To not understand why MN posters refer to top RG universities?

(110 Posts)
Dolcelatte Wed 09-Jul-14 14:08:03

Surely there is Oxbridge, RG and the rest - or is that oversimplifying the position?

UncleT Wed 09-Jul-14 15:03:06

So people want to attach prestige to their education. No matter how misguided they might be in doing so or how they go about it, is it really so hard to understand? People get proud of their efforts and perhaps embark on a little brag. Really not something to get worked up about.

I love my ex-poly/new university. They're fantastic for my subject (and for several others), so supportive when I found out I was pregnant at the start of second year, and a happy community atmosphere.

I don't see what's wrong with them.

UncleT Wed 09-Jul-14 15:06:12

Also, a 'top' RG university does potentially exist as a concept - there are various ways of comparing universities who are members of the RG, irrespective of the fact that there is no official 'league table' of RG universities.

Another vote for the "didn't know I'd been RG'd until joining Mumsnet."

How do you quantify a "top RG" anyway? Surely that means Oxbridge? If not, what are the indicators? confused

I do like the idea of going to a Russell Grant university though grin

may mention the idea to him

higgle Wed 09-Jul-14 15:08:51

OP, Oxford and Cambridge are Russell Group unis, I suppose they would be the top ones ( didn't look if UCL was, presume so)

ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 09-Jul-14 15:12:51

Pumpkin,grin I'm in that group, although to be fair the RG didn't exist until the last year I was there.

I simply went to the only Uni I could get to and from on the train in time to go home for the weekend.

Then I found out their were no trains on winter Sundays and ended up taking my dear old car.

UncleT Wed 09-Jul-14 15:14:08

Indicators could be many, such as employment stats post graduation for example. I certainly don't claim to know all the answers, but there surely are various measures out there to compare institutions.

I too now also find that I unwittingly graduated from a RG university - it means sod all to me really, far more important is the degree I attained and what I have done with it since.

TillyTellTale Wed 09-Jul-14 15:18:44

Does it count as going to an RG university, if someone went there before 1994? Or in the case of Durham, Exeter, Queen Mary University of London and York, before 2012?

Because if so, I think I may be the first person in my family to study at a NON-RG university! grin grin grin

Schooltrip Wed 09-Jul-14 15:19:05

Just googled Sutton 13 and discovered my old uni is also on that list. grin

Never heard of it before.

MyFairyKing Wed 09-Jul-14 15:42:45

I'm always interested to note that on university threads when you get the bog standard stealth boasters that they are very quick to point out a.) the university and b.) the grade. Yet, little mention of securing employment, how active a participant they were within the university and their transferable skills.

In my cohort of friends/peers, everyone (except me who went later) went to university either straight from school or from university. They all went to very good universities and secured very good grades. Some of them struggled to secure employment and even those who did, some found it difficult to adapt to the working environment.

MamaMary Wed 09-Jul-14 15:44:51

should say, a published report said all that - can't remember its name.

angelos02 Wed 09-Jul-14 15:47:16

Odd that Newcastle University isn't on there. That is a top university for medical students/dentists.

TillyTellTale Wed 09-Jul-14 15:50:32

On what, angelos02? The Sutton 13 list?

Since being introduced to the concept (thanks Mumsnet!), I have since mugged up on RG-ness.

Trying to explain it to other equally blissfully unaware mortals however, has led to some confusion.

Not least because I can never remember what "RG" stands for and end up telling people I went to a "Russell Grant" university. confused

Just googled Sutton 13 and discovered my old uni is also on that list.

"Sutton 13" - Sounds more like victims a of miscarriage of justice rather than an elite group of universities. confused

Germgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 16:00:29

I want to go to a Russell Grant university. I imagine it'd be very sparkly.

TillyTellTale Wed 09-Jul-14 16:01:53

Right, I've just been googling, and the Sutton 13 list (which was updated and expanded to take in 30 universities in 2011) wasn't a table of "universities noted for the quality of their education" either!

The Sutton Trust is a charity that aims to increase social mobility and increase access to education for under-privileged children.

The Sutton Trust initially picked a list of 13 UK universities which were identified as "research-led universities" and "those ranked the highest in an average of published university league tables", for the purposes of monitoring social mobility in 2000. These universities were in alphabetical order:[1]

^University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Durham University, University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of St Andrews, University College London, University of Warwick, University of York

In 2011, the Trust updated their methodology to take in the 30 "most highly selective" British universities, which were "also the 30 most selective according to the Times University Guide" for the purpose of illustrating the relative number of students from poor backgrounds enrolled here against the rest of the institutions. These are, in alphabetical order:[2]

Source: wikipedia

noblegiraffe Wed 09-Jul-14 16:02:48

Bath Uni does exceptionally well in all the league tables, better than many RG universities yet it isn't RG.

I wouldn't look down on someone who went to Bath, it makes nonsense of the idea of RG as the only unis worth going to.

Schooltrip Wed 09-Jul-14 16:11:04

I think you have to look at the best uni for the subject you wish to study.

You could have an RG uni which has a crap reputation for maths for instance.......in which case you'd be better going to the non RG uni.

I don't think people in real life give a stuff.

Despite going to two unis (sorry if that sounds smug) I hadn't heard of RG until I came on MN. I think that's pretty typical really, most people most of the time don't know or care.

As a rule of thumb, I think most people 'judge' both universities and courses by the method of 'Have I ever heard of that?' If it's the name of a city, it's older and more 'established', otherwise it is probably 'modern' and 'up and coming' and may have more 'modern' courses but maybe less prestigious.

If the course is called something people studied 30 or 40 years ago, it is 'traditional' and if you have to ask 'What's that then?' it's modern and possibly a bit suspect, until the student explains it to you.

doobledootch Wed 09-Jul-14 16:34:44

grin at Russell Grant university.

I've been to two Russell Group universities, the only place I'd probably mention this is mums net as it's the only place I've ever noticed anyone caring.

Downamongtherednecks Wed 09-Jul-14 16:48:48

Well, as soon as I found out I'd been to a "top" RG university, (UCL) I did stick it on my CV as you might as well boast about real stuff, rather than just .. er.. embellish the dull stuff! Might add Sutton 13, now I know about it, thanks MN! I applied for a couple of contracts abroad, and the employers DID know what RG was, and it did appear to be of interest.

FFSFFS Wed 09-Jul-14 16:51:59

3 of My DCs go to RG Uni's and I think the fact that their Uni's were traditionally 'good research' Uni's had a baring on them chosing to go to them. I hadn't heard of RG Uni's so it didn't come from me.
Perhaps, it has more to do with the RG Uni's marketing themselves more proactively. I don't think its a MN snobby thing.

Bunbaker Wed 09-Jul-14 16:58:36

"the only place I'd probably mention this is mums net as it's the only place I've ever noticed anyone caring."

DD's secondary school care. Their target is to get more A level students into RG universities because it makes them look good. Doesn't anyone on here with teenagers not know what their school thinks?

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