Is going to a Russell Group uni that important as an international student?

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Sasha0130
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Hi!
I am planning on applying to a classics program next year as an international student from the US. After I graduate, I plan to work in a business related field such as marketing. I was wondering if I would be at a disadvantage if I go to a non-Russell group university such as Reading? I would like to stay here after I graduate and hopefully live/work in London and in order to do that I would have to find a job that would sponsor me. I know that Russell group unis are prestigious, so I was just wondering if it’s even worth paying a ton of money for something that won’t benefit me in terms of name recognition? My first choice would be KCL but I’m just not sure if my grades are good enough... I would still really want to study in England, but I just want it to be worth it!
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McGinger
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You have 5 choices on your UCAS application - not just Reading.
The recommendation is that you choose 1 or even 2 Unis/courses that are just above your grade requirements, 2 that are a bit more conservative and 1 very safe choice.

Even if you are slightly 'below' the requirements for Universities like KCL, its still worth applying - especially as an overseas fee payer - you are likely to get an offer.

Other Unis worth looking at are
Edinburgh - https://www.ed.ac.uk/history-classic...g/why-classics
Bristol - http://www.bristol.ac.uk/classics/study/undergraduate/
Exeter - https://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergradua...rses/classics/
Durham - https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments...study/courses/
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Sandtrooper
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(Original post by Sasha0130)
Hi!
I am planning on applying to a classics program next year as an international student from the US. After I graduate, I plan to work in a business related field such as marketing. I was wondering if I would be at a disadvantage if I go to a non-Russell group university such as Reading? I would like to stay here after I graduate and hopefully live/work in London and in order to do that I would have to find a job that would sponsor me. I know that Russell group unis are prestigious, so I was just wondering if it’s even worth paying a ton of money for something that won’t benefit me in terms of name recognition? My first choice would be KCL but I’m just not sure if my grades are good enough... I would still really want to study in England, but I just want it to be worth it!
In addition to what McGinger has said, there are Russell Group universities with the same entry requirements as Reading, like Liverpool.
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by McGinger)
You have 5 choices on your UCAS application - not just Reading.
The recommendation is that you choose 1 or even 2 Unis/courses that are just above your grade requirements, 2 that are a bit more conservative and 1 very safe choice.

Even if you are slightly 'below' the requirements for Universities like KCL, its still worth applying - especially as an overseas fee payer - you are likely to get an offer.

Other Unis worth looking at are
Edinburgh - https://www.ed.ac.uk/history-classic...g/why-classics
Bristol - http://www.bristol.ac.uk/classics/study/undergraduate/
Exeter - https://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergradua...rses/classics/
Durham - https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments...study/courses/
I know that you get 5 choices, but I would really like a school in/near London so I was just wondering if it even made sense to apply to Reading and if I get in, would it make sense to even go. I was thinking about applying to KCL, Liverpool, Nottingham, Newcastle, and potentially Reading.
That did make me feel a little bit better because I think I would be just slightly below, thank you for that!
I would love to go to Edinburgh but it's 4 years and that's just too expensive for me.
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by Sandtrooper)
In addition to what McGinger has said, there are Russell Group universities with the same entry requirements as Reading, like Liverpool.
Yes, I am actually considering applying to Liverpool as one of my 5 choices. I just would like a school in or around London, so that's why I am considering Reading. I was just wondering if going to a university that isn't part of the Russell Group but is still near London would still put me at a slight disadvantage.
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username5799028
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Russell group doesn't mean 'the best', it's literally just a marketing tactic. Go with whichever one you prefer but don't base it on 'Russell Group status'.
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Sandtrooper
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(Original post by Sasha0130)
Yes, I am actually considering applying to Liverpool as one of my 5 choices. I just would like a school in or around London, so that's why I am considering Reading. I was just wondering if going to a university that isn't part of the Russell Group but is still near London would still put me at a slight disadvantage.
Overall, no, but it can do, depending on what career you want, and how hard you have to work to get that career. Higher ranked universities tend to have more employers visit them, although this isn't always the case.

Being close to London doesn't come into it, though - St Andrews is in the middle of nowhere and is a much better university that say, London Metropolitan.
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McGinger
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(Original post by Sandtrooper)
and is a much better university than say, London Metropolitan.
Anywhere is better than London Met.
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by Mayski)
Russell group doesn't mean 'the best', it's literally just a marketing tactic. Go with whichever one you prefer but don't base it on 'Russell Group status'.
Thank you so much!
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by Sandtrooper)
Overall, no, but it can do, depending on what career you want, and how hard you have to work to get that career. Higher ranked universities tend to have more employers visit them, although this isn't always the case.

