How do you judge universities?

katekelly Member Posts: 975
edited 31. Oct 2010, 09:13 in Community Chit-chat archive
Well at last Ellie and I have just visited the last university on her list. We have seen so many that I'm beginning to forget which one was which!! I know that it must be Ellies choice but goodness me I wouldn't want to be her! So any of you who have been through this could you give us some idea of what we should be looking at - as student, as parents and both combined. Distance doesn't come into it as everyone she has looked at is approximately 45-60 minutes away and easily reached by road. She has one firm favorite but I think that's because it's a pretty area and small. Only two she has looked at were what I would call large. Having never had the chance to go to university I don't know what to look for. Help please xx


  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    look on line to see how many people have found employment after leaving and what grades they achived do they have halls of residence and do they provide meals val
  • roses1
    roses1 Member Posts: 1,850
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Kate,

    It will depend on what course she is interested in , what the uni is offerering, is the course the same at each uni, are the facilities better, burseries, sponsorship, you can also look at the league tables ( you can find these on net), talk to staff at school which unis they went to , most importantly where your daughter will feel most happy! she will be there for 3 yrs + . my son will be off next sept :cry: but he knows where he wants to go and what hes doing so thats good , daughter left uni 2 yrs ago. if i can be of any more help just ask :D
    hope this was usefull.

    Rose x
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Kate

    I think that the content of the course is the most important thing, and whether it is suitable for what Ellie wants to study. After all, she will be studying it for three or four years, so she needs to choose the right course for her. Many students drop out of their courses every year because they didn't choose wisely, so it is important to find out all you can about what each uni is offering in the area of study Ellie is interested in. Her school should be able to advise her as well.

    Good luck to her in whatever she chooses. At least she will be one of the last students to go to uni before the fees go up to ridiculous heights!!
  • angel1
    angel1 Bots Posts: 1,464
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree wholeheartedly about the Course being the most important aspect of any decision.

    My elder son, now a journalist, and for whom Literature has always been a big part of his life, was badly advised. He was doing a Joint Honours Degree in English Literature, with Modern Languages, only to find that the ML aspect contained no literature. He was required to complete the first year, and pass the exams, before he was able to change to another University, thus spending five years in total.

    Both of my sons graduated from The University of Leeds, and still say that it had everything needed, in terms of great results, a city with a fine culture, good student accomodation......Oh, and the best pubs......allegedly!........Ange.x.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,887
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Kate

    Havent we come a long way from poorly ellie!!

    I bet you are proud - she should choose based on the area, course results and then in the end her own results of course.

    I hope she finds a good one and gets in

    I wish her all the best


    toni xx
  • cthornley
    cthornley Member Posts: 627
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I firstly narrowed down my choices by the course...luckily I'd always known what subject but there were significant differences in how it was taught between universities. I then visited them and went on gut feeling. I actually chose Newcastle on the city more than the uni as I loved it when I got here.... Good thing really as I've now been here over 12 years! I hated Cambridge as I couldn't stand the type of people who had attended the open day with me and the thought of spending 7 years studying with them filled me with dread :shock:
    I guess you need to look at the who package, subject, lecturers, results, accommodation, social scene, city and gut feeling
    Good luck
  • Rainbow77
    Rainbow77 Member Posts: 275
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi KateKelly

    I agree with the others about the course. You need to look closely at what the course entails because the same subject can vary greatly depending on the lead lecturers and their influence.

    Is she going to live at home and commute? You said each journey would be about 45 mins - is that the same in rush hour. Is their public transport as well?

    I would also look at the library resources and student support and see how many students are enrolled onto her course of choice. Would she feel happier in a smaller group with more attention or a large group? Also how many lectures she will have. You will be shocked that some only have to attend 2-3 times a week. Especially as time goes on so make sure you get your moneys worth, especially with paying tuition fees.

    It is an exciting time, wish I was going again!!!

    Fayann xxx
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Both of my sons graduated from The University of Leeds, and still say that it had everything needed, in terms of great results, a city with a fine culture, good student accomodation......Oh, and the best pubs......allegedly!.....

    Great place, Leeds :!: :D My daughter graduated from there, and my niece is a lecturer there.
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,300
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, what an exciting and scary time!

    The course content is important - no one wants to be stuck on a boring course that is irrelevant. The size of the college is important - some prefer a smaller college, some a larger one. What social opportunities there are. Visit the student's union. Talk to lecturers and students. Look at the area - this is where she will be living for the next few years. Consider public transport, how safe it is to walk about at night etc What student accomodation on and off campus is available. Then draw up a grid and fill all details on to compare.

    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • lupin15
    lupin15 Member Posts: 2,182
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Here is my son he will be able to give you some handle hints.

    I taught at the university of Liverpool for four years and now teach at a sixth form college. I always tell my students that they should take everything the university says about itself with a big pinch of salt, they want your money and aren't exactly fair. Also ignore the statistics they use about where their graduates go afterwards. The statistics about graduates in work include those with a graduate job and those stacking shelves in tesco!

    What you should do is talk to the students when you go there. Did they look like the people you would want to spend three years with? Each university has a different market so Liverpool tends to get more people from the area who are down to earth, Lampeter tends to get those who want a quiet experience. You also need to ask about contact time with lecturers, are they available to help you or are they more researched focused? This will have a massive impact if you rely more on tutorials rather than big lectures. The last thing you should consider is where did your lecturers go to study? If they are Oxford graduates you are getting an Oxford education whether you are in Manchester or Southampton, and make sure they have a Phd, if they are working towards one they will be distracted.

    Hope that helps
  • livinglegend
    livinglegend Member Posts: 1,425
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    All courses are what you make of them. So don't worry too much about the course or content. As for the students already there, they will have moved up a year or graduated and gone. Many of the jobs requiring a Degree, any Degree will do, (except for certified specialities, Doctors, Pharmacists, etc.). 'Transferable skills' are what counts. Remember that the current average is 69 applicants for every job that requires a Degree.

    Students can fairly easily swap courses if they aren't happy with the one they are on, but it is difficult to swap universities. They will thus most likely have to live with the one they initially choose.

    So the most important question is, "Could you enjoy living/working there for 3 or 4 years, 24 hours a day/7 days a week?" If the answer is yes, that is the place to go.

    In my case it was easy, I took one look at the buildings, all Post-modern glass and steel, and said, "That's the place for me!" And it was.

    Joseph 8)
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My son took business studies at uni and did all the looking and sorting out himself. He looked for a uni that offered a year out during the course. He had worked out that businesses want people with experience. He did a year out in industry and was promised a place there if he got the grades. He did and has been there 7 years. He was very happy at the uni he chose and still is good friends with some he met.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Both my girls sorted it out for themselves- I made no input whatsoever!!!!However I had just started R.A so wouldn't have been able to help.
    My oldest daughter followed her boyfriend up North and did some art course just for the sake of it just to be near him. Needless to say she is still studying part-time for the subjects she really is interested in (languages)at 26 years of age.
    My other one chose Sussex because her dad lived near and it helped keep costs down. The student life is great in Brighton I am told. I would like to think the thought about their choices!
    I personally think the course should be well taught and students from that Uni have a good employment record.

    Never be bullied into silence.
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