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Cornell vs Cambridge vs SMU

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  #181 (permalink)  
Old 14-07-2011, 03:34 AM
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truth is most UK universities are crap. In London, the prestige is shifting from LSE (rich foreign kid campus) to university college london. Oxbridge are better places with their historic pedigree, (questionably) nice architecture where you will spend a delightful weekend (in summer only; winter sucks) visiting and punting. Or maybe in spring (April) when the cherry blossom are, well, in full blossom. studying at either, is a different story. The professors are old school, the college unfriendly, the college food sucks, the infrastructure old and the resources depleting.

Plus if you are nobody, you will go to a nobody college, and those who know will think less of you if you are from a nobody college even if you grad from oxbridge. The old man, for example, was anobody, and went to Cambridge's Fitzwilliam, a nobody college. His son, because of the old man, went to Cambridge's Trinity college, a purple (royal blood) college.

US universities are much better. Cornell is nice, except that it is at some ulu upstate ny at Ithaca. So unless you get into a good college in cambridge, go to cornell.

yes, i attended cambridge and a US university that outranks cornell.

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  #182 (permalink)  
Old 15-07-2011, 08:26 PM
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Most USA universities are crap also. Out of the 4352 colleges only less than 50 are worth the $$$ for Singaporeans to go to.

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  #183 (permalink)  
Old 16-07-2011, 01:03 AM
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Most USA universities are crap also. Out of the 4352 colleges only less than 50 are worth the $$$ for Singaporeans to go to.
true. uk probably only have no more than 5-6 that's worth the money. and except for oxbridge, which is not even in the league of harvard, stanford, berkeley, mit and caltec, the remainder 3-4 are way below in the league compared to the 50 or so us universities.

For example, see the following report from the independent:
Britain's best-known universities are falling behind their American counterparts, a leading academic said yesterday, after Oxford University was accused of "mediocrity".


Britain's best-known universities are falling behind their American counterparts, a leading academic said yesterday, after Oxford University was accused of "mediocrity".

Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at Warwick University, said: "A bunch of top universities are falling further and further behind America and the country has to be aware of this. This is because of an astonishingly low level of funding. We do not have the resources to compete."

He was speaking after John Kay, who resigned last year as the head of Oxford's Said Business School, attacked his old university's mediocre standards, outdated traditions and byzantine bureaucracy, and warned that it would soon be outpaced by universities such as Harvard and Stanford. Mr Kay became director of Oxford's business school in 1996.

Mr Kay has not commented on the reasons for his resignation but is understood to have been frustrated by the university's committee system and salary structure. In an article for next month's Prospect magazine, he says Oxford "is sliding gradually into mediocrity".

Professor Oswald refused to comment on the status of Oxford, but he pointed out that it was almost impossible to attract economists with first-class degrees into university teaching because of low pay rates. "We can't put people with second-class degrees in front of students who are brighter than they are. The message to parents is that they get what they pay for - and they don't pay much," he said.

Until recently it was received wisdom in British academic circles that our universities could compete with the best in the world.

However, Professor David Canadine, head of London University's Institute of Historical Studies, who spent 10 years at Columbia University in New York, said last year that our universities were no longer world-class and were producing increasingly poor research "with all the frenzied energy of battery chickens on overtime".

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  #184 (permalink)  
Old 16-07-2011, 08:47 PM
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Plus if you are nobody, you will go to a nobody college, and those who know will think less of you if you are from a nobody college even if you grad from oxbridge. The old man, for example, was anobody, and went to Cambridge's Fitzwilliam, a nobody college. His son, because of the old man, went to Cambridge's Trinity college, a purple (royal blood) college.

US universities are much better. Cornell is nice, except that it is at some ulu upstate ny at Ithaca. So unless you get into a good college in cambridge, go to cornell.

yes, i attended cambridge and a US university that outranks cornell.
Interesting. Though I attended an ivy league uni, I didn't know the once-best university in the world, at least in the eyes of people in this part of the world, has "nobody" colleges and "blue-blooded" colleges. I didn't know LKY graduated from a "nobody" college - is his "rare" double honours as good as it sounds?
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  #185 (permalink)  
Old 16-07-2011, 10:35 PM
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Don't be so quick to comdemn the Cambridge colleges and their students.

From University of Cambridge: overview of the University :

"Each college is an independent institution with its own property and income. The colleges appoint their own staff and are responsible for selecting students, in accordance with University regulations. The teaching of students is shared between the Colleges and University departments. Degrees are awarded by the University."

Thus it doesn't matter if you attend a rich college or a not-so-rich one, as the degree is awarded by the University. MM (Emeritus) Lee's rare double honours are definitely rare and extremely prestigious, so are Kenneth Jeyaretnam's.

More info on which colleges are rich :
Cambridge College Pros and Cons - The Student Room
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  #186 (permalink)  
Old 18-07-2011, 11:41 AM
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Don't be so quick to comdemn the Cambridge colleges and their students.

From University of Cambridge: overview of the University :

"Each college is an independent institution with its own property and income. The colleges appoint their own staff and are responsible for selecting students, in accordance with University regulations. The teaching of students is shared between the Colleges and University departments. Degrees are awarded by the University."

Thus it doesn't matter if you attend a rich college or a not-so-rich one, as the degree is awarded by the University. MM (Emeritus) Lee's rare double honours are definitely rare and extremely prestigious, so are Kenneth Jeyaretnam's.

More info on which colleges are rich :
Cambridge College Pros and Cons - The Student Room
nobody is condemning cambridge and its collegiate system, or its students. I was from cambridge, and i can tell you that while the degree is indeed awarded by the university, it also lists the college you attended, and that makes a difference.

Camrbridge undergrad takes tripo exams at the end of each academic year. Part 1A for first year, Part 1B for second year, and Part 2 for third year. Camrbidge's system is such that the honours that you graduate in is dependent entirely on the results from Part 2, ie you can crap out your Parts 1A and 1B, and still graduate with a 1st if you excel in Part 2. A double first simply means you get first class overall (>70) for Parts 1 and 2. Typically, one can claim double first if he gets a first calss for Parts 1B and 2 (but note that if you get first overall for Parts 1A and 1B but 2.1 for Part 2, you grad with 2.1 hons!). Double first is not very rare. My estimate (not official) is that there are many 5% of students who get double first every year. But LKY graduated with doubled first starred, and that's rare. double first starred is like a very good first (maybe >80).

The difference in prestige for various colleges in Cambridge (and Oxford) is very real, otherwise LHL would have gone to Fitzwilliam following his father's footstep instead of the all mighty Trinity. Academics know that too, and Trinity has more endowed professors and esteemed researchers than, say, Fitzwilliam or Wolfson, or the two combined.

It is pretty much the same as the perceived prestige in the ivy league in US. Harvard is always on top (maybe justifiably so) along with Yale and Princeton (for undergrad) who, together, formed the big three. In fact, Princeton is seen as the most blue blooded of the three, and it has nothing to do with academic rigor. A lot of other schools (ivy or non-ivy) are on par with or exceed princeton's academic accomplishment, but none would ever be perceived as more prestigious.
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