How prestigious is St. Andrews university ?

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IsmailB
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Good morning everyone!

I'm an international high school student from France, and I got offers to study Mathematics at King's, Warwick, UCL, LSE and St. Andrews. As you can imagine, I'm not sure about which one is THE most prestigious as all I heard about in France was Oxbridge.

St Andrews' student experience is by far the one that I like the most but I heard that refusing an offer from LSE would be stupid, as they offered me a place in their Mathematics with Economics degree.

What do you all think ?
I would really appreciate your help !
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Oxford Mum
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Getting into lse for economics is very hard indeed and Warwick is also very prestigious for maths. What do you want to study more, maths or economics?
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IsmailB
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Well, to be honest with you, I’m way more interested by maths. However, I’m sure that studying economics could be a nice experience too.
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absolutelysprout
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you're not picking the uni based on which one you like the most??:confused: they're all good unis.
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IsmailB
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(Original post by entertainmyfaith)
you're not picking the uni based on which one you like the most??:confused: they're all good unis.
Yeah, I guess you’re right. Thank you for your answer !

The thing is, my A-level results (well, the french equivalent) are far above what all of those unis expect me to get. I have the feeling that I could’ve aimed higher, hence my consideration for prestige.

Knowing this, do you think St. Andrews is still as good as LSE, UCL or Warwick ?
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Okorange
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It really depends on what experience you want. St Andrews is in the countryside, far away from the hustle and bustle of London. I'd imagine the kind of friends you make and the experience you have could be drastically different between LSE/UCL and St A/Warwick.

If you are the ambitious type, career oriented, want to make a good income and make it big in your career, I would definitely be picking LSE/UCL/Warwick over St. A. Those schools have more keeners and more of an atmosphere and opportunities to help motivate you and give you opportunities to succeed in that way. Being in London will be huge, the amount of competition and drive in that city will give you opportunities, at the same time you will lose out on a bit of the idyllic life.

If you are looking for a school that is more well rounded, maybe a bit less competitive, might help you grow as a person, or you aren't sure exactly what you want to do in life yet and don't want to be pigeon holed or you aren't necessarily interested in being on the right track to a top finance job, you probably would like St Andrews. Its in a small town locked away on the east coast of Fife. You'll be focused more on learning, making friends and having fun. You can be career focused but you won't feel the pressure or the competition like you might elsewhere.

If you are sort of in between or you are ambitious, career oriented but don't like the idea of living in London for undergrad Warwick might be the best compromise.

That's the way I see it, but I haven't been to those other schools. I really think as a "whole" these schools are in the same league, but in finance/econ I would wager that LSE has a bit more international rep than the others. In the end, does it matter? Probably not, but if you are gungho on finance, I could see that a school like LSE/UCL/Warwick might give you a bit of a leg up over others.
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IsmailB
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(Original post by Okorange)
It really depends on what experience you want. St Andrews is in the countryside, far away from the hustle and bustle of London. I'd imagine the kind of friends you make and the experience you have could be drastically different between LSE/UCL and St A/Warwick.

If you are the ambitious type, career oriented, want to make a good income and make it big in your career, I would definitely be picking LSE/UCL/Warwick over St. A. Those schools have more keeners and more of an atmosphere and opportunities to help motivate you and give you opportunities to succeed in that way. Being in London will be huge, the amount of competition and drive in that city will give you opportunities, at the same time you will lose out on a bit of the idyllic life.

If you are looking for a school that is more well rounded, maybe a bit less competitive, might help you grow as a person, or you aren't sure exactly what you want to do in life yet and don't want to be pigeon holed or you aren't necessarily interested in being on the right track to a top finance job, you probably would like St Andrews. Its in a small town locked away on the east coast of Fife. You'll be focused more on learning, making friends and having fun. You can be career focused but you won't feel the pressure or the competition like you might elsewhere.

If you are sort of in between or you are ambitious, career oriented but don't like the idea of living in London for undergrad Warwick might be the best compromise.

That's the way I see it, but I haven't been to those other schools. I really think as a "whole" these schools are in the same league, but in finance/econ I would wager that LSE has a bit more international rep than the others. In the end, does it matter? Probably not, but if you are gungho on finance, I could see that a school like LSE/UCL/Warwick might give you a bit of a leg up over others.
Thank you so much for your answer ! Everything’s a bit clearer now. I guess I’ll have to think some more before making my decision.
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If your grades were really high and prestige is important to you why not take a gap year and apply to Oxbridge?
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_gcx
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(Original post by IsmailB)
Good morning everyone!

I'm an international high school student from France, and I got offers to study Mathematics at King's, Warwick, UCL, LSE and St. Andrews. As you can imagine, I'm not sure about which one is THE most prestigious as all I heard about in France was Oxbridge.

