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Ex-poly debate thing

SystemSystem Posts: 8,583 Community Managers
In choosing my university to go to, I don't know whether to consider this or not.

The two Unis i'm choosing between are Oxford Brookes and Reading, both to do History. I like Oxford Brookes, and it is in the top 5 for that subject in the country. But I don't know whether to consider that it is an ex-poly or not, because I'm doing a traditional subject, and don't know whether a more traditional university (Reading) would be better because of this.

I personally am not bothered, I'm just thinking of employment afterwards.

All opinions welcome. Thanks :)
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    im a prime example!
    At sheffield uni doing busienss only coz it was polys that do business and i refused to go to one! my stuck up ways!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Ex-poly debate thing
    Originally posted by MoonShiner
    In choosing my university to go to, I don't know whether to consider this or not.

    The two Unis i'm choosing between are Oxford Brookes and Reading, both to do History. I like Oxford Brookes, and it is in the top 5 for that subject in the country. But I don't know whether to consider that it is an ex-poly or not, because I'm doing a traditional subject, and don't know whether a more traditional university (Reading) would be better because of this.

    I personally am not bothered, I'm just thinking of employment afterwards.

    All opinions welcome. Thanks :)

    Well neither of those universities are 'original' ones, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Personally I was told to avoid Polies like the plague as a Law student, it's hard enough to get a training contract to be a solicitor if you have a top degree from a top uni, let alone a 3rd from the University of life. Not that I ever considered applying to any polys anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the opinions, especially GWST :) I think I'm going to go to Oxford Brookes - I can see myself enjoying it more there, and it is better for History anyway.
  • White NoiseWhite Noise Posts: 624 Miniposter
    i heard that out of all the old poly's oxford brookes was the best.

    i had it down as my second choice but chose my first purely because they asked for higher entry grades. looking back i'm not sure what i was on :confused:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have recently applied for both Bristol Uni and UWE, (ex- Bristol Poly) and was advised by most people including my tutor to go for the former. Even though they both score the same, the facilities at BU are far superior, don't know if you've looked at that side.

    Also I've been told by my tutor that postgrad career opportunities are better for BU.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Go where your heart takes you - I went to Oxford (not Brookes, the other), because I got a place and felt like I should go, haetd it and ended up leaving after 2 months. Now at Sheffield (Hi Kat!!) at it's far better.

    Also, Brookes is miles better than Reading (pr so I've heard).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I went to a Poly and I have a better job than any of my friends who went to Universities....there is barely a difference, it's all down to you in the end not the establishment you choose!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    there's not that much difference statuswise between Reading and Oxford Brookes Uni so i would say go for whichever you liked the look of best! and seeing as you like oxford better and it ahd a better department then go for that one.

    That and you wouldn't have to put up with being in the same uni as my sister :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I chose Brookes in the end, and put reading as my insurance choice. Thanks for the thoughts and the help everyone :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tbh after the top 5 - 10 unis in the country there isn't that much to chose between them.

    Although I did hear once from the mouth of an employer that they do sometimes think that if soemones got a good grade from an ex poly they have actually performed better than someone who's got a good grade from a uni bcause in general they are poorer students in the first place. No offence meant to anyone there...remember I'm at an ex poly. It came up because my family didn't like me turning down Liverpool uni for Manchester met. But I'm bloody glad I did. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kazbo
    Tbh after the top 5 - 10 unis in the country there isn't that much to chose between them.

    Although I did hear once from the mouth of an employer that they do sometimes think that if soemones got a good grade from an ex poly they have actually performed better than someone who's got a good grade from a uni bcause in general they are poorer students in the first place. met.

    I don't know what industry that person was from but I'm not quite sure they know how it works. Say two people both get a 2:1, one from a top red brick and one from an ex-poly, that means that the person at the red-brick has perofmred considerably better, because the point is you can't compare courses from 'proper' unis to ex-polys directly like that. It is easier to get better gradings at ex-polys because they are not graded as harshly. A 2:1 from Brookes is not the same as a 2:1 from Oxford! Please note i don't mean to belittle in anyway people at polys, I have loads of mates at them, but to say that a good degree from a poly is better than a good degree from a red brick simply aint true, that's illogical. They are poorer students on the first place, but they are on a reliatively poorer course, so it evens itself out..... Plenty of people from polys I'm sure are very good candidates and go on to be successful and whatever, i'm not knocking that, I'm just saying that the higher ranked the university/course, the harder it is to get onto the course, the harder it is as a result to get a good grade. It follows.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    sorry I know i might sound stupid or whatever but I've looked on the net and I can't find out: whats an ex-poly?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    oh ok thanks, looked for polytechnic n got info then

    thanks m8 :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Museman
    I don't know what industry that person was from but I'm not quite sure they know how it works. Say two people both get a 2:1, one from a top red brick and one from an ex-poly, that means that the person at the red-brick has perofmred considerably better, because the point is you can't compare courses from 'proper' unis to ex-polys directly like that. It is easier to get better gradings at ex-polys because they are not graded as harshly. A 2:1 from Brookes is not the same as a 2:1 from Oxford! Please note i don't mean to belittle in anyway people at polys, I have loads of mates at them, but to say that a good degree from a poly is better than a good degree from a red brick simply aint true, that's illogical. They are poorer students on the first place, but they are on a reliatively poorer course, so it evens itself out..... Plenty of people from polys I'm sure are very good candidates and go on to be successful and whatever, i'm not knocking that, I'm just saying that the higher ranked the university/course, the harder it is to get onto the course, the harder it is as a result to get a good grade. It follows.

