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Other How reliable are university rankings?

  1. Nov 22, 2017 #81

    symbolipoint

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    (not sure if "stunted" is misspelling of "student")

    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.
     
  2. Nov 22, 2017 #82
    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)?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  3. Nov 22, 2017 #83
    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.

    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.

    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.

    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).

    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.
     
  4. Nov 22, 2017 #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.
     
  5. Nov 22, 2017 #85

    symbolipoint

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    Grands says this:
    Interesting would it be to know about some statistics on percentage of Italian citizens who attend a college or university OUTSIDE of Italy.
     
  6. Nov 22, 2017 #86
    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.
     
  7. Nov 22, 2017 #87
    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.
     
  8. Dec 1, 2017 #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.)
     
  9. Dec 1, 2017 #89
    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.
     
  10. Dec 1, 2017 #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.
     
  11. Dec 1, 2017 #91

    Mark44

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    What you quoted from Eric is more about what happens a few years into your career.

    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.
     
  12. Dec 1, 2017 #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.
     
  13. Dec 1, 2017 #93
    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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