St Andrews' student experience is by far the one that I like the most but I heard that refusing an offer from LSE would be stupid, as they offered me a place in their Mathematics with Economics degree.

What do you all think ?
I would really appreciate your help !
The most challenging and esteemed maths course of these is probably Warwick by some margin. King's is probably the least esteemed of these. (with UCL and St. Andrews probably being quite similar) That said - if you are less so concerned about the challenge and depth of your degree and are more looking at the entire picture, you may prefer St. Andrews as it is known for a great student experience. There seems to also be plenty of networking opportunities available. (a lot of rich internationals [particularly americans] with good connections go there)

If you want to do maths but want to do a bit of economics on the side - it is possible to do some economics modules during your Warwick degree, for degree credit. If you want to do it as more than a side thing - you may prefer it at LSE. (though I think Warwick's and LSE's department are about the same quality)
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IsmailB
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(Original post by Anonymous)
If your grades were really high and prestige is important to you why not take a gap year and apply to Oxbridge?
Actually, I’m planning on applying to Oxbridge after doing a year at one of these five unis. I’m kind of afraid of being rejected after a gap year and having to start from the 1st year at St. A / LSE...
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(Original post by IsmailB)
Actually, I’m planning on applying to Oxbridge after doing a year at one of these five unis. I’m kind of afraid of being rejected after a gap year and having to start from the 1st year at St. A / LSE...
Cambridge doesn't accept applicants from other universities except under "exceptional circumstances". (which makes this strategy unlikely) I think Oxford do accept applications from students studying elsewhere but these students would have to restart from first year, basically meaning that you've wasted a year!

If you want to try for Oxbridge - you should really be looking to take a gap year.
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IsmailB
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(Original post by _gcx)
The most challenging and esteemed maths course of these is probably Warwick by some margin. King's is probably the least esteemed of these. (with UCL and St. Andrews probably being quite similar) That said - if you are less so concerned about the challenge and depth of your degree and are more looking at the entire picture, you may prefer St. Andrews as it is known for a great student experience. There seems to also be plenty of networking opportunities available. (a lot of rich internationals [particularly americans] with good connections go there)

If you want to do maths but want to do a bit of economics on the side - it is possible to do some economics modules during your Warwick degree, for degree credit. If you want to do it as more than a side thing - you may prefer it at LSE. (though I think Warwick's and LSE's department are about the same quality)
Yeah I heard that Warwick was great for maths but St. A was placed higher for this particular subject in 3 or 4 national rankings..

By the way, are you saying that Warwick > UCL for maths ?
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Oxford Mum
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You are very lucky to get an economics offer from lse, which in many ways is as hard to get into as oxbridge. The oxford economics courses are insanely difficult to get into too and if you give up your lse offer you may not get it second time round. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t forget high grades are only the start of the road to Oxford. You would need to score high marks in the tsa admissions test and do a lot of extra research, maybe with no offer at the end of it. If you were my son or daughter, I would advise you to stick with lse.
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_gcx
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(Original post by IsmailB)
Yeah I heard that Warwick was great for maths but St. A was placed higher for this particular subject in 3 or 4 national rankings..

By the way, are you saying that Warwick > UCL for maths ?
This is mainly off the back of student satisfaction and such like. The department at Warwick is stronger.

Certainly in terms of department strength. (the top 4 are Oxbridge, Warwick and Imperial. the order within this really depends on what metrics you look at - I've seen pretty much any permutation of the four though invariably with one of the oxbridges at the top) Note this doesn't necessarily reflect on teaching, but does often reflect on the course particularly in the higher years as you become more specialised and edge closer to research level.
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IsmailB
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
You are very lucky to get an economics offer from lse, which in many ways is as hard to get into as oxbridge. The oxford economics courses are insanely difficult to get into too and if you give up your lse offer you may not get it second time round. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t forget high grades are only the start of the road to Oxford. You would need to score high marks in the tsa admissions test and do a lot of extra research, maybe with no offer at the end of it. If you were my son or daughter, I would advise you to stick with lse.
Yeah, I see what you mean. I should probably think some more about LSE.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by IsmailB)
Yeah, I see what you mean. I should probably think some more about LSE.
I would be very, very happy if you did that. Lse is great for economics. Don’t throw that offer away!
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(Original post by IsmailB)
Actually, I’m planning on applying to Oxbridge after doing a year at one of these five unis. I’m kind of afraid of being rejected after a gap year and having to start from the 1st year at St. A / LSE...
As another user said, Cambridge do not accept transfers and if you had to restart at Oxford you'd waste a whole year as well as a year of tuition fee's.

But if you're happy with any of the ones you have offers from I think LSE would be best because you are studying Maths/Economics and would help if you wanted to work in London. That's purely based on 'prestigiousness'.

