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How reliable are university rankings?

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  • Thread starter Grands
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  • #76
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You have this all mixed up. A green card is issued for permanent residents; it is distinct from a visa. One option is to win one via the green card lottery, but this is but one very limited option; there are more common ones. All this is moot in your instance: A green card is not needed to study in the US. There are different categories of visas. To study at a university in the US, you need a student visa. If you are accepted for admission to a university in the US, the university admissions department will assist you with filing an application for a student visa. The US so far has been very welcoming of foreign students.
So first I have to ask a university and then to get the VISA?
To be admitted I need to do interviews ?
Cause in Italy is different, 90% of university don't have any test and accept all the students, this is because very few people go to the university.

If Germany offers you the opportunities you want, then take an intensive course in German. That is under your control, and limited only by yourself.
It's not easy, you know, italian is not my primary language, I speak three languages, and German is very difficult because is not a Latin language, it would be more easy to learn spanish, or french, but I would need at least 4 months to learn German and I don't have time because I go to school, and as you may not italian school is very hard.

Then apply for a brand-name school and see if you get in. In general, making choices leads to limitations of some sort.
I would like to, but there aren't many italian university well-know, I suppose, I would like to go to a USA university because are well-know and are in english, but it's not easy I suppose, also because I don't know how hard is to apply.
You can think at the fact that in Italy we don't know what means " apply" to university, because we don't do, and also my teachers of high school don't know what this means, they also told me " we lived in another situation with no globalization".
 
  • #77
CrysPhys
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(a) So first I have to ask a university and then to get the VISA?
To be admitted I need to do interviews ?
Cause in Italy is different, 90% of university don't have any test and accept all the students, this is because very few people go to the university.


.....


(b) I would like to, but there aren't many italian university well-know, I suppose, I would like to go to a USA university because are well-know and are in english, but it's not easy I suppose, also because I don't know how hard is to apply.
You can think at the fact that in Italy we don't know what means " apply" to university, because we don't do, and also my teachers of high school don't know what this means, they also told me " we lived in another situation with no globalization".
<<Reference letters in bold added.>>

(a) You need to be accepted by a US university in order to apply for a student visa. This makes sense, right? If you're not accepted by a US university, why would the US issue you a student visa. See: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student.html .

It's up to each university whether they want to interview you as part of the admissions process. But it would likely be done over the phone or via Skype, not requiring you to fly over, if that's your concern.

(b) I'm lost. If you don't apply to an Italian university, how do you enroll? You just walk into a classroom?

You can't have it both ways. You complain about how messed up the Italian university system is and the lack of career opportunities in Italy, but you seem very reticent to take the initiative to study in another country. Most major university websites have details for foreign applications. Look them up. Also email the admissions office and schedule a call if you need further info. If you're not willing to do this, then settle for the best you can do in Italy. At least the food is very good there.
 
  • #78
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It's up to each university whether they want to interview you as part of the admissions process. But it would likely be done over the phone or via Skype, not requiring you to fly over, if that's your concern.
Wow, universities walks via Skype?
My teachers told me that Skype and Facebook are the worst possibile thing that exist.
I didn't know day, sorry, I grew up in another culture, unfortunately.

I'm lost. If you don't apply to an Italian university, how do you enroll? You just walk into a classroom?
You can go in the classroom without being a stunted.

You don't have to apply to university, you just go and subscribe yourself giving your ID, paying the tax ( very low, less then 200 euros) and then you are a student.

you seem very reticent to take the initiative to study in another country.
I'm not reticent, I just don't know where to start, considering that the countries close to mine doesn't have courses taught in english.
 
  • #79
symbolipoint
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Grands tells us this:
You can go in the classroom without being a stunted.

You don't have to apply to university, you just go and subscribe yourself giving your ID, paying the tax ( very low, less then 200 euros) and then you are a student.
Unbelievable! No social order? This cannot really be true.
 
  • #80
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Grands tells us this:

Unbelievable! No social order? This cannot really be true.
What do you mean with social order?
 
  • #81
symbolipoint
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....
You can go in the classroom without being a stunted.

You don't have to apply to university, you just go and subscribe yourself giving your ID, paying the tax ( very low, less then 200 euros) and then you are a student.


I'm not reticent, I just don't know where to start, considering that the countries close to mine doesn't have courses taught in english.
(not sure if "stunted" is misspelling of "student")

Grands tells us this:

Unbelievable! No social order? This cannot really be true.
What do you mean with social order?
A reminder is that you are still young, and just finishing high school, before starting any university education.
One commonly expects to attend a university based on being eligible and being admitted to the university, after formally applying for admission. Then one commonly expects to enroll into courses each term according to any required pre-requisites in case the course requires them. Nobody simply walks in to a university, pays their fees and just goes to classes.
 