    I've been to both an old red brick uni and now 2 ex poly's. Tbh I wouldn't say there is that much difference in the standard of the courses. Standard of teaching mind you yes there is poly's are shit no doubt about it. I have also compared the course I'm doing now to the equivalent at Cambridge we do more or less exactly the same. Bearing in mind he was doing computer science and I opted to do a course with more computing and less maths.

    University entry grades are set by how many people apply to do a course at that uni not on how hard the course is majority of the time. Therefore not implying it is any harder to get top grades there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ask employers in the legal profession and other such high profile/potentially lucrative professions whether they value poly degrees the same as red brick, the answer is no way. In fact unless you go to a red brick it is devilishly hard to even get started in the legal profession, very few places will even look twice. Independently moderated, hmm, a student who gets a first at the University of Derby (and I only use that example as I live near it) couldn't get a first at Oxbridge, it stands to reason. The very fact they have gone to Derby in the first place, means that their grades are drastically lower than the standard expected at Oxbridge. Someone who got C's and D's at A-level is not going to be able to match the performance of someone who got 4 or 5 As. A first from the 100th rated university and the 1st rated university cannot stand side by side and be considered equal, regardless of any independent moderation, they are poles apart in terms of respectabillity and employers perception/value.

    Not only that, if all courses were geuinely the same degree of difficulty, then employers would consider them on an equal basis, because what reason would they have not to? Even if a uni has a better reputation traditionally, if all courses are of equal difficulty the reputation wouldn't matter. But it does matter, employers all over the country will tell you as much. Clearly they don't buy into the independent moderation to make all courses of the same difficulty level either. Otherwise, Oxbridge and poly graduates would be on a level footing and have equal chances. But they're not, and they don't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Museman
    Ask employers in the legal profession and other such high profile/potentially lucrative professions whether they value poly degrees the same as red brick, the answer is no way. In fact unless you go to a red brick it is devilishly hard to even get started in the legal profession, very few places will even look twice.

    Trouble with careers like law is that there are so may people taking a degree in the subject it is hard to differentiate between candidates, so yes standard of university is looked at, although A-Level grades play a big part in that as well.

    Oh adn half my family are lawyers so yeah I know what I'm talking about on that front.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kazbo
    Trouble with careers like law is that there are so may people taking a degree in the subject it is hard to differentiate between candidates, so yes standard of university is looked at, although A-Level grades play a big part in that as well.

    Oh adn half my family are lawyers so yeah I know what I'm talking about on that front.

    Yeah we have a family friend who is a QC, that's true, in fact for things like Law I don't think all universities should be able to offer it, what's the point? The market is ridiculously flooded and ultimately people are taking degrees which in many cases are not going to be of much use to them. Then again, that's this government for you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No things aren't black and white but they're not far off, the majority of people who go to red bricks are more intelligent than people who go to poly's, there are always people with exceptional circumstances, I had personal problems and missed a lot of year 13 and ended up with AAB, a lot of people have a tale to tell but by and large cleverer people go to red brick unis. The vast majority of people who get C's and D's got them because they are only clever enough to get C's or D's.

    Your clever mate who went to a poly, no of course it doesn't mean she's not clever enough , because if she's a good student she'll have a great chance, but the point is that most poly students aren't of the same calibre of 'proper' unis!! I realise clever people might choose to go to a poly, or people like you wh had problems which led to them not performing in their exams. But the fact of the matter is, there is a huge difference between going to a top end uni and a bottom end uni, the infrastructure, the teaching, the tradition, more established departments, calibre of the (majority of) students.

    It would be nice to think that you could get whatever you want if you work hard enough. Unfortunately that is a cliche. Some people from polys go on to make it into careers which are traditionally seen as being for the top end graduate of course, but there are thousands of people with law degrees, who worked their arse off for them, who will never get an opening in the profession. That's the sad reality of it, the 'you can achieve whatever you want' notion just doesn't happen, there are huge numbers of students who have given everything and put 110% into their work who will still not achieve what they want to, because that's the way of the world. Sometimes it DOES matter where you start out from, of course it does.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Define intelligence.

    Apropos of nothing, the Politics department at the University of Northumbria got a higher mark for teaching (5) than the Politics department at the University of Durham (4). The same is true at many universities- one of the most respected International Relations theorists in the world, Andrew Linklater, is at Keele University. Many "new" universities pay more for good teaching staff, in order to bring in expertise and kudos.

