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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Ok, well no offence but you might agree with me more after you've been on a course for awhile and have met enough other intelligent people who don't like their courses or environments.

    Your approach of 'adjust or die' is a bit idealistic. While in some senses the world is brutal like that, statistical trends suggest that the vast majority of human beings don't perform well or simply adjust when they're in a situation that they don't like. They can cope, certainly, but performance is really affected. Telling everybody to just lump it isn't actually going to result in most of them successfully managing to do just that. I think its possible you see this more at University than you do in a job. In many jobs you can get by just doing what's expected of you, and you're not assessed and rated against other people doing exactly the same work in the way that you are in education. (you still are assessed obviously, but its quite different.) - I have been in the workplace for a few years in a number of jobs, incidentally.
    The fact of the matter is that people don't actually have to chose courses and Universities they don't like. They can optimise their environment by thinking carefully, doing a bit of research and persevering. In a similar way, if you don't like a job environment you can take action to find a form of employment which is better suited to your personal skills.
    While in some situations people definitely do need to simply accept that something isn't ideal and lump it for awhile, in the long term this is really inadviseable and people who live in privileged western society largely have the ability to avoid inflicting this on themselves.
    University is definitely a long term example because it has intense constant demands. Three years is a hell of a long time if you're not happy with a course or environment.
    No offence taken in fact i hardly ever get offended :p: Maybe i will maybe i won't who knows, as i said we're two different people and that might or might not change things

    I can see where you're going with the enjoyment = performance thing but again i still think it really depends on the person you are. I accept the fact that enjoyment = performance can be a factor for some but others they can just look past it, at the end of the day imo, it just depends on your tolerance of how much **** you can take before you cba.

    Finally sure 3 years is a long time to be unhappy but it depends if you care about being happy :p:
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    (Original post by abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz)
    No offence taken in fact i hardly ever get offended :p:
    We're not that different then. I don't either. Also I'm good at forcing myself to endure stuff I don't like for long periods of time. My comments on this thread are based on statistical trends which reflect how the majority are likely to respond in certain situations.
    (Original post by alphabet)
    Finally sure 3 years is a long time to be unhappy but it depends if you care about being happy :p:
    I think its a fairly safe bet that people will choose to be happy if they have the option of doing so :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    [COLOR=#0099FF]
    I think its a fairly safe bet that people will choose to be happy if they have the option of doing so :rolleyes:
    depends what the options are :p:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Ok, well no offence but you might agree with me more after you've been on a course for awhile and have met enough other intelligent people who don't like their courses or environments.