  • #82
CrysPhys
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You don't have to apply to university, you just go and subscribe yourself giving your ID, paying the tax ( very low, less then 200 euros) and then you are a student.
Let me try to understand the situation in Italy; it sounds so bizarre to me. A student who graduates from high school can attend any Italian university of his choosing. The Italian university does not evaluate how good he is. Is this correct? According to you this works because very few people go to the universities so there is always room; and, furthermore, according to you, since all the Italian universities are about the same, you don't have the issue of all the students enrolling in the same (best) one, and leaving the rest empty? Is this correct?

Does this apply only for undergrad (bachelor's)? What about grad (master's and PhD)?
 
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  • #83
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Let me try to understand the situation in Italy; it sounds so bizarre to me. A student who graduates from high school can attend any Italian university of his choosing.
Yes.
Italian university doesn't care where you have studied or how good you was at school, they just watch if you have a diploma from high school, but you don't have to give any documents, just the identity card.
You can go to the university you want, there are some exception in some cases because there isn't enough space in the classroom for everyone.
For example there are university where in a classroom there are about 10-15 students, why you should select them? Less students means less money.
This happens in the math or physics degree, because very few people are interested in this field due to the fact that there aren't many job opportunities and there is no research of quality, especially in the physics field.
In other courses like engineering or medicine there are 150-200 students in the same classroom, because this major usually gives more job opportunities.
I remember that one year the university of math make an offers, by giving free textbooks and 200 euros to spend in education for those people that wanted to go to the university of math.

The Italian university does not evaluate how good he is. Is this correct?
Yes, 90% of university has no admission, and those one that have it it's because they don't have enough space in the classrooms.
Sometimes there are some test that you can do to see if you are prepared to the university but you don't have to pass it or make a certain score.

According to you this works because very few people go to the universities so there is always room
University doesn't give rooms to students, this happens outside Italy? I don't know.
Here you have to go find by yourself a house near the university and you have to find a way to arrive at it by yourself, there aren't campus, there is only a classroom with chairs and a blackboard, you just sit down and watch the lessons.

and, furthermore, according to you, since all the Italian universities are about the same, you don't have the issue of all the students enrolling in the same (best) one
Italian university aren't the same, the italian government says that all university have to offer the same preparation, but this is only in theory.
The true is that the universities aren't all the same, very few have good labs, with good tools for students, this is why in Italy we don't make much research, and researchers are frustrated, but this is another story.

The fact is that the government want to assure the equality between all the universities, this is because 97% of the university are public ones and receives the same money for italian government, but they are not all equal because there is corruption, because there are people that doesn't invest that money in the right way or prefer to put them in their pocket.
So the money of a university derives parts from the government and parts from students ( but you know that taxes are very low compared to those one in the US or UK, or sometimes you don't have to pay).

Does this apply only for undergrad (bachelor's)? What about grad (master's and PhD)?
There is no big difference between undergraduate degree and master degree, as I said before the master degree is seen as the natural prosecution of the university.
 
  • #84
symbolipoint
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______________________________________________________________________________
According to you this works because very few people go to the universities so there is always room
University doesn't give rooms to students, this happens outside Italy? I don't know.
Here you have to go find by yourself a house near the university and you have to find a way to arrive at it by yourself, there aren't campus, there is only a classroom with chairs and a blackboard, you just sit down and watch the lessons.
_______________________________________________________________________________


What CrysPhys meant was, occupancy space in the classrooms, not rooms locally in which to dwell. Regardless, your description was enlightening.
 
  • #85
symbolipoint
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Grands says this:
Italian university aren't the same, the italian government says that all university have to offer the same preparation, but this is only in theory.
The true is that the universities aren't all the same, very few have good labs, with good tools for students, this is why in Italy we don't make much research, and researchers are frustrated, but this is another story.
Interesting would it be to know about some statistics on percentage of Italian citizens who attend a college or university OUTSIDE of Italy.
 
  • #86
CrysPhys
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University doesn't give rooms to students, this happens outside Italy? I don't know.
Here you have to go find by yourself a house near the university and you have to find a way to arrive at it by yourself, there aren't campus, there is only a classroom with chairs and a blackboard, you just sit down and watch the lessons.
By "room", I did not mean housing, I meant capacity in the university to accommodate the number of students. That is, if students are free to attend any university they choose, then, if a particular university is very popular for some reason, a lot of students would simply choose to go there ... this assumes that the university has enough capacity (classrooms, professors, ...) to accommodate them. In the US, you need to apply to a university, and the university needs to accept you. The university controls the number of students they enroll by limiting the number of students they accept.
 
