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Is he right - anything lower than a B isn't worth bothering with ... Uni related ...

(125 Posts)
UsedtobeFeckless Fri 14-Aug-15 20:18:30

Just had a row with my brother - who is being a pompous twat. But is he a pompous twat with a point?

Basically, his son ( My nephew, let's call him Kev ) just got his A level results - Bs and Cs - and missed both his offers. He's really upset, understandably. My brother is also upset - he's insisting Kev retake, as Any degree with entry requirements that low isn't worth the paper it's written on ...

Thing is, two of the three universities that DS1 ( Who is in the year below Kev at the same school ) is considering have Bs and Cs as their standard offer. My brother insists that employers would rather have someone with a third from a prestigious university than someone with a first from somewhere less well known - is he right? I thought degrees were technically worth the same irrespective of where they were from ...

Is it worth DS running up a huge debt if no-one's going to give him a chance because he didn't go to a Russell Group college?

CityDweller Fri 14-Aug-15 20:23:07

They are technically the same, but of course they're not. A 2.1 from Cambridge is 'worth' much more than a 2.1 from an ex-poly.

But, I think your brother is being a bit over the top. Partly because it depends what your nephew wants to get out of higher education. And also because it depends what subject he's going to do and where.

There are plenty of excellent universities (many of them in the top 10/20) that aren't Russell Group. Do your research (or rather your DS should) on each university and look particularly at their graduate employment statistics, number of good degrees, etc.

DawnOfTheDoggers Fri 14-Aug-15 20:23:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

19lottie82 Fri 14-Aug-15 20:24:35

I think your DB is being over dramatic. Of course an established uni is more respected, than ones that used to be known as "polys", but as for a third being worth more than a first, that's total nonsense. A few companies who are run by an old boys club, may be a bit snobbish, but the divide is nowhere near as bad as your DB is making out, especially these days.
And employers look for a lot more than just a degree these days, they look for work experience, volunteering ect

londonrach Fri 14-Aug-15 20:26:52

Seriously i got only cs in my a levels and went to russell group uni (by accident) which better still allows me to do a job i love that make a huge difference to people. Every single day i make a huge difference to alot of people. Best decision of my life was to go uni (ignores the fact that she got 97% in her first exam at uni) tbh as long as you ds is doing a course he enjoys that will lead to a job he enjoys...

littlejohnnydory Fri 14-Aug-15 20:27:46

Your brother is being a dick and highly unsupportive of his son. Whether a degree is worth more depends completely on what that person wants to do and how they use it in the future. A degree held by someone with no self esteem or confidence, who isn't self motivated and has no idea who he is or where he wants to be, who took the degree because his dad insisted is worth little.

redbinneo Fri 14-Aug-15 20:28:24

"My brother insists that employers would rather have someone with a third from a prestigious university than someone with a first from somewhere less well known"
How does he know? Does he work in HR?
What does the kid want to do as career?

BreakWindandFire Fri 14-Aug-15 20:29:50

dawn Those are great A-level results, especially so for 20 years ago. I've gone to uni in my late 30s and don't regret a thing. Pick up that phone!

StillStayingClassySanDiego Fri 14-Aug-15 20:31:08

Your nephew must be very upset, bless him his dad isn't helping either.

I'd ignore what's going on in their house and carry on with your own ds as you were planning.

1hamwich4 Fri 14-Aug-15 20:31:11

Depends on the subject and University.

Some ex-polys are really, really good at certain subjects. Some not-particularly-famous unis are amazing for the right course: eg: Aberystwyth; English, Applied Maths, International Politics.

Also depends on the student. Is Kev going to actually work at it, or get thoroughly involved in something worthy (run a society or something?) this counts too. If he's just going to coast along and get wasted every weekend he can do that more cheaply at home.

UsedtobeFeckless Fri 14-Aug-15 20:32:50

Pompous Twat brother ( Who went to a posh public school and posher university ) is a managing director of a sciencey sort of company - which is why I'm now having a crisis because he might well know what he's talking about ...

redbinneo Fri 14-Aug-15 20:32:56

Phone them up and do want you want, it's never too late.
I got my first degree when I was 40 and my MSc in my fifties.
Do It!

1hamwich4 Fri 14-Aug-15 20:33:02

Oh and if it helps: my offer was BC. I got a first and went on to get a funded PhD place.

SwedishEdith Fri 14-Aug-15 20:34:26

Your brother is doing real damage to his son. it's not for your brother to be upset, it's for him to support his son about what he wants to do now and how to go about that.

