Edinburgh - any negatives

(35 Posts)
Teenageromance Sat 06-Oct-18 22:40:57

Been to the open day and quite impressed. But quite a bit of negativity online from student forum about the support for students academically here. Any thoughts?

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Mykingdomforanickname Sat 06-Oct-18 23:08:46

I imagine the level of academic support could vary considerably from course to course. Did the criticism relate specifically to the course in which your DC is interested?

BringOnTheScience Sun 07-Oct-18 00:37:27

My DC1's big negative with Edin is the detail of the accomodation 'guarantee' conditions. If it's not 1st choice then likely to be offered shared room only.... with bunk beds. They do like the course, but Manchester is their #1. Edin is now waaay down.

Teenageromance Sun 07-Oct-18 02:29:31

Some people online saying they almost had to teach themselves with very little tutor support. We didn’t get a chance to investigate accommodation and they only had one hall open.

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thaegumathteth Sun 07-Oct-18 02:42:59

I went there 12 years ago and loved it but not sure how much use that will be to you now. I didn’t know anyone in a shared room then - most of us were in Uni flats or pollock.

We got tutor support but not loads - I didn’t think that was unusual for university tbh.

Teenageromance Sun 07-Oct-18 08:24:14

Thanks for comments - anyone with dc there now who can comment why student satisfaction is low?

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Passmethecrisps Sun 07-Oct-18 08:27:32

I don’t have a child there but I am a guidance teacher with responsibility for UCAS. In the many students we have sent to Edinburgh I have never heard anything specific said about poor quality or lack of teaching.

What you could do is look at research versus teaching ratings. A university which highly valued research might not place as much value on teaching.

Also every single course will have someone disgruntled complaining that things didn’t go their way - especially on forums.


BubblesBuddy Sun 07-Oct-18 15:49:40

High quality universities do expect students to be able to research essays and prep for seminars. It is not like being taught at school. Some students expect there to be a lot of guidance and “teaching” for the exams and essays. There isn’t. Edinburgh has the huge advantage of the introductory year when students can get up to speed. Most good universities work in exactly the same way. For example, with an MFL degree, no lecturer is teaching you the language and grammar day in and day out. You have to be a self starter. Some students don’t understand how university education is set up and then complain about it.

My DDs have had friends who loved it there. They didn’t share rooms and it was perfect for them. How many shared rooms do they have in reality? Not that sharing is the worst ever thing that can happen to you!

Stopyourhavering64 Sun 07-Oct-18 17:10:05

Dd did her MSc at Edinburgh and loved it.
Fabulous modern award winning accommodation at bottom of Royal Mile ( majority of students there were undergraduate- definitely no shared rooms)
Great teaching and library facilities, so much so , that when she graduated she had her pick of jobs teaching abroad as Edinburgh so highly regarded in world university rankings
Easy city to get around and she felt very safe there

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 08-Oct-18 00:57:09

DD has just started at Edinburgh. She loves her courses and yes it is not like school teaching but she has no complaints.
There may be courses with poor teaching but only those actually doing them are in a position to say, as it will vary from course to course and even lecturer to lecturer.
I think there are a few shared rooms but most aren't and the accommodation seems good if rather expensive (but then Edinburgh is an expensive city).
Edinburgh is a beautiful city and the university has a great reputation. I can't see why some complaints on a forum would put you off.

Teenageromance Mon 08-Oct-18 05:28:19

Thanks for the feedback - it’s not just a few complaints in a forum. Edinburgh is consistently scoring low on student satisfaction and there are consistent comments about poor (and dull) teaching, lack of feedback and problems with exams not matching anything that was taught in the syllabus.

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BubblesBuddy Mon 08-Oct-18 10:18:54

Yes but only those who think they have had a bad deal complain. Lots of exams won’t be exactly what was taught. You cannot regurgitate stuff at university. You have to research and find out things for yourself and then apply it to the question.

For example, my DD did MFL but in one exam students were asked to compare the French literature hero they had studied with Greek Gods. Virtually no one had enough knowledge of Greek Gods to answer the question and luckily could choose an alternative. DD thought she knew the Gods and thought she could compare but didn’t risk it. Had this been taught? No, of course not. Was it fair? Possibly not. However the two people who did the question had a broad knowledge of Greek Gods which was never required for a French degree and certainly wasn’t on the syllabus. It required a much broader general knowledge.