    Your approach of 'adjust or die' is a bit idealistic. While in some senses the world is brutal like that, statistical trends suggest that the vast majority of human beings don't perform well or simply adjust when they're in a situation that they don't like. They can cope, certainly, but performance is really affected. Telling everybody to just lump it isn't actually going to result in most of them successfully managing to do just that. I think its possible you see this more at University than you do in a job. In many jobs you can get by just doing what's expected of you, and you're not assessed and rated against other people doing exactly the same work in the way that you are in education. (you still are assessed obviously, but its quite different.) - I have been in the workplace for a few years in a number of jobs, incidentally.
    The fact of the matter is that people don't actually have to chose courses and Universities they don't like. They can optimise their environment by thinking carefully, doing a bit of research and persevering. In a similar way, if you don't like a job environment you can take action to find a form of employment which is better suited to your personal skills.
    While in some situations people definitely do need to simply accept that something isn't ideal and lump it for awhile, in the long term this is really inadviseable and people who live in privileged western society largely have the ability to avoid inflicting this on themselves.
    University is definitely a long term example because it has intense constant demands. Three years is a hell of a long time if you're not happy with a course or environment.
    I hardly ever go to lectures and revise in my bedroom (not library or anywhere else) How will the environment affect me?
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    I hardly ever go to lectures and revise in my bedroom (not library or anywhere else) How will the environment affect me?
    Lol, that was me in first year. As I said above, those are simply the psychological trends which reflect society :yep: If I cared to give the time I could unearth plenty of scientific evidence to back up my argument :p: I took psychology in first year.
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    (Original post by Economic Historian 1)
    Well, I missed my LSE offer for very stupid reasons and my gf (now ex) can't help but keep rub in the fact that I'm going to a '**** university', York.
    I'm not contesting whether it is or not, it's the only option I have now.
    But is PPE at York, and York in general, actually "sh*t"? I was under the impression it was a fairly good uni, and PPE was it's flagship course, arguably second only to Oxford's course. Maybe I'm wrong though- enlighten me, please. Honest answers appreciated.
    A lot of people are horrendous uni snobs, particularly those going to unis in the top 8. As an aggregate of the 3 main league tables, York is the 10th best university in Britain. Furthermore, it lacks the snobbishness you may find in Oxbridge.
    LSE is full of international students, and particularly people who are very focused on their course. While this may not be a bad thing, you have to ask yourself if that is really what you want in a university.
    Durham is amaaaazing (was definitely one of my top choices), but their delusion that they are on a par with Oxbridge put me off a bit. Also they have a reputation for attracting a very preppy crowd (this didn't bother me, but it may bother others.)
    Imperial is full of boys, and nerdy girls. Enough said.
    The rest (Bath, St Andrews, Warwick, Bristol, etc) seem to be on a relative par imo, and while York may not have the nicest campus, it does run two of the best student newspapers in the country, and countless other societies. It also has a collegiate system, which many people claim to be an advantage (cant really see it myself).
    At the end of the day, all universities have their pros and cons. Uni is what you make of it. PPE is a well respected course. I can't remember the exact figures (u can find them on the prospectus) but i think 25% of grads went into consultancy or accountancy. Considering that nearly half went into further study, this is a good ratio.
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    (Original post by abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz)
    depends what the options are :p:
    Talk about e-flirting. LoL.
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    Talk about e-flirting. LoL.
    Whoops. Off the radar :rolleyes:
    (Original post by supercoolfred)
    Durham is amaaaazing (was definitely one of my top choices), but their delusion that they are on a par with Oxbridge put me off a bit. Also they have a reputation for attracting a very preppy crowd (this didn't bother me, but it may bother others.)
    I visited Durham a few times. Good friend of mine was there, and I was an offer holder. It had more stuck up people in it than Cambridge does And the contrast between townspeople and students was much more pronounced, which was a little uncomfortable.
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    Talk about e-flirting. LoL.
    lol nah just saying that if i had to give up my happiness for 3 years for something i'd gladly do it even if it means going through hell and back for those 3 years.
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    [QUOTE=Craghyrax][COLOR=#0099FF]Whoops. Off the radar :rolleyes: QUOTE]

    :o: So are you studying Psychology at Cambridge?
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    (Original post by abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz)
    lol nah just saying that if i had to give up my happiness for 3 years for something i'd gladly do it even if it means going through hell and back for those 3 years.
    Sadly it doesn't work like that. My friend is studying Pharmacy at Nottingham and he truely hates the course, and ended up getting a 2.2 in his second year. Definitely pick a course which you will enjoy to study.
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    Sadly it doesn't work like that. My friend is studying Pharmacy at Nottingham and he truely hates the course, and ended up getting a 2.2 in his second year. Definitely pick a course which you will enjoy to study.
    as i said for the majority it won't work like that but not everyone is the same and some will be able to deal with it. Whether or not i'll be one who can deal with it i'll have to see won't i
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    (Original post by supercoolfred)
    A lot of people are horrendous uni snobs, particularly those going to unis in the top 8. As an aggregate of the 3 main league tables, York is the 10th best university in Britain. Furthermore, it lacks the snobbishness you may find in Oxbridge.
    LSE is full of international students, and particularly people who are very focused on their course. While this may not be a bad thing, you have to ask yourself if that is really what you want in a university.
    Durham is amaaaazing (was definitely one of my top choices), but their delusion that they are on a par with Oxbridge put me off a bit. Also they have a reputation for attracting a very preppy crowd (this didn't bother me, but it may bother others.)
    Imperial is full of boys, and nerdy girls. Enough said.
    The rest (Bath, St Andrews, Warwick, Bristol, etc) seem to be on a relative par imo, and while York may not have the nicest campus, it does run two of the best student newspapers in the country, and countless other societies. It also has a collegiate system, which many people claim to be an advantage (cant really see it myself).
    At the end of the day, all universities have their pros and cons. Uni is what you make of it. PPE is a well respected course. I can't remember the exact figures (u can find them on the prospectus) but i think 25% of grads went into consultancy or accountancy. Considering that nearly half went into further study, this is a good ratio.
    love how you class Durham as amazing and then put Bath St Andrews Warwick Bristol etc as the rest of the top when Warwick and St Andrews have consistently outranked Durham for years.

