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Uni league tables
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Author:  Tom's mum [ Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Uni league tables

I would be interested in general perceptions of uni league tables. Taking account of son's predicted A level grades, interests and uni visits, his (and our) preferred uni ticks all the boxes: Department (Geog) is highly rated for teaching (grade 1), facilities all seemed great, very welcoming/organised atmosphere, course plan motivating.

But the uni sits two thirds down the Times league table.

How detrimental is this to his future career prospects?

Author:  perplexed [ Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

I may be wrong, but my impression is that over the last 20 years or so, and to a limited extent, people have started to respect certain courses at specific institutions rather than just the overall ranking of the university itself.

Have you questioned the relevant department about the employment prospects of graduates from this particular course? Do they have some genuine destination statistics which show you whether they have a good employment record for their graduates? Do they have contacts with particular employers who contact them and try to cream off the best graduates at the end of the course?

Sorry not to have a better answer!

Good luck.

Author:  Guest55 [ Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

Good advice above - do not go just by league tables - it's a bit like choosing schools - go by student satisfaction survey and employability of graduates.

Author:  KB [ Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Have you looked at tables for the particular subject rather than the university as a whole?
If the department doesn't have the info on graduate employment you could try the University's Careers Dept. as they probably have the info to advise current students.

Author:  SunlampVexesEel [ Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

With my employer hat on, I look for combination of University and Subject.

So the suggestion to look closer is a good one.

Also... you are going to spend 3+ years there so there may be non-academic considerations too. I remember walking out of one uni visit before the interview... it just didn't look nice!

Regards
SVE

Author:  Tom's mum [ Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:03 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I feel as though I've looked at every league table from every angle and still have mixed feelings - son wants to do joint honours Geography/Tourism Management, which naturally reduces number of applicable unis; his predicted grades reduce them further (B,C,E).

He has gone ahead and put Gloucestershire Uni as his firm choice and, obviously, at 18 years it is his decision (and the bulk of it, his debt!). It is interesting to see that GU sits fairly low in tables for Geog, but much higher for tourism; yet it has been awarded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning status for Geog - can only presume this is because its value added is high. So, from this I take some reassurance that they work wonders with their lower ability entry level, which would suit my son. Employment prospects don't look good, though (yet they were much higher last year. A blip?)

Anyway, when all is said and done, all I can do as a parent is guide and advise, in the end its his decision. And, given that this time last year he was adament he wasn't going to uni at all, at least I can feel some relief that he is highering his aspirations.

But will he get the grades ...
... that's another worry (and ultimately another thread!)

Author:  T.i.p.s.y [ Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:26 am ]
Post subject: 

Tom's mum - good luck to your son. :)

I think if he has chosen this uni he will probably be inspired to work harder there, than if you had tried to convince him to go to another uni. One of my friends at school who would have got into Oxford eventually chose to go to Sheffield because that particular course was rated higher there than at Oxford. Another friend of mine did Physics at Brunel and ended up doing a PHD at Stanford, USA! They had only asked for CCE to get into the course initially,but she still managed to end up at an Ivy League in the end.

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