But you need to think about where you would be happy too. In my opinion I think St Andrews would have a better student experience and is still prestigious, similar to other Russell Groups like Exeter and Durham. I've visited Warwick and did not like the area at all personally. LSE, UCL and Kings would have a similar student experience since they're all in London.
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Okorange
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I would not take a gap year just to apply to Oxbridge. There is no guarantee that you will get in and additionally, the one year lost is really not worth it in the grand scheme of things. The way I see it, if prestige is important (and you will find it becomes less so as you get older) I would do like you said, choose one of these schools and if you want, apply to Oxford in 1st year, if you don't get in, I would just study hard, aim to graduate with a first, and if at the end of your degree you still want to, you can apply to do a masters at Oxbridge. I've looked at a number of resumes and linkedin CVs over the years and honestly, apart from the occasional rooting for your own school, no one really sees universities in anything other than general tiers and any of the universities you mentioned above would give you the opportunity to succeed to your full capacity, you really don't need Oxbridge to do it. If there ever is a difference, it may come in the form of networking and the relationships you build at university, but again the difference even between Oxbridge and the others is in my opinion not worth taking a gap year to take a chance on.

Another thing, don't fret too much over your choice of school. It seems like a big deal right now, and it is, but there are so many other ways to distinguish yourself. Your internship, awards, scholarships, extracurriculars all play as big if not a bigger role and each year you step away from university the less and less your university matters.
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rebellionium
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(Original post by Okorange)
I would not take a gap year just to apply to Oxbridge. There is no guarantee that you will get in and additionally, the one year lost is really not worth it in the grand scheme of things. The way I see it, if prestige is important (and you will find it becomes less so as you get older) I would do like you said, choose one of these schools and if you want, apply to Oxford in 1st year, if you don't get in, I would just study hard, aim to graduate with a first, and if at the end of your degree you still want to, you can apply to do a masters at Oxbridge. I've looked at a number of resumes and linkedin CVs over the years and honestly, apart from the occasional rooting for your own school, no one really sees universities in anything other than general tiers and any of the universities you mentioned above would give you the opportunity to succeed to your full capacity, you really don't need Oxbridge to do it. If there ever is a difference, it may come in the form of networking and the relationships you build at university, but again the difference even between Oxbridge and the others is in my opinion not worth taking a gap year to take a chance on.

Another thing, don't fret too much over your choice of school. It seems like a big deal right now, and it is, but there are so many other ways to distinguish yourself. Your internship, awards, scholarships, extracurriculars all play as big if not a bigger role and each year you step away from university the less and less your university matters.
Prestige isn't very important and I understand that there are so many factors that determines your future. But I really long for a competitive environment since my high school experience lacks competitiveness and it makes me extremely unhappy throughout the years. Everyone there just want to fulfill minimum requirements whatever they do, even though it's a school with ok academic results, students don't have any ambitions outside academics.

(Original post by Okorange)
It really depends on what experience you want. St Andrews is in the countryside, far away from the hustle and bustle of London. I'd imagine the kind of friends you make and the experience you have could be drastically different between LSE/UCL and St A/Warwick.

If you are the ambitious type, career oriented, want to make a good income and make it big in your career, I would definitely be picking LSE/UCL/Warwick over St. A. Those schools have more keeners and more of an atmosphere and opportunities to help motivate you and give you opportunities to succeed in that way. Being in London will be huge, the amount of competition and drive in that city will give you opportunities, at the same time you will lose out on a bit of the idyllic life.

If you are looking for a school that is more well rounded, maybe a bit less competitive, might help you grow as a person, or you aren't sure exactly what you want to do in life yet and don't want to be pigeon holed or you aren't necessarily interested in being on the right track to a top finance job, you probably would like St Andrews. Its in a small town locked away on the east coast of Fife. You'll be focused more on learning, making friends and having fun. You can be career focused but you won't feel the pressure or the competition like you might elsewhere.

If you are sort of in between or you are ambitious, career oriented but don't like the idea of living in London for undergrad Warwick might be the best compromise.

That's the way I see it, but I haven't been to those other schools. I really think as a "whole" these schools are in the same league, but in finance/econ I would wager that LSE has a bit more international rep than the others. In the end, does it matter? Probably not, but if you are gungho on finance, I could see that a school like LSE/UCL/Warwick might give you a bit of a leg up over others.
How about Bristol or Manchester? It's not as competitive as LSE/UCK/Warwick but how does it compared to St Andrews?
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I would suggest you go for LSE or UCL, mainly because they are your safest options. They have great global reputations, and are based in central London. St Andrews is located in the middle of nowwhere, and there is little to do there for nightlife. Warwick is a decent place to go to for the student experience, although living in Canley (Coventry) isn't going to impress you much.

Bristol and Edinburgh are also prestigious and fantastic places to study - check out their campuses online.
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