Difficult one this. Nottingham seems to be the only university in the top 20 or so universities that is actually going backwards at the moment. When I applied it was definitely seen as a top ten, on the Warwick, Bristol, Durham level, and most students who have just left university would agree. Also, coming from a public school, it definitely has a lot of reputation there as its kind of the place you go (along with Bristol, Durham, Exeter, EDinburgh) if you dont get into Oxbridge. However, it had dropped badly in rankings and todays new university entrants dont seem to hold it in much regard. TBH, its average ranking since they began in 1993 across all the various league tables s 11th (yes I calculated it, and yes that is sad), so it is a borderline top ten in that respect, and has tended to have entry standards and selectivity in the top ten, so by that measure yes it is prestigious. Personally I would say that apart from Law, Medicine, and Economics it has just dropped off the Bristol, Durham, Warwick level in recent years, and is now in the 10-12 bracket along with York, Edinburgh etc. The people who say that is 20ish must know very little about HE.
Also, dont forget that it punches above its weight in the employability aspect, and is very highly targeted by big companies, so must be doing something right, and according to the Times is ''the nearest thing Britain has to a truly global university,'' so its international prestige is much higher than a lot of others
In short, yes it is still prestigious because to most people it was the university ''that was really hard to get into.'' However, it better stop its slide soon as it might lose what 'prestige' it gained in the 90's and early 2000's
River's right, universities reputations change alot. Universities like Durham, St Andrews, Kings werent very highly thought of when I applied because they ranked badly (15-20) but now people seem to love them on here. Now universities like Notts, York and Edinburgh seem to have had a slump in reputation recently. Take York, it was seen as rivaling Warwick a few years ago, but nobody mentions it now and that seems really odd to me. Trust me, just look at ''what are the top ten'' threads on here a few years ago, Nottingham, York, Edinburgh beat Durham, St Andrews etc regularly. In ten years time Nottingham might be even better than it was a few years ago, you never know. The only universities that have guaranteed status are Oxbridge, Lse, Imperial
The fact that there are so many of these 'is Notts still prestigious'' and ''is it still a top ten'' are quite telling, as a lot of students are worried that they might have made the wrong choice in coming here. Looking at the university's response on its website to last years student satisfaction scores is quite revealing, as apparently one of the most frequently mentioned complaints was that the university is now doing **** in rankings, and that it is letting a 'lower class' of student in.