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    (Original post by Smtn)
    I agree, but also I think there are some rough 'templates' that graduate recruiters may use. Also, sarcasm on the internet doesn't often work so great
    Whilst that is true, that's still no excuse for arriving at the conclusion that I thought Sir Alan Sugar was supposed to be a template for graduate employers. My actual words, regardless of tone, indicated that any generalisation or template would be flawed (for both employers - like Alan Sugar - and universities). I was only making the point (albeit emphatically) that people look for different things and employers will hold their own stereotypes of different universities so long as companies are owned by private individuals. At Cambridge the History Tripos is a different style to that of other universities, but I wouldn't say it's necessarily superior (as if I'd even be able to know the content of every other course). An employer would merely sees the prestige (perhaps undeservedly - I'm not getting into that debate or defending Oxbridge) and might use such a prejudice to form his opinion - yet such a prejudice could exist for Manchester, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Southampton, York (etc.) graduates and merely serves as one form of prejudice (including the impression of how confident, competent, skilled, appropriate, a person is). Indeed, a study was released showing that earnings was quite heavily correlated with a person's looks. The correlation with wage and IQ (and assumedly university choice in most instances) is 0.3, incidently :p:
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    (Original post by Toxic Tears)
    Your one experience doesn't prove anything as your case could just be an exception. :rolleyes: Also undergrad is vastly different from post grad - I'm sure some post 92 unis have better resources for certain post grad courses than 94 research unis but it doesn't mean that the post 92 is a better uni for undergrad or overall than the 94 research group. A better comparision would be experience between undergrad for the same subject at both the post 92 and the 94 research group.
    Well not quite as I'm using exactly the same books for both - they don't just suddenly jump in standard for PG level and neither does the teaching. I'm also experiencing the uni as a whole as in facilities, attitudes towards its students etc at exactly the same level.

    But if you want to go down the undergrad route - having seen the standard of the exam questions for my current uni's UG course, plus having had the teaching, sat in undergrad lectures and met quite a few of their undergrads both those currently on the course and those subsequently on my course - the post 92 still comes out on top. But it may well just be an exception to the rule on both accounts. Even so, my point is don't knock the post 92s without knowing anything about them. Some of them are far from being rubbish.
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    (Original post by Toxic Tears)
    I was just about to say that myself. It's nearly always the ones who go to less 'prestigious' unis that like to have a *****
    Tschyeah! Them and people who've had some experience of these things and might actually know a little what they're talking about.

    On entering a russel group university, I had an academic issuing the following caution: "don't think that just because you're at a good university you're going to get a good education". Although I'd say that I did get a fairly good education there, it's not significantly better than that I got at a less 'prestigious' 60's university when doing my masters. And it certainly wasn't as exceptional as some starry eyed A-level students who've wasted too much of their time fretting over league tables might expect. If anything I'd say that the latter had the overall edge when it came to the quality of teaching.

    It's also telling that whilst at the Russel group university I knew of a couple of people who gained placed on PhD courses at said university after having graduated from the much maligned 90's university down the road. Consider that for a moment: the admissions people at a russel university, serious academics with proven research records, judged the quality of education offered by a 90's university a sufficient grounding. All I see on the other side of the argument is a grab bag of preconceived, hand-me-down ideas about prestige and quality.
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    (Original post by Toxic Tears)
    Your one experience doesn't prove anything as your case could just be an exception. Also undergrad is vastly different from post grad - I'm sure some post 92 unis have better resources for certain post grad courses than 94 research unis but it doesn't mean that the post 92 is a better uni for undergrad or overall than the 94 research group. A better comparision would be experience between undergrad for the same subject at both the post 92 and the 94 research group.
    I have experience of teaching the same undergraduate course at both a post-92 and Russell Group university. In my experience the post-92 university provides a much better experience in terms of pastoral care, access to staff outside scheduled classes, teaching quality and facilities. The Russell group university provides a better experience in terms of research-based activities and intellectual ability of peer group.
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    If prestige existed in isolation from reality I would agree it's a silly thing to take account of. But if the prestige is grounded on firm foundations it can be a useful indicator of a place that will give you a more exciting and stimulating education than a more run-of-the-mill institution. If a university has earned its prestige by admitting students with excellent qualifications and attracting lecturers with great research records who publish important works, then choosing that prestigious uni seems fair enough to me.

    The problem as I see it isn't that prestigious unis don't deserve their reputations, but that good but less prestigious ones find it difficult to break into the elite group in terms of public perceptions. Once a uni has a bit of a prestige toehold its reputation becomes self-perpetuating - good students want to apply, cutting-edge lecturers want to work there etc - but breaking through in the first place has got to be a challenge when you're up against an established hierarchy and unis with hundreds' of years of history. It can be done though - look at York and Warwick.

    (Original post by 0404343m)
    As for Oxford, I'm currently there, but have only recently started. I originally wasn't wanted down until early September, but I've been back and forth on and off for approaching three months now. It's basically been meetings with academics and airing some research ideas. Thus far, its been perfectly pleasant- but it's not the different world its made out to be. My previous institution, where I spent five years, another old, Russell Group university, felt incredibly similar to Oxford in a lot of ways, but again, some on TSR (who've in all probability been to neither) would have you believe the chasm is vast- and its anything but.
    This has been my experience too. I did my undergrad at Warwick and my postgrad at Oxford, and while the physical environment couldn't have been more different, the intellectual environment was pretty much the same. Both were utterly fabulous, but I certainly didn't feel I'd stepped up in any way when I got to Oxford. The lectures were the same mix of the brilliant and the execrable and the academics were likewise.
 
 
 
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