    St Andrews and Warwick are better than Durham at undergraduate level for most subjects...

    In fact for econ there isn't much difference between the LSE Cambridge and Warwick's main economics course. The mathematics is pretty similar between Cambridge and Warwick too.

    Durham's history and English courses in contrast are on par with Oxbridge, but a lot less courses at Durham are on par with the best in the country/ world than at Warwick and St Andrews.

    Agree strongly with what you said at the LSE. A few of my friends strongly dislike being there, but those that are there and enjoy it absolutely love it.

    Durham and York generally score around the same standard and the LSE Imperial Warwick and St Andrews are all around the same level especially for the things these are best in.

    This is not to slight Durham or York. I've already said that York is a fantastic university, but I don't like you making Durham out to be something it isn't, which is better than Warwick and St Andrews. So OP if you think a lot of Durham then you should certainly think a lot of York is the point I've very verbosely tried to make.
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    shes talkin out of her arse
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    :o: So are you studying Psychology at Cambridge?
    The SPS course (now PPS) is split into a one year Part I and a two year Part II. I did Psychology, Politics, Sociology and Social Anthropology in Part I, but I'm specialising in Sociology for my Part II and its the area that I will go into for postgraduate study. Nonetheless a third of my course this year was a paper that I shared with the Psychologists (a research training paper) and there are lots of interlinks within the social sciences, so I still often come across psychological research which is relevant to particular topics I study :cool:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I'd pick York over LSE anyday. I don't much rate the campus - particularly accommodation - but you only live in halls for one year and then live in houses with friends, and the city seems like a lovely place to live and is really beautiful. And it seems to have a good student buzz and energy about it without being expensive, dirty, crowded, in your face etc like central London. These are just my preferences though.
    :ditto:

    1960s architecture isn't to my taste (not Bristish 1960s architecture anyway, they managed to produce some Brutalist masterpieces on the continent but I don't think our grey skies complement the concrete :p: ). But the city is, in my opinion, the ideal size and provides a great base for exploring the North Yorkshire countryside and a couple of National Parks (I find that important :p: )

    York is easily second only to Oxford in PPE. For PPE the strongest four are arguably Oxford, York, Warwick and Durham. Warwick probably edges Durham as far as PPE is concerned anyway and Warwick do still offer a great course which will grow. But York does have that tradition and, in my opinion, is more cohesive. But all of those three after Oxford are of an excellent standard especially York.
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    (Original post by invictus_veritas)
    love how you class Durham as amazing and then put Bath St Andrews Warwick Bristol etc as the rest of the top when Warwick and St Andrews have consistently outranked Durham for years..
    There's more to university education that league tables. Just because one university has outranked another university it doesn't meant it's better. I think that someone who actually knows a lot about higher education will find it hard to argue why Glasgow is significantly weaker than Edinburgh, for example. Really, the difference is small (and the difference in league table positions also).

    St Andrews hasn't consistantly outranked Durham in previous league tables. Although I don't have the previous year's league table on me (or ever will) but I think for a number of years it's drifter from 20 - 40th. I think that the year before student satisfaction was introduced it was around 40 in one table, jumping into the top ten the following year.