    Degrees are roughly equivalent, and they are moderated by HEFCE to be so. Most "red brick" students are brighter or more applied, and that means that they are more likely to get a higher degree classification; a 1st is a 1st, regardless of whether it says UNN or Oxon or Dunelm after it.

    The problem in professions like Law is the snobbery- but if you are prepared to work you will get high up. I know someone who got a 2:2 from Manchester Poly (now Manchester Met) and is now a respected member of the Criminal Defence Solicitors Association. Going to a top university doesn't mean you are better- the only thing it does is allow more networking. It is not what you know but who you know- never forget that.

    In many other professions the university doesn't matter- I have another acquaintance who got a 2:2 from Middlesex University because she didn't want to leave home, and she now has a top job with Mars UK.

    And I go to Durham University, and am studying Law with Politics,for the record.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by girl with sharp teeth
    I think you're missing my point. What I said in the first place was that people who get firsts deserve to get firsts, no matter where they get them from. Statistically, there are more firsts from red-bricks than polys, which would confirm your opinion that "more intelligent" people go to red-bricks than polys, so why you're trying to argue with me about it I can't quite work out.

    Of course it helps if you have a good start, but truly determined people will work half to death to achieve what they want, and they will get it, no matter how disadvantaged they are.

    I'm a little saddened by your opinions to be frank, but I figure that you're are the loser by them - if you underestimate people and judge their intelligence by where they are rather than what they think and say, you won't get very far in life.

    Am I the one being judgemental? You're the one telling me that I underestimte people, judge them by where they come from etc. Not only is that judgemental it's not true at all, in fact the majority of my mates go to polys, going by your assumptions I would dismiss them as nobodys and have nothing to do with them. My main point was, there seems to be some sort of PC notion that it doesn't really matter where you go to university, when in many instances it does. No hard feelings anyway, it's something far too daft to fall out over...... In any case, I think a large part of my grievance (ok, all of it :-) ) is directed at this government, who are hellbent on sending far too many kids to uni. My mate wanted a plumber the other week, he had to get one in from Chester (2 hours away!) because he just couldn't get anyone nearer to come any time soon, they ought to be encouraging more labour/manual based apprenticeships and stuff like that, get people into jobs that are really needed and are of great service to the public, rather than convincing them that getting into thousands of pounds worth of debt whilst studying for a poor degree which ultimately will be not be much use to them. As much as anything else it's irresponsible, that the government encourage/convince kids to do such degrees, when they are plainly not the best option for either society or the individual. HE is not for a lot of people, many people in HE would be far better suited going ino a trade where they can really offer a good and useful service.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by girl with sharp teeth
    I do have to point out the several times you have stated that people at red-bricks are more intelligent than people at polys. But you're right, there's little point arguing about it.

    I agree with you on the stupid target of 50% in HE, especially as now that would mean half of the country owing a significant amount of debt at a time when personal debt is already at an all time high.

    Yeah I have said that a few times, but in the MAJORITY of cases it's true, as I also said there are exceptions to every rule, like you and your mate. But the average intelligence per individual is going to be higher in the overall.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It does stand to reason that the majority of people at the ex poly's are less intelligent, the average grades to get into ex poly's are lower to start with so they provide the opennings for the students who previously wouldn't have stood a chance of foing to university. Museman is not saying that there aren't exceptions to that rule, just for the majority it is true, which I have to say is right from my experience.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It depends how you judge "intelligence", doesn't it. I find some people at so called top universities are stuck up and have chips on their shoulders.

    I think in the end it comes down to your personal skills rather than whether your degree is from oxford or oxford brookes. (although obviously some employers will prefer the oxford graduate, doesn't this make them somewhat shortsighted?)

    I have been at an "old" university, I lasted 2 semesters, and I am now halfway through a degree at a "new" university.

    My course at this university is more orientated towards a future career and is more modern. I found my other course was very "up in the sky" and I had many thoughts of "what does this have to do with the real world?"
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by girl with sharp teeth
    Hmmm. So you think that generally, you are more intelligent than most people that attend polys?

    Yes I do, because the MAJORITY of people who go to Red bricks, are clevere than the MAJORITY of people who go to polys. I'm talking about across the board, thousands of students here. You seem to be a little touchy about it because you are an intelligent person who goes to a poly, I'm not talking about the exceptions, I'm talking about the rule. The average IQ of a uni kid will be higher than poly kid. The question about personal skills and employability I agree is totally seperate, but if we're talking about intelligence alone, then I stick by what I say. I get a bit tired of all this silly PC nonsense whereby everything has to be equal and no one can be better at something than anyone else. It's PC gone mad. By the same token, I will be the first to admit I am crap at things which tonnes of poly students are probably very good at. I can't paint or draw to save my life, I'm not very good at Science. Loads of poly kids can so those things, and I will happily admit that I can't. But again if we're talking 'general intelligence', yes I would happily stand up and be counted.
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