Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to ask if DC shouldn't bother with university if they can't get into a Russell Group one?

(663 Posts)
TuTuTilly Fri 14-Jun-13 18:31:36

I'd never heard of the ruddy things before I joined MN. Didn't even realise I'd been to one. I do recall when I had a tedious summer job in Human Resources which included "sifting" job applications for an international firm of accountants, being told to dump any that weren't from a handful of universities.

So my question is; if your child can't get into an RG university - should they accept that they will be unemployable oiks upon graduation and resign themselves to a life working in call centres?

BathTangle Fri 14-Jun-13 18:49:47

I went to St Andrews - not a RG university, but the oldest one in Scotland and very highly respected - don't think any employer thought, "oh, not RG, won't look at her".

I then did an MSc at Reading, again not RG: I chose it rather than other RG options because at the time it was the best-regarded uni for the subject (directly related to the career I went into).

I get what you are saying, but RG is NOT everything.

ShadeofViolet Fri 14-Jun-13 18:51:00

I agree it depends what they want to do after university.

For 99% of things it wont matter.

cory Fri 14-Jun-13 18:51:24

<leans down and whispers conspiratorially>

OP, there is a world outside MN where all sorts of interesting and unexpected things can happen

ChablisLover Fri 14-Jun-13 18:51:47

I had never even heard of the Russell group before mumsnet.

Having looked at that list it appears I went to a Russell group Uni! Learn something everyday don't you?

Ime - It didn't help or hinder my jobs prospects.

Pickle131 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:53:01

Not quite OP but you are onto something. I work in higher ed and do a lot of work / research in vocational education. I am inclined to think that a skilled route into work via college and / or apprenticeship would be a better course of action for many young people. And I don't mean just those who did less well in their GCSEs. All this studying is ultimately meant to be about finding your niche in the workplace and the increasingly standard route via uni isn't the best for everyone. I do think that a useful higher ed course needs to be directly vocational (eg dentistry, teaching, engineering etc) or critical thinking based (eg philosophy) in order to give you the edge.

exoticfruits Fri 14-Jun-13 18:54:48

MNetters get hung up on all sorts of things that give a totally false impression of RL.

BeKindToYourKnees Fri 14-Jun-13 19:06:58

Given that the majority of universities are charging £9k per annum for tuitions fees, surely as a student you would want to spend that money on being taught by a RG Uni?

Bobyan Fri 14-Jun-13 19:09:40

I'm not sure what I find more comical, a RG graduate who didn't know they were a RG graduate.
Or the fact that upon discovering they were a RG graduate, the OP is now trying to decide if non-RG degrees are worthless by asking an internet forum of total strangers.

And what exactly is wrong with working in a call centre? Any work experience is better than signing on.

littlewhitebag Fri 14-Jun-13 19:10:13

I too went to St Andrews, then an OU degree, then dipSw at Stirling. None are Russell group. I have never been out of work.

Chunderella Fri 14-Jun-13 19:11:08

It depends, but I suspect that as things get more competitive it will start to become more important. The ex-poly people in this thread who have done well all seem to have left quite a while ago, one wonders if it will be the same for the class of 2013. The Russell Group doesn't cover all the top universities anyway, but people do tend to use it as shorthand for that. But just as not all RG universities and courses are created equal, neither are all non-RGs. So for example if you have a B Ed from Manchester Met, that's a rather prestigious course. If your DC can get onto that course, they'll have done very well indeed and it's a good foundation for a teaching career. There's a world of difference between that and a degree in a woolly sounding arts subject from somewhere closer to the bottom of the league tables.

chickydoo Fri 14-Jun-13 19:11:42

My DH didn't go to Uni, now working for a large international bank he employs 200+ staff and has a budget of ( A hell of a lot ) his equivalent in other banking organisations have degrees & masters, many from RG unis. DH's direct boss always asks DH to employ the lawyers and accountants from RG unis. DH laughs at him & reminds him that he is not a uni person & only employs his staff on their potential for the company. This usually shuts his boss up.
I didn't go to to uni either, but have run my own successful business for the last 15 years.
I think if you can get to interview stage then what uni you went to doesn't matter. If the company only employ from certain unis, they are not worth the bother, there will be better employers out there.

Salmotrutta Fri 14-Jun-13 19:13:15

The reason St Andrews isn't Russell Group is because its considered too small.

So size apparently does matter hmm

Ridiculous.

TuTuTilly Fri 14-Jun-13 19:14:58

"OP, there is a world outside MN where all sorts of interesting and unexpected things can happen"

Cory - I think you may have just blasphemed! What is this world outside of MN of which you dare to speak?

landofsoapandglory Fri 14-Jun-13 19:15:23

DS1 has put a RG down as his 1st choice Uni if he goes in the Autumn. He hasn't picked it because it is RG, he picked it because of the course, the location and the feel of the place. It was a close run thing between that one and his insurance choice, though, which I preferred and still think he would like better.

exoticfruits Fri 14-Jun-13 19:16:34

Bekindtoyourknees- if you are spending £9k a year then you are very silly just to assume that RG is best for you- you need to do a much more 'in depth' study.

Elquota Fri 14-Jun-13 19:16:58

Some employers will be narrow-minded enough to screen by that method, yes. But there are many, many more that don't. The experience of university life is valuable, as well as the degree course. Meeting a wider range of people than many people do in the world of work, the social life, experimenting with different ideas and ways of being, etc. Ideally at university you become a more rounded person, with your brain being stretched in different directions, rather than simply learning skills for a job.

Carolra Fri 14-Jun-13 19:18:24

They have an obvious typo on their "About Us" page... I went to a non-RG uni, have a good city job and know the importance of proof reading....

exoticfruits Fri 14-Jun-13 19:19:12

We need Xenia on here- she would narrow it down and throw out most of the RG!!

BeKindToYourKnees Fri 14-Jun-13 19:20:30

*exoticfruits" why do you assume that me and my DD have not done an "in-depth" study?

whois Fri 14-Jun-13 19:20:37

Choosing the right uni is very important. There is no point doing 'law' or something like that at an ex-polls and expect to actually be able to get a training contract.

Likewise you are often best placed going to an ex-polly for some of the 'newer' subjects as they often have better established, more respected courses with better links to industry.

If you just want to do a general subject degree like English Lit or Economics of Geography and then go into a standard graduate job, I think you do need to go to a decent uni and get a 2:1.

Latara Fri 14-Jun-13 19:21:03

All the current intake from my non-RG ex-poly uni are awaiting the results of their first job interviews (a cousin of mine is among them) - they are likely to all find employment in their chosen (vocational) career of Nursing, just like most previous intakes.

The ex-Poly uni offers mainly practical work-experience based business, forensic, journalism & media, arts (fashion, film etc) or vocational courses (Nursing, social work etc) with an extremely high post-grad employment rate in those chosen fields.

ChipsNEggs Fri 14-Jun-13 19:21:28

Durham only joined the RG very recently. I don't think their graduates applications were consigned to the bin before they joined.

The University attended is only one factor.

TuTuTilly Fri 14-Jun-13 19:21:37

Bobyan - glad you are so easily amused grin I would wager most of the people at my university didn't know it was RG - I spent four years there and never heard it mentioned.

And the whole point of Mumsnet is to get information out of total strangers! Or do you all know each other in real life cos you all went to the same RG university?

BeKindToYourKnees Fri 14-Jun-13 19:21:52

exoticfruits why do you assume that me and my DD have not done an "in-depth" study?

SizzleSazz Fri 14-Jun-13 19:22:25

I used to do some recruitment for a Big 4 firm and RG was never a requirement. They accepted me too (for accountancy) without it...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now