Being close to London doesn't come into it, though - St Andrews is in the middle of nowhere and is a much better university that say, London Metropolitan.
I see, thank you! I did hear about London Metropolitan and Manchester Metropolitan being pretty bad schools...
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by McGinger)
Anywhere is better than London Met.
I'm sorry, I did reply to your first comment but for some reason, it's not posting... But your comment did make me feel a lot better about having entry requirements that are a bit lower!
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Sandtrooper
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(Original post by Sasha0130)
I see, thank you! I did hear about London Metropolitan and Manchester Metropolitan being pretty bad schools...
What are your expected grades? We may be able to gauge where you could get into. A lot of UK universities are less picky than they say on paper, too.
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econhelp525
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If anything, it's more important to go to a Russell Group if you're an international student. These universities, no matter what the detractors say about it being a 'marketing tactic', are world leading, with the vast majority of them being in the top 200, or even top 150 in the world. I'm planning on doing my Masters abroad in Sweden, after finishing my degree at York, and it's stated in no uncertain terms that they will consider the international recognition of the university when considering an applicant.

Furthermore, the government uses Russell Group enrolment numbers as a metric to compare UK schools.

These are undoubtably some of the best universities in the country, and the world. Although, this isn't an absolute. Reading isn't necessarily a bad university, it's still ranked well internationally. That's what's important - don't focus on domestic rankings, they're a bunch of nonsense that change a lot every year and don't matter. Reading's ranked like 200 in the world, above some RGs. Lancaster is another good university not in the RG, which is around the same world ranking as York, 130-150.

In short, yes, going to a Russell Group is important. It's not just something that's just talked about in the UK, the name and prestige is world renowned.
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Sandtrooper
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(Original post by econhelp525)
If anything, it's more important to go to a Russell Group if you're an international student. These universities, no matter what the detractors say about it being a 'marketing tactic', are world leading, with the vast majority of them being in the top 200, or even top 150 in the world. I'm planning on doing my Masters abroad in Sweden, after finishing my degree at York, and it's stated in no uncertain terms that they will consider the international recognition of the university when considering an applicant.

Furthermore, the government uses Russell Group enrolment numbers as a metric to compare UK schools.

These are undoubtably some of the best universities in the country, and the world. Although, this isn't an absolute. Reading isn't necessarily a bad university, it's still ranked well internationally. That's what's important - don't focus on domestic rankings, they're a bunch of nonsense that change a lot every year and don't matter. Reading's ranked like 200 in the world, above some RGs. Lancaster is another good university not in the RG, which is around the same world ranking as York, 130-150.

In short, yes, going to a Russell Group is important. It's not just something that's just talked about in the UK, the name and prestige is world renowned.
Yes, even in terms of name alone, I'd say a lower ranking RG like QUB, Liverpool, or Sheffield, would look better on an international CV than Reading.
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by Sandtrooper)
What are your expected grades? We may be able to gauge where you could get into. A lot of UK universities are less picky than they say on paper, too.
By the time I would have to apply in September I would at least have the equivalent of BB but more likely I'll get AB (I'll find out next week). Next year I'll take another AP class and I'll end up probably getting a 5/A so I guess my expected grades would be ABB or AAB. If the universities are less picky than what they say on paper, that would be absolutely amazing!
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by econhelp525)
If anything, it's more important to go to a Russell Group if you're an international student. These universities, no matter what the detractors say about it being a 'marketing tactic', are world leading, with the vast majority of them being in the top 200, or even top 150 in the world. I'm planning on doing my Masters abroad in Sweden, after finishing my degree at York, and it's stated in no uncertain terms that they will consider the international recognition of the university when considering an applicant.

Furthermore, the government uses Russell Group enrolment numbers as a metric to compare UK schools.

These are undoubtably some of the best universities in the country, and the world. Although, this isn't an absolute. Reading isn't necessarily a bad university, it's still ranked well internationally. That's what's important - don't focus on domestic rankings, they're a bunch of nonsense that change a lot every year and don't matter. Reading's ranked like 200 in the world, above some RGs. Lancaster is another good university not in the RG, which is around the same world ranking as York, 130-150.

