Does it matter which university you go to?

Hybr logo.
Published:
February 17, 2023
Last updated:
April 23, 2024
A row of white buildings with balconies.
No items found.

Introduction

I recall deciding to pursue my undergraduate degree in Birmingham in 2012 because I loved the city and the programme without ever regretting my decision. However, parents and students are naturally concerned about selecting the incorrect university given the impending cost increase and growing concerns about obtaining a job after graduation.