    It's Durham that, pre student satisfaction, consistantly outranked St Andrews. Not that this matters.

    (Original post by invictus_veritas)
    love Durham's history and English courses in contrast are on par with Oxbridge, but a lot less courses at Durham are on par with the best in the country/ world than at Warwick and St Andrews..
    A number of its departments can rival the very best in the country in both teaching and research quality. Law? Physics (premier centre of Astrophysics in Europe)? Chemistry? Geography (arguably one of the two best human geography departments in the country), Engineering (far stronger than Warwick) and at least four or five more. I'd throw philosophy in there, as it does offer undergraduate teaching which I'm sure can rival Warwick and St Andrews, but its research doesn't.

    You've actually missed out quite a few departments there, but I'm puzzled as to why you've included English. As you speak with such authority and use sweeping generalisations then you should (hopefully) be informed enough to find that Durham's English department isn't "on par with Oxbridge". You probably only say that because it has a number one position on a league table (using outdated RAE). The latest RAE, from what I remember of it, doesn't place it alongside Oxbridge. York, Warwick, Edinburgh(?) and a few redbricks can rival it. It's a great department but not that special.

    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I visited Durham a few times. Good friend of mine was there, and I was an offer holder. It had more stuck up people in it than Cambridge does And the contrast between townspeople and students was much more pronounced, which was a little uncomfortable.
    :laugh: Yeah. The locals (or at least the working class locals) are pretty much located in ghettos. Maybe I'm exaggerting, I certainly don't mean rough or crime ridden places at all, just there is a clear division between gown and town. Between student places (the city centre) and working class locals ("rough" parts like North Road). I've just moved back into Durham, an ex-council estate just outside the city centre. Being ex-council, the houses are well built and a good size, but it is very much local people territory. It's already a little disconcerting. I'm wondering what it's going to be like come October, spending a day with the students in the city centre and then coming home for the evening. It's like a different world. Still, if they want to pay £80-100 a week instead of £40......

    Anyway, I don't know how Durham came into it. But if the OP (or anyone else) is considering chosing Durham over York for PPE then I'd advice they chose York. Unless Durham (as a location/course content) appeals more to them more of course. But York certainly have the tradition and Durham is, relatively speaking, a very youthful course. What's more, although philosophy and economics are both excellent departments their politics department (although still good with great specialities) couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery. As for your girlfriend, she's just one person. You really need to get a range of opinions and this thread is one way to do that of course. Forgive me if this has already been covered in greater detail but what sort of experience does she have. Has she adequately justified her opinion?

    Now, this is where I'm probably going to come across as hypocritical, but this thread is supposed to address York and how its PPE course compares to Oxford's. The OP can correct me if I'm wrong but, now that I've moved it from York to GUD, can we try and keep it York specific. Obviously, if the OP is interested in comparisons with other universities, then he just needs to say.
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    (Original post by River85)
    There's more to university education that league tables. Just because one university has outranked another university it doesn't meant it's better. I think that someone who actually knows a lot about higher education will find it hard to argue why Glasgow is significantly weaker than Edinburgh, for example. Really, the difference is small (and the difference in league table positions also).

    St Andrews hasn't consistantly outranked Durham in previous league tables. Although I don't have the previous year's league table on me (or ever will) but I think for a number of years it's drifter from 20 - 40th. I think that the year before student satisfaction was introduced it was around 40 in one table, jumping into the top ten the following year.

    It's Durham that, pre student satisfaction, consistantly outranked St Andrews. Not that this matters.



    A number of its departments can rival the very best in the country in both teaching and research quality. Law? Physics (premier centre of Astrophysics in Europe)? Chemistry? Geography (arguably one of the two best human geography departments in the country), Engineering (far stronger than Warwick) and at least four or five more. I'd throw philosophy in there, as it does offer undergraduate teaching which I'm sure can rival Warwick and St Andrews, but its research doesn't.