In short, yes, going to a Russell Group is important. It's not just something that's just talked about in the UK, the name and prestige is world renowned.
Wow! Thank you, this was really insightful! I did originally think that going to a Russell Group is really important as an international student, but as I was reading through the TSR forums I noticed that a lot of people say that it doesn't matter and that it's a marketing tactic. So basically the order I should l consider would be Russell Group university, then the international ranking, and lastly the domestic ranking? Does location really not matter for finding a job/placement?
I guess you could compare the RGs to the Ivys. There are 'regular' universities out there that rank higher than both of the prestigious groups, but at the end of the day, the name of the uni speaks for itself!
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by Sandtrooper)
Yes, even in terms of name alone, I'd say a lower ranking RG like QUB, Liverpool, or Sheffield, would look better on an international CV than Reading.
Would it make sense to go to Liverpool if I want to end up in London? I'm not sure how it works here, but in the US at least in NYC, you have a higher chance of landing a good/actual job if you went to school in NYC than if you went to school in a different state/area.
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econhelp525
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(Original post by Sasha0130)
Wow! Thank you, this was really insightful! I did originally think that going to a Russell Group is really important as an international student, but as I was reading through the TSR forums I noticed that a lot of people say that it doesn't matter and that it's a marketing tactic. So basically the order I should l consider would be Russell Group university, then the international ranking, and lastly the domestic ranking? Does location really not matter for finding a job/placement?
I guess you could compare the RGs to the Ivys. There are 'regular' universities out there that rank higher than both of the prestigious groups, but at the end of the day, the name of the uni speaks for itself!
Location doesn't matter, as long as you're willing to travel for any placement/job. It's more convenient to live in London because travel to such jobs/placements is faster/easier, but it doesn't mean that it's easier to obtain these opportunities. So, location doesn't matter.

I would consider international rankings first, but as a result of doing that, you will end up with looking at like almost every Russell Group anyway. As I said, the RG dominate the top of the international rankings, so to be honest, it doesn't make a difference between considering RGs or international rankings in any particular order, one will lead to the other anyway.

Don't consider domestic rankings at all, it's a bunch of rubbish. Many universities have stopped focussing on domestic rankings (and have thus slid down them quite a bit) to instead focus on the international rankings. I can point to my university, York, as an example. 2000-2010 the university was consistently in the top 10, ranking somewhere between 5-7 in the UK, but they stopped focussing on domestics to focus on international rankings, and so slid down to 18th today. Conversely, Durham is 6 in the UK, but lower than York in international rankings. You see what I'm getting at? Domestic rankings aren't worth anything. They change so much every year and are the real marketing tool lol.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Sasha0130)
Thank you so much!
Polite response, but their statement wasn't true or useful. Spending overseas fees at Reading would be bonkers unless you were doing Food Technology, doubly so if you have the grades to get into a better Uni.

The Russell Group is a group of research intensive universities. They are richer than less research intensive universities which play out in the academic infrastructure, access to equipment and facilities etc. They create knowledge and therefore give the best access to early/emerging knowledge. There might not be any direct correlation between research ability and teaching ability, however, there's no evidence the two are not linked. There are a few weak Unis in the RG, and a few strong ones outside, but generally it is a measure of quality, especially for export overseas.
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Sasha0130
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(Original post by econhelp525)
Location doesn't matter, as long as you're willing to travel for any placement/job. It's more convenient to live in London because travel to such jobs/placements is faster/easier, but it doesn't mean that it's easier to obtain these opportunities. So, location doesn't matter.

I would consider international rankings first, but as a result of doing that, you will end up with looking at like almost every Russell Group anyway. As I said, the RG dominate the top of the international rankings, so to be honest, it doesn't make a difference between considering RGs or international rankings in any particular order, one will lead to the other anyway.

Don't consider domestic rankings at all, it's a bunch of rubbish. Many universities have stopped focussing on domestic rankings (and have thus slid down them quite a bit) to instead focus on the international rankings. I can point to my university, York, as an example. 2000-2010 the university was consistently in the top 10, ranking somewhere between 5-7 in the UK, but they stopped focussing on domestics to focus on international rankings, and so slid down to 18th today. Conversely, Durham is 6 in the UK, but lower than York in international rankings. You see what I'm getting at? Domestic rankings aren't worth anything. They change so much every year and are the real marketing tool lol.
Thank you soooo much! I really really appreciate all of this. It's nice to hear that location doesn't matter because Liverpool or Leeds sound like nice unis but the only thing that was stopping me was that they're not London! And it's nice to know that domestic rankings don't matter because Leeds dropped 4 places and KCL dropped 1, I wasn't sure if I should be worried about that! I guess Reading is completely out of the question instead, I will focus on the RGs. Again, thank you and good luck in Sweden!
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