QueenOfNothing Fri 14-Aug-15 20:36:58

Not all degrees are equal.

You really do need to do your research on prospective uni.

When I was hiring the agents would only send CVs through from red brick unis.

Patapouf Fri 14-Aug-15 20:37:21

It depends a lot on the subject and the field Kev wants to go into... Law, I'd say don't bother.
My A level results were shite (BCC and another B at AS) but I was still offered a place at my first choice (RG) even though they had asked for AAA.
For my second UG degree (Redbrick RG) they were also happy to have me, but that was primarily based on my grades from the first uni.

He might have better luck if he takes a gap year and reapplies. Unis like young adults who have travelled, learned some other skills. Can he do any retakes?

If im 100% honest I would not pay 9k p.a. Tuition fees for either a non-RG university or one that wasn't in the top 20 for my chosen subject.

MagratGarlik Fri 14-Aug-15 20:38:42

It depends on the field. RG is not shorthand for "quality" and A'level requirements say nothing about the rigour of the degree course or not. However, these are often used as measures by people too snobby and lazy to do actual research into the best courses for their subject and the student's needs.

Enjoyingthepeace Fri 14-Aug-15 20:41:05

Totally agree with your bro.

And the fact that he is a company MD, would indicate he does have an idea about this issue.

It's the fact that if your know someone has gone to a prestigious university, even if they got a third, they will have been in a different environment, would have been surrounded by a different type of person, and would have likely received a better quality teaching than at a less prestigious well regarded university. That's the truth.

LikeABadSethRogenMovie Fri 14-Aug-15 20:42:53

If that was true, then all ex polys would have an 100% graduation unemployment rate, which clearly isn't the case. However, I know there are plenty of companies that only hire from a very small group of universities, DH's included.

As a complete aside, your brother should probably try and remember that this isn't all about him. It's about his son.

BertrandRussell Fri 14-Aug-15 20:43:17

Hmm. This is very difficult indeed. There are a lot of variables.

To start with, no, degrees are not the same. And the perception of different universities by employers varies a lot.

And now that going to university costs so much, it is certainly worth thinking about what going to university will give you. For example, my dd is doing a course that people make "Do you want fries with that?" jokes about, but she is doing it at quite a prestigious university. So (fingers crossed) employers will look at the institution, rather than the subject! But frankly, I wouldn't have been happy with her doing the same subject at a less prestigious university- because she would have ended up with a huge debt and nothing to impress employers with. Her Head of 6th form actually said that if you're not aiming at either a top 20 insititution or a specific graduate career path you might be better off considering not going to university because you can easily end up with a huge debt and 3 years behind the people who started their careers straight from school.

So, sadly, I think he might be a pompous twat with a point. But for heaven's sake, don't tell him that!

chippednailvarnish Fri 14-Aug-15 20:43:22

I didn't get a whiff of a B or a C come to that grin I'm clearly a pleb and my degree and post grad stuff means nothing.

And Dawn in the nicest way possible, give yourself a slap and ffs call them!

Charis1 Fri 14-Aug-15 20:43:54

of course not all degrees are the same. Some are practically worthless, it really annoys me to see students wasting their time and money. Although to be fair, you generally end up at your own level, so it isn't the best and most committed students who go there.

Your son, like everyone else, should aim to get the highest grades he can, and get into the best course that he can. However, the best course for one student is not necessary the best course for another, and some excellent courses have relatively low entrance grades.

It is more a case of choosing carefully. I wouldn't say any university course is better than none, but some are better than others, and some students benefit hugely from courses that would not suit someone with different abilities or ambitions.

BertrandRussell Fri 14-Aug-15 20:45:13

"When I was hiring the agents would only send CVs through from red brick

Really? Why on earth?

LeftMyRidingCropInTheMortuary Fri 14-Aug-15 20:47:21

In my field, one school of thought is that someone with a First is a probably very academic and might not be so good with clients.

A 2.2 or a Third is frowned upon.

Therefore only a 2.1 will do!

Dynomite Fri 14-Aug-15 20:48:14

I also agree with your brother although it does somewhat depend on the profession. In my field, law, you don't stand a chance at a training contract unless you have very good grades from a RG university. Amd law firms also want to see your A levels. It's just the way it is. And yes, I do help with recruitment (HR does the initial selection though). DP has a similar experience in his profession as well (started out in a science field, now in business).

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