    You've actually missed out quite a few departments there, but I'm puzzled as to why you've included English. As you speak with such authority and use sweeping generalisations then you should (hopefully) be informed enough to find that Durham's English department isn't "on par with Oxbridge". You probably only say that because it has a number one position on a league table (using outdated RAE). The latest RAE, from what I remember of it, doesn't place it alongside Oxbridge. York, Warwick, Edinburgh(?) and a few redbricks can rival it. It's a great department but not that special.



    :laugh: Yeah. The locals (or at least the working class locals) are pretty much located in ghettos. Maybe I'm exaggerting, I certainly don't mean rough or crime ridden places at all, just there is a clear division between gown and town. Between student places (the city centre) and working class locals ("rough" parts like North Road). I've just moved back into Durham, an ex-council estate just outside the city centre. Being ex-council, the houses are well built and a good size, but it is very much local people territory. It's already a little disconcerting. I'm wondering what it's going to be like come October, spending a day with the students in the city centre and then coming home for the evening. It's like a different world. Still, if they want to pay £80-100 a week instead of £40......

    Anyway, I don't know how Durham came into it. But if the OP (or anyone else) is considering chosing Durham over York for PPE then I'd advice they chose York. Unless Durham (as a location/course content) appeals more to them more of course. But York certainly have the tradition and Durham is, relatively speaking, a very youthful course. What's more, although philosophy and economics are both excellent departments their politics department (although still good with great specialities) couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery. As for your girlfriend, she's just one person. You really need to get a range of opinions and this thread is one way to do that of course. Forgive me if this has already been covered in greater detail but what sort of experience does she have. Has she adequately justified her opinion?

    Now, this is where I'm probably going to come across as hypocritical, but this thread is supposed to address York and how its PPE course compares to Oxford's. The OP can correct me if I'm wrong but, now that I've moved it from York to GUD, can we try and keep it York specific. Obviously, if the OP is interested in comparisons with other universities, then he just needs to say.
    Firstly apologies for the massive off topic: I deemed it might be appropriate to apply to you as you are a mod. I won't go off topic again on this thread.

    My issue with the person responding to the OP was that he classed Durham as amazing and Warwick and St Andrews with all the 'rest' of the decent universities, which I deemed to be an unfair sweeping generalisation considering that they both outrank Durham. You disagreed that St Andrews did consistently, so fair enough (I am shocked that it was 20-40!), but Warwick has done for years.

    In terms of why I made that statement: when I applied to university I ranked the top twenty universities and averaged their scores for a couple of years and found that St Andrews and Warwick consistently outranked Durham.

    Also as I don't take English I had not checked up on the latest English rankings with the new RAE statistics taken into account so I apologise for that. It was my mistake, but Durham has according to league tables and reputation, been one of the best universities for English and regarded as Oxbridge standard for it for several years. I used English as an example because I wanted to give an example of a Durham subject that was being taught at the highest standard in the country and not appear to be completely critical of Durham because I do still think it is an exceptional university, just not better than Warwick or St Andrews as the person commenting suggested.

    Also how relevant should RAE be to undergraduate ratings anyway? Isn't it far more relevant for postgraduate courses? I fail to see how even if a drop in RAE for a subject lowers it in official league tables, how it actually relates to teaching being worse at undergraduate level?

    I also agree that there is far more to universities than league tables. What I have found is that the teaching is terrible at my university, despite it being one of the very top for economics: the facilities are brilliant, the lecturers are leaders in their fields, but when you think about the teaching it's actually incredibly bad. I think universities that are less research focused can be a lot better at teaching at undergraduate level and it is a shame that teaching quality is jusged by student satisfaction/ expenditure per student (maybe that is good), student/staff ratio (that seems meaningless), RAE rating (yes they're good researchers but not necessarily good teachers) etc.

    Apologies for any offense caused.

