Whatare the Russell Group?

(40 Posts)
Consils Wed 15-May-13 17:32:13

I had thought there were only eight bur according to google there are 24.

lljkk Sun 19-May-13 13:45:14

Telegraph (think these are 2012 data?) manages to get 3 RG Unis in top 10. Along with an expoly or 2.

Still, I think best bet is on the actual degree subject, not exactly where the degree is conferred.

gallicgirl Sun 19-May-13 22:04:54

I'm sure the subject is paramount and there's so many variables to take into account such as number of local or part time students and local job markets and university specialisms.
My friend recruits high-flyers, by the way so that attitude probably isn't prevalent amongst most employers.

ElizaDoLots Thu 23-May-13 11:05:21

I agree - large employers tend to focus their recruitment drives on RG universities (Investment banking seem to focus on as few as 5 universities).

creamteas Thu 23-May-13 18:53:21

large employers tend to focus their recruitment drives on RG universities

Lots of people claim this, but I have never seen a single bit of evidence to back it up. Whilst there might be the odd one or two, it is simply not a widespread practice.

I have worked at both RG and non-RG universities, and although there were slight differences in which employers recruited, this had nothing to do with the type of university and was related to the subjects taught (eg the one who taught translation, got translation companies).

ElizaDoLots Thu 23-May-13 19:06:09

I don't mean they wouldn't recruit from a non-RG university, but they would tend to focus their budget (presentations/business games etc) on RG universities rather than much lesser universities or old polys (they also need to be sure a significant number of students will meet their UCAS entry requirements).

creamteas Thu 23-May-13 21:07:39

Eliza that is not my experience at all.

RG is a lobby group, not a sign of quality at all. Very employers are so stupid they don't know this grin. In fact, some RG depts have extremely poor graduate employment rates.

The amount of presentations etc depends on the course mix and size of the university, not some mythical status.

ElizaDoLots Thu 23-May-13 22:45:25

Creamteas are you saying that a large consultancy firm are going to invest as much money into recruiting someone from City Metropolitan as they are Oxbridge/Imperial/UCL?

MagratGarlik Thu 23-May-13 23:57:11

Agree absolutely with creamteas. RG was set up as a lobby group and is not a measure of quality etc.

Perhaps interestingly for those who snub the non-RG universities is that many members of senior management teams of RG universities obtained their own undergraduate degrees from non-RG universities.

ElizaDoLots Fri 24-May-13 00:13:10

Magrat and Creamteas - which universities would you rate as the strongest?

MagratGarlik Fri 24-May-13 00:23:58

It depends on the subject and what you are looking for from a university - you would need to define "strongest".

There is no easy one-definition-fits-all solution to finding "the best" university for your needs and graduates from one university are not necessarily better than those from another.

However, simply assuming that because staff are research leaders in their fields = better university is somewhat naive. A better research profile is important for postgraduate students, but not for undergraduates.

ElizaDoLots Fri 24-May-13 00:53:41

I meant if you were an employer with a limited recruitment budget

creamteas Fri 24-May-13 08:16:53

Obviously you would go to the universities were you think you will get good graduates, but this does not automatically mean RG. I live and work in the Midlands, so I know more about what happens around here.

Aston University Business School has offered sandwich degrees for all its students for years, and so has well known links to all major employers.

Coventry University has a great reputation in car engineering, and Leicester the same for aerospace so attracts employers who want these skills.

Don't also forget that many employers are regional, and if on a limited budget will recruit from all the universities around them. This is an excellent way of keeping the costs down.

HabbaDabba Fri 24-May-13 09:01:45

My (major American) employer don't have an official policy about RG/non RG graduate recruitment but in practice we tend to recruit from Oxbridge/RG.

It's like flying BA. It's a brand we know. In anycase, if you have thousands of CVs for a handful of positions the first filtering criteria would be to bin all those from unis that don't have a national reputation. Next up would probably be degree classification - Firsts and 2i only. Only when the CVs get to a manageable number do HR look at the individual details.

Sorry but if you are an outstanding graduate with a First from a uni that isn't highly regarded then your CV isn't going to survive the initial cut at most blue chip companies.

HabbaDabba Fri 24-May-13 09:18:50

With regards to the point about some RG unis having poor graduate employment record....

People aren't comparing like to like. Reseach jobs are quite scarce and highly competive. So of course some reseach heavy unis aren't going to place as many graduates as some 2nd tier uni churning out loads of IT graduates for example.

Also, RG unis tend to focus more on traditional subjects like Geography and History. Unis like Aston on the other hand focus on Business, IT, Engineering etc. Consequently Aston has a better overall graduate employment record than many RGs.

But if you are looking for a coveted training contract in Law and Accountancy for example then you should be looking at RG unis. Same if you want to be some high flyer in the City.

MagratGarlik Fri 24-May-13 11:06:26

It really depends what you want to do with your degree. RG is not a quality measure and you are better off researching the exact requirements for the career you want to enter than to blindly assume RG = best prospects.

In science for example, even if you don't want to go into academic research, your career prospects are limited if you have anything less than a PhD and in this case, who supervised your PhD is more important than the university you attended to obtain it. On the other hand, if you want to study a subject like Biomedical Sciences, you are best off having a degree which is accredited by the IBMS (largely post-92 universities) as most courses from RG universities are not and will not allow you to gain HCP registration.

There really is no "one size fits all" definition of a good or bad institution, only good or bad courses.

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