University is about more than what you are taught. If a student cannot see that, they are probably not suited to a top class university. It will also vary from subject to subject and the posts must be from a tiny minority of students!

Teenageromance Mon 08-Oct-18 11:12:25

Did your Dd do MFL at Edinburgh? What an utterly ridiculous exam question. What on earth is it testing if the students hadn’t been primed that Greek Gods needed to be looked at.

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Musicaltheatremum Mon 08-Oct-18 16:06:14

They are building student accommodation everywhere in south edinburgh just now. I drive past several sites every day. Hundreds of places will be coming up near Kings Buildings soon which is the science centre.

MercedesDeMonteChristo Tue 09-Oct-18 17:17:42

What an utterly ridiculous exam question. What on earth is it testing if the students hadn’t been primed that Greek Gods needed to be looked at.

This is what the academics I know would call a ‘left of field’ question. It’s usually subjects that allow for debate etc that have these sorts of questions and even then one or two out of a selection.

user1499173618 Tue 09-Oct-18 17:21:24

University exam questions aren’t necessarily about things that have been taught explicitly.

simplysleepy Tue 09-Oct-18 20:14:49

I’m in my second year at edinburgh and think the PP above with the qualm about the accommodation garuntee is a very rare case. You put down 5 options, and I haven’t heard of a single person not getting one of their 5 choice of location. The uni only has a handful of double rooms, none of which were bunk beds last year (I worked v closely with the accommodation service last year due to some personal circumstances) so, although people living in double rooms does happen, it is extremely rare

Buteo Tue 09-Oct-18 20:38:42

I have a DS at Edinburgh - he’s had a moan about one or two lecturers (as did I 30 years ago at my uni) but on the whole lectures, labs and seminars have been good. Exams hard but nothing too left of field and it’s a demanding (engineering) course that requires the ability to apply knowledge to practical problems rather than just regurgitate lecture notes.

No problems with uni accommodation for 1st year (en suite room in shared flat) but be aware that competition for private flats and houses for subsequent years is fierce and best done early (and it’s not cheap either, being a capital city). Having said that, private halls have also proved a useful option.

CraftyGin Sat 13-Oct-18 09:31:33

My DD didn’t get any of her accommodation choices last year, but what she got was probably better - only 10 minutes walk to campus and 10 minutes to Princes Street, and their own washing machine.

CraftyGin Sat 13-Oct-18 09:32:30

The National student survey is not worth the paper it’s printed on as it has been largely boycotted by students over recent years.

captainoftheshipwreck Sat 13-Oct-18 09:46:49

University teaching isn’t the same as school- you are an adult and responsible for your own learning. The students my DD knows at her own uni who are repeating year 1 didn’t go to lectures or work. It takes adjustment to get used to asking for tutor support when you need it.

Everincreasingfrequency Sat 13-Oct-18 14:12:46

"I’m in my second year at edinburgh and think the PP above with the qualm about the accommodation garuntee is a very rare case. You put down 5 options, and I haven’t heard of a single person not getting one of their 5 choice of location. "

Does that apply to students who put edinburgh as insurance rather than firm sleepy? In fact by that time do you even put 5 choices - when do edin start allocating the accom?

Good news about no bunk beds though - though odd that pp was told they did exist! I can see that bunk might be a deal breaker for some students (shared, less so).

CraftyGin Sat 13-Oct-18 14:36:07

Edinburgh allocates accommodation after the various results days - IB, SQA, GCE, in proportion to the number of applicants in each section, with fair banding across each group.

CraftyGin Sat 13-Oct-18 14:38:05

This means that insurance candidates are not disadvantaged, nor are unconditionals (a large proportion of Edinburgh students) advantaged.

Everincreasingfrequency Sat 13-Oct-18 14:51:09

very interesting craftygin - though the earlier poster was told at open day that there was no guarantee for insurance students. A bit confusing - or maybe the two facts are not inconsistent!

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