    Also once again: apologies for the massive off topic. I will not do it again, but I thought as you were a mod it might be appropriate to reply to your response.
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    (Original post by invictus_veritas)
    .
    League tables can often be assessed as more of a reflection of the student body than the quality of education. It's been shown that middle class social groups and/or privately educated students usually have better grades on entry, tend to get 2:1s and above more often, tend to be satisfied with university more (since they're more likely to get support from university educated family members), and are often pushed upon graduation towards certain careers, in many cases where their family has links with. That right there is more than half of your average league table criteria, so its no coincidence that universities with this sort of student makeup are found towards the top of league tables. A similar university with a more working class makeup would find its students dropping out more, coming in with lower grades, not being as fussed about a career in the classic graduate sectors, and under less family and social pressure to get the all important 2:1. Since league tables are only numbers like these crunched together, more students in the second category can cost a university a good few places as a result.

    Universities themselves are also aware of the league table game. Spending lots of money in the previous calendar year is a good way to boost the ranking, which sometimes explains the fluctuations. Closing down poorly performing (in research) departments, sometimes at the cost of denying people in that region access to a certain degree, can boost their average score by killing off the weaker sectors and making them appear superior. If university X taught 10 subjects scoring 3 out of 4, its average score would be 3. If its rival taught 11, getting 3.1 in the same 10 as university X, but only 1 out of 4 in its 11th, it'd look inferior on average, despite being better at everything than its rival. League tables are a game to be played, and unfortuantely senior management teams at institutions toy with academics careers in order to boost them from 35th to 15th in a newspaper. Its about time people stopped paying attention to them.

    Its a no-win situation- when your university is praised for making an effort to get more students from atypical backgrounds into higher education, its trade off is almost always a drop in the league table, as while some of these students will thrive, most will either drop out, get 2:2s, feel they don't fit in and be unhappy, and certainly have lower entry grades (and copious research has proved this). Graduate prospects for the university can be hit as a whole too, as since we've developed a fascination with 2:1s, having more 2:2s invariably is a bad thing, even if those who do perform better are still very employable. What's the trade off? Make degrees easier? Give everyone a 2:1? Thankfully, some (but not all) put academic standards above a social stigma.

    So where does this leave us? Well, as proved by the tables that allow you to tinker with the weighting of certain criteria, it shows how virtually any university can be moved up or down 10-15 places just by deciding to discard or double the weight given to one of the table's criteria. You may think research is useless to undergrads- I've heard and accept both sides of the argument on this one. You don't want a Prof who spends more time on his articles than his students, but you do, in certain subjects, benefit by being taught by the man or woman at the cutting edge of developments in his field. At any rate, discard that as you see fit, and watch a 30-somethingth ranked university jump into the holy top 20. Only five have consistently ranked in the top 10, only 7 in the top 20, so really we have perhaps two or three dozen institutions in the next echelon down who could all claim to be as good as the next- with some success too. Take Glasgow and Edinburgh, two universities I have lots of experience of. One claims its average research score is higher, one claims its ahead in more subjects. One claims its UCAS score is higher, one claims it has more students in the top 10% of their high school classes. One claims its graduates has a better employment record, the other claims its graduates who go on to get 2:1s and above have the better record. You get the picture.

    Anyway, the point is, we shouldn't argue over a rank- because thats not how reputation, this notion of prestige, and graduate employment work. They certainly don't follow league tables. Employers are not, and I speak with absolute confidence, going to reject one applicant over the other solely on the name of his or her degree, and evidence suggests its still only a limited factor when comparing the Oxbridge/Russell Group at one end with the former polytechnics at the other. Your CV is a highly personal thing, make of it what you can. By the same token, university selection is a highly personal affair- find one that suits you, don't let a journalist do it for you- a third from this fictional top 10 is going to be just as useless as a third from anywhere else. Find somewhere you're happy with, and grab it with both hands. I reckon that'll do for now.
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    York along with Bath is one of those unis that is very underated i.e. it's very good but hardly anyone's heard of it!!!!
 
 
 
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