  • #87
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By "room", I did not mean housing, I meant capacity in the university to accommodate the number of students. That is, if students are free to attend any university they choose, then, if a particular university is very popular for some reason, a lot of students would simply choose to go there ... this assumes that the university has enough capacity (classrooms, professors, ...) to accommodate them. In the US, you need to apply to a university, and the university needs to accept you. The university controls the number of students they enroll by limiting the number of students they accept.
Due to the fact that universities has almost the same number of students every years they don't have problem of space, and there aren't many students that come in Italy from outside Italy.
 
  • #88
For about the first 5 years of work, employers care about where you received your degree. They have little else to base an evaluation on. A good interviewer won't even bother looking at the school you graduated from other than the fact that you graduated. Your GPA and school tell someone about your POTENTIAL - consider it a measure of your theoretical performance.

Five years into your career you should have proof of your actual performance - this isn't theory anymore, its reality. Would you hire a person with a perfect GPA from a top school with a 5 year history or mediocre accomplishments or a graduate with a much lower GPA from a mid rank school who has a history of making real contributions? The farther you get in your career, the less the school you graduated from and your GPA matters.

This isn't rocket science and the mindset that a top school is required to get you a good job is beyond idiotic. Does it help - yes, is it a guarantee - no.

(for reference, I received my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering 20 years ago. No one ever asks about my GPA and where I received my degree. They make offers based on my track record of accomplishments.)
 
  • #89
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Five years into your career you should have proof of your actual performance - this isn't theory anymore, its reality. Would you hire a person with a perfect GPA from a top school with a 5 year history or mediocre accomplishments or a graduate with a much lower GPA from a mid rank school who has a history of making real contributions? The farther you get in your career, the less the school you graduated from and your GPA matters.
Do you want to say that person that obtain a degree from the top universities could be less prepared for a job and do a worst 5-years of carrier then who graduate from a not very known university?
It would be a relief that the answer to this question is yes.
My double is also about the fact that non all the university give the same preparation.
 
  • #90
That could be. My real point is that some people do very well in a classroom environment with a great deal of structure. Honestly being a good student doesn't take a great deal of initiative - all you have to do is complete the assignments your are given which almost always include all the information you need to answer questions. Top performers in the real world create their own structure and take initiative. They can finish an assignment when they were given vague instructions or incomplete data. They can identify the information they need and then find it or find a way to make a reasonable guess.

Here is the US, engineers with undergraduate degrees from MIT are somewhat notorious for believing they are the smartest person in the room and will resort to unbelievably complicated theoretical analyses of problems. I have actually seen some spend hours calculating an answer they could look up in a matter of minutes (the calculations proved how intelligent they were).

So it really boils down to can you work with other people and survive in the real world. Communication is probably the most important skill set to develop. No one cares how smart/capable you are if you can't communicate.
 
  • #91
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Do you want to say that person that obtain a degree from the top universities could be less prepared for a job and do a worst 5-years of carrier then who graduate from a not very known university?
What you quoted from Eric is more about what happens a few years into your career.

Does it help - yes, is it a guarantee - no.
Right after you graduate, you probably don't have a record of accomplishments other than your degree, so all a prospective employer has to go on is your grade point average (GPA) and supporting references and letters of recommendation.
Five years after graduation, where you graduated and your grades are less important than what you have accomplished -- that's what he is saying.
 
  • #92
Exactly.

BTW: During that interview your ability to communicate will help to make you stand out. Another point: I hate interviews with candidates have no questions. Yes I will have a lot of questions I want answers to, but an interview is a two-way street. If the candidate doesn't care to do any research on my company and has no questions then they have demonstrated a lack of initiative.
 
  • #93
CrysPhys
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Right after you graduate, you probably don't have a record of accomplishments other than your degree, so all a prospective employer has to go on is your grade point average (GPA) and supporting references and letters of recommendation.
Five years after graduation, where you graduated and your grades are less important than what you have accomplished -- that's what he is saying.
With one important exception. Should you need to change career paths substantially (say from physics R&D or EE design to patent law, technical journalism, or venture capital for high-tech start-ups, a pedigree from a brand-name school such as MIT, Harvard, Oxford, or Cambridge will still help open doors, 5, 10, 20 years down the road. That's because you don't have an established track record in the new field, and supporting peripheral factors come back into play (details of GPAs and transcripts won't come into play far into the future, though).
 

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