discussions in seminars, effectively communicate with lecturers, etc.).

I have about four friends who are now working in recruitment in a variety of sectors, and I have met their colleagues through them. I was at the wedding of one of my friends recently, and was having a chat to several HR types about unis, and very few of them knew the actual composition of the RG. They knew Birmingham and Bristol, because they are the oldest two, and Edinburgh and UCL, but after that they didn't know about it. They assumed that most of hte Univeristy of London was in it, Manchester and Sheffield 'simply could not be', and Durham 'must be'.

Like you, I assumed that employers would, even if they couldn't list of the RG unis (I can't), have a fairly accurate mental list of which ones were in and which were RG-equivalent (like St andrews and durham), followed by almost-RG unis, like Swansea. Instead, they seemed to have very strange ideas, as the original poster of this thread seems to allude to. It reminded me somewhat of the 16yr olds on TSR making endless lists of uni rankings despite having relatively little info to back their assertions up. Obviously, this is anecdotal, but despite the fact that talking about this subject was obviously a favourite conversation for these HR types, from their reactions I was clearly the first person who they'd met who actually knew even a little about the RG.

With regards to the report, I tend to find TSR very easily becomes quite a bitter place. 1st: Helpful advice, 2nd: Swearing, 3rd: Threads being taken over by people engaging in personal insults. You (the plural 'you') probably wouldn't swear in front a random sixteen year old, so you (again, plural) should police your language online in a space for young people.
Durham is RG.
1
reply
9876543211234
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#20
Report 2 weeks ago
#20
As of 2012 - I appear to be 7 years out of date! Strange - I knew QMUL and York had joined. I stand corrected. Thanks!

(Original post by Notoriety)
Durham is RG.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you tempted to change your firm university choice on A-level results day?

Yes, I'll try and go to a uni higher up the league tables (160)
17.66%
Yes, there is a uni that I prefer and I'll fit in better (78)
8.61%
No I am happy with my course choice (540)
59.6%
I'm using Clearing when I have my exam results (128)
14.13%

Watched Threads

View All