I get very annoyed when people look down on other universities. I know reputation means everything, but surely, higher education is higher education, no matter what university you attend. I am completing my UCAS and looking at my courses for universities. I know I want to study chemistry (pretty much set for me) and study in London (because I want to live at home to save money). I have my five choices, yet people seem to want to jostle about which university is the best.
So, I want to know, what makes a university a ‘good’ university and what makes a ‘bad’ university? Is there some system of classification? Or is it down to personal preference? I’ve recently had dealing with some London universities, some good, some not so good, most part of the ‘Russell group’ and some not. Yet, if I had not been told which university I had been at and was visiting, I would have had a huge surprise. I, personally, found the greatest and most prestigious universities, were some of the dirtiest, smelliest, even rudest universities I’ve ever seen and been to, and I found some of the so-called ‘bad’ universities, some of the most welcoming, friendly and cleanest places.
For the jump between college and university, I am not looking for much. A friendly, cosy environment, with good facilities and most importantly, people who seem genuinely excited about teaching their subject. It’s no good having a stuffy old professor droning on and on about thermodynamic principles in industrial chemistry which would send most students half to sleep and have them baying to get out of the lecture theatre! I’d rather have a professor who was keen and excited about what they are teaching, and would get their point over in an attention grabbing and thought provoking way. I guess that’s my teaching side coming out in me. I know teaching is one third knowledge and two thirds pure drama! I understand that University teaching is a lot different from school teaching (being much less interactive with the students), however, good teaching is independent of what is being taught and where.
When it comes to education, every person is different. What works for one, may not necessary work for another. I have seen this, even with myself in education. And at the end of the day, we are all studying, working hard, for the same goal, to walk away from university with a good degree, and good career or job prospects.
So if we are all on the same path, why does it matter how we get there? We are all bettering ourselves, making us good candidates for a position outside the environment of study and school and into the work place. Why sneer at the way we have chosen to get there? I would be proud to say I have a degree, and wouldn’t be elitist in geographically where I got it! I should be more worried about the standard of the grade, not where it was from!
However, this is my personal opinion. I understand there are many views about universities, and I may be wrong about the opinion I hold.