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Oxford or LSE

(74 Posts)
cristalclear Thu 23-Feb-17 14:05:30

My DS has to take the gruelling decision between Oxford- Geography and LSE -Geography and Economics.How should I advise him?

karalime Thu 23-Feb-17 14:08:52

What is he finding tough about the decision? Course content? Location?

For me it's a no brainer. Oxford.

Larainette Thu 23-Feb-17 14:09:46

Has he been to visit both?
What are his interests/hobbies?
Are the offers the same?
Do you live in London/been to visit much?
Is money an issue? It's more expensive to live in London.
What's his thinking of pros/cons of both?

cristalclear Thu 23-Feb-17 14:10:36

for me is Oxford as well,but he likes the course at LSE more -the Economic part of it.

ElinorRigby Thu 23-Feb-17 14:13:33

Is it for you to advise him?

Isn't more a matter of him to research the different courses and institutions, including looking at student feedback and going to open days.

Obviously he may want to talk it through with you, in which case you can reflect back to him what his own preferences are.

ElinorRigby Thu 23-Feb-17 14:14:07

'of him researching' I should have said.

cristalclear Thu 23-Feb-17 14:16:08

Being in London will give him more opportunities for internships ,two of his best friends are going there and the accommodation is better than Oxford.We leave in London and these will be his reasons.

Enidblyton1 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:17:44

Which college has he been offered at Oxford? Not the most important thing, but would have a bearing on my thoughts. (I read Geography at Oxford ten years ago).

Course is important, although the course at Oxford is pretty flexible and so you get the opportunity to specialise in your preferred area to a large extent. I chose human geography topics, but others almost exclusively chose physical geography.

I think the most important distinction between Oxford and LSE is the location of the universities. Personally I loved the smaller, cosier atmosphere of Oxford. London can be great fun, but also larger, more impersonal, more expensive etc. If you study in Oxford you are only a cheap coach ride away from London if you want to go there.

I would think very carefully about turning down the opportunity to study at Oxford, but then I might be biased!

Enidblyton1 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:19:55

Cross post!

If you live in London, I would definitely say go away to Oxford! (Unless he would be living at home to save money?)

Never chose a university based on friends going there - you will make new ones

cristalclear Thu 23-Feb-17 14:19:56

I'm not trying to influence him in any way:I just want him to make the best informed decision .

Enidblyton1 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:22:04

Presumably he has visited Oxford? Either he will fall in love with it or he won't.

Regarding internships, there are many people who still (rightly or wrongly) prize an oxbridge degree above all others. The milkround/internship opportunities are excellent at Oxford, so I wouldn't say that was a reason to chose LSE.

FreckledLeopard Thu 23-Feb-17 14:25:48

I went to both (did undergrad at Oxford and MSc at LSE). I'd advise Oxford - LSE was great as a graduate, but not so brilliant for undergraduates (I have friends who weren't hugely keen - it had a bigger graduate body than undergraduate when I was there).

Also, Oxford is a lovely place to live and if he's living in London now, then it might be good to get away and experience life elsewhere?

cristalclear Thu 23-Feb-17 14:26:38

He's made an open application and he was allocated to one of the PPH,;he wasn't very happy about it .

Enidblyton1 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:27:10

Another thought.... does you DS have particular hobbies/ interests he would like to pursue at university? Sport? Drama?

Get him to investigate the opportunities for non-academic activities. I don't know much about LSE, but there are certain extra curricular activities that are brilliant at Oxford. E.g. Drama, Rowing.

Enidblyton1 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:27:58

I went to a PPH! Feel free to message me if you'd like more discussion

cristalclear Thu 23-Feb-17 14:34:42

when he went for the interview -let's put it like this -it didn't click to him.

cristalclear Thu 23-Feb-17 14:43:20

both Universities are exceptional and he can't go wrong with any of them; for me -the whole Oxford experience will be an amazing opportunity,but he is more into London rush.He likes the diversity and the dynamic student life of LSE.

minipie Thu 23-Feb-17 15:02:54

Hmm I was going to say Oxford but not now you've said it would be a PPH. Oxford is very college focused socially. There are university wide clubs and societies but they tend to be for mega enthusiasts so unless he has a very strong interest and talent in some extracurricular activity, or is willing to feign one, then he may struggle to meet people outside his PPH. And PPHs are titchy.

My reservation for LSE would be that being a student in London can also be tricky socially - because everyone lives quite far out due to costs, and travels in for lectures then out again, and because of the pace of London and all the stuff you're supposed to be "into". However it sounds like he might quite enjoy it?

Needmoresleep Thu 23-Feb-17 15:05:23

I'm an LSE grad, and would argue that it is by no means the "no brainer" that karalime suggests.

It depends how much he is motivated by course, and how much by location. If the latter and he has a desire for dreaming spires, then you have your answer.

If not, and he has a genuine interest in economics and economic geography, then really consider LSE. It is surprising how many of my peers later forget that they studied geography at all and a decade after graduating would airily say "when I studied economics at the LSE". LSE economics is very employable, and if a joint degree, he ought to be able to bend his degree a long way towards economics should he want.

One thing to watch is that LSE courses often have a lot of maths. Obviously if he likes maths, that is perfect, and there again would probably be quite a lot of scope to access high quality and related stats and other quantitative courses which certain employers would really like.

DS is reading economics at LSE and is really happy. He is very interested in his subject, and being in the centre of a world city means that all sorts of interesting academics, speakers, and researchers pass through. The student body is also truly international and some of his peers are super bright and interesting. Because economics is such a large degree, he has been able to flex his to really focus on the maths side and avoid writing essays whilst friends have focused on economic history, philosophy or more vocational accounting and finance.

But he is not someone who felt the need for dreaming spires, and so he does not feel his misses out on University experience, but rather that he is getting the sort of University experience he wants.

He is applying to both Oxford and LSE for Masters. It will be interesting should he offered places at both. I would like to see him leave London, but suspect he will be reluctant to leave the LSE.

There will be all sorts of posts about how expensive London is etc. DS spends remarkable little. There are lots of things in London that are free, the transport is great, and the LSE campus is pretty active.

minipie Thu 23-Feb-17 15:09:44

Oh yes, I'd agree that geography and economics is a much more flexible degree than pure geography. And LSE does have a great reputation for economics.

Needmoresleep Thu 23-Feb-17 15:11:40

Minipie - "because everyone lives quite far out due to costs, and travels in for lectures then out again,"

I find it curious when people come out with statements without providing any evidence for their assertions. DS rents an ex council flat 10 minutes walk from LSE. Most of his friends live nearby, and Halls are not far away. The LSE has invested a lot in improving campus facilities.

London can be a great alternative to Oxbridge for certain students. Though this is rarely acknowledge on MN.

minipie Thu 23-Feb-17 16:39:31

Fair enough Need! I have a friend who went, and that was her experience, but appreciate that's anecdata.

Anyway if you read my post, I'm overall more pro LSE in this case smile

Needmoresleep Thu 23-Feb-17 17:07:36

Don't worry. DS says some of his friends at LSE would probably have been happier elsewhere, perhaps Warwick. But equally he has friends who really have not enjoyed Oxford. One friend in particular, he thinks would have been far happier in London than Cambridge.

He is lucky, he has found his place. And the education and opportunities he is getting are first rate.

goodbyestranger Thu 23-Feb-17 19:13:59

My DC always opted out of the PPH option for Oxford, which was given in Oxford's acknowledgement to the UCAS application. I think all of them would have had distinct reservations about whether to accept a PPH, had it been offered, over their next favourite university. If one of my DC was asking for the same advice, I'd tend towards LSE, given that the course there is preferred and in the context of the PPH. One PPH is rather larger than the others though, which might make a difference. One of the tiny ones is also (apparently) jammed full of Etonions, which also might make a difference smile

goodbyestranger Thu 23-Feb-17 19:17:21

Sorry, I meant Etonians not Etonions - I'm just making an onion quiche for supper, so it was an easy slip....

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