Offers, firm and insurance

(89 Posts)
Isthiscorrect Fri 28-Feb-14 08:01:33

Ok I'm a little bit confused and need help to understand this.
Ds has 5 offers, very fortunate I know. Realistically he applied to one prestigious (not Oxbridge) uni not expecting to get accepted. However he did get accepted. The problem is because it's so respected everyone (not me and dh) expects him to automatically put that as his first choice. The issue, as we understand it from the uni website, student room etc, is it seems this uni doesn't offer the uni experience in the way most other unis do. Since before he even completed his UCAS he always wanted to go to uni B. But now he is swayed, partly by the opportunities uni A will offer and partly by the name on his CV.

The real problem though is uni B who gave him a lower offer than all the others, who all gave the same offer. So he has to put uni B as his insurance, which means, I think, the other uni will be his firm. However he is expected to achieve higher than even his firm. So if he does his best he doesn't get to go to the uni he wants?

I'm not sure I've explained this clearly but I really am struggling to articulate and feel I may have overlooked something obvious?

Educatingme Tue 04-Mar-14 15:03:45

not sure- the argument I think was that smaller companies dont care where you went to Uni so, given most jobs are with smaller companies, why bother with Uni A for the sake of it?

Shootingatpigeons Tue 04-Mar-14 15:21:32

Employees! And being Dyslexic I am usually good at deciphering the unconventional if not the conventional.

From here perhaps www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDsQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parliament.uk%2Fbriefing-papers%2Fsn06078.pdf&ei=Z-kVU6xdzJKGB_qQgaAJ&usg=AFQjCNGQZql3gS8DqsNAJ9K-4tlzp9iemw&bvm=bv.62286460,d.ZGU But 96% of businesses (many of which may not be actively operating) being SMEs employing 0-9 people does not equate to 95% of people working in them, in fact I think the latter statistic is pretty much impossible if the former statistic is true. All things being equal if 96% of businesses did actually employ on average 9 people (they don't) then for 95% of employees to be employed in them the rest would have to employ an average of 45 hmm.

In fact SMEs account for 99.9% of businesses in the UK but 47% of private sector employment. [http://www.fsb.org.uk/stats]

That is before you skew that for businesses who employ a high proportion of graduates.

But like educating would like to hear differently?

Shootingatpigeons Tue 04-Mar-14 15:22:52

dyslexic linking www.fsb.org.uk/stats

Anyway as you were, Uni A better for career prospects...........

legallady Tue 04-Mar-14 16:50:50

The advice above about doing an integrated undergraduate masters is interesting. It makes perfect sense for a science student who is hoping to progress to a PhD. What is the view for humanities students? Dd (if she gets the grades) has the chance to do a masters in modern languages in 4 years at Southampton. A BA in modern languages generally takes four years. Would it be worth her while to go for the masters rather than a conventional BA from a "higher ranked" university? I know she really needs to choose the place and the course which suits her the most, but all else being equal, would the masters give her better employment prospects? So many things to consider....

Educatingme Tue 04-Mar-14 17:05:56

legallady Masters are usually of two kinds: the bridge to the doctorate, or the professional training. The growth in taught masters came about because of compliance with the European way of teaching degrees, known as the Bologna process. It used to be the case that an "honours degree" allowed you to do a doctorate straught away; thats why its called honours. But under Bologna, you cant; you have to have this masters stage inbetween.

But alongside that, came the growth of dual purpose masters years, designed for those who maybe didn't want to go onto the full doctorate. And now, that has overtaken the traditional masters degree, and is more common. Lots of Unis now offer masters degrees who have hardly any Dphil students. As a result, a lot of jobs expect masters degrees because all the european students have them, and that's affecting the jobs market.

Languages courses are usually four years anyway because of the year abroad. Southampton has essentially "badged" their normal UG degree as a masters. I wouldn't say that this would necessarily give better employment prospects. It's not the kind of masters that people mean. MFL is in any case a very sellable degree (says she with a MFL degree from Oxford). In her shoes I would go with the higher ranked University. Do you feel able to share what her "higher ranked" Uni is?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 04-Mar-14 17:47:11

Ah I am obviously wrong! I went to a Westminster Briefing last week where a very knowledgeable member of the House of Lords quoted that statistic.... I took it at face value - I did mean private sector employment though.

The point I tried to make (badly) is that universities used to be recruitment centres for big corporates. The big corperates are smaller and fewer now. Graduates need to think about what SMEs want in terms of skill sets - not just big companies.

legallady Tue 04-Mar-14 18:28:09

Thanks Educatingme that's really helpful. The higher ranked uni is Durham. I think some of the modules at Southampton may be of more interest - the Durham course may be a little "traditional" for her tastes and very focused on literature. She still has a fair amount of mulling over to do I think.

Shootingatpigeons Tue 04-Mar-14 18:29:00

Totally agree Unexpected Graduate recruitment has diversified a lot, even the big players who still do operate graduate recruitment schemes, may be identifying those with potential as early as Year 12 for sponsorship, or recruiting graduates years after they finish and have built up their CVs. There still are a few careers in which names matter, some law firms etc., interestingly after a swing towards a leveller playing field in the 70s that seemed to harden back to a few names but now a couple of law firms are trying to be uni blind.

However it is about personal qualities and what is on your CV which is why some of us were saying not to discount Uni A, not so much because it has a name, but because of the opportunities he will get to develop his interest in politics, and improve his prospects of a career in it.

Educatingme Tue 04-Mar-14 18:50:49

There really are two quite distinct types of MFL courses. Though even the really trad ones are less trad than when I did mine back in 1980, when we did medieval French and German and liked it, followed by all the classic works of literature in both languages. There is a lot of reading long books in the original language at Oxford, I don't know about Durham.

Is she good at literature? Or is she more interested in speaking the language in a commercial setting? Does Southampton do science and business language modules? Does Durham have a good year abroad programme? Take a look on Unistats to see what people do afterwards.

Look very carefully at what people do in their year abroad. Anything that sends you on some crappy course for brits abroad is to be avoided, you want an actual job with actual foreign people taking foreign at you all day long. IMHO grin

Educatingme Tue 04-Mar-14 18:54:40

Can't trust these peers of the realm, eh? Shame, that would have been interesting.

venturabay Wed 05-Mar-14 00:01:59

I've been struggling with a malfunctioning computer for days Educatingme, so was hammering out posts illiterately before things froze. But the point I attempted to make way back, badly, was simply about the difference in price between a fourth year integrated science masters and a £15k/ £26k law 'bridge'. Obviously the latter is just totally out of reach for the vast majority without funding, which is seriously scarce. Sorry for the dilatory response smile

fussychica Wed 05-Mar-14 18:23:32

legallady DS does MFL - agree with Educatingme re some courses being very literature biased. DS didn't want that at all so steered away from places offering this and picked somewhere focusing on the practical. His modules include business (but not science) and he has taken a TEFL based module which set him up well for his year abroad.

Just to say year abroad options don't necessarily mean university study. DS had no interest in this and decided on gaining work experience via a three month internship with a language school followed by a British Council placement in a boarding school (in two different countries). His best friend has been on an extended high level language course and is now working for a marketing company on his YA.

legallady Wed 05-Mar-14 22:28:45

Thanks Fussy. I'm really trying to get DD to focus on what she wants out of this degree and so far all she has decided is that she wants a mixture of literature, modern culture (particularly film) but really doesn't want much very old history (e.g.medieval.) English literature is probably her strongest subject so I think she is reasonably confident of being able to cope with the literature aspects but doesn't want literature to completely dominate the course. I'm sure she'll come to some conclusions soon .....

Isthiscorrect Sun 06-Apr-14 12:10:15

Thank you everyone. Apologies for being so tardy in my response. Ds still has to firm but is waiting until after the holidays, he is off to offer holders day at both unis. Incidentally uni B have now given him an unconditional so we are no further on at this moment. I am unable to help except to say we support him in his choice wherever he wants to go. I suspect uni A will win out because he is so driven and recognises the opportunities he will have from there.

Good luck to all DC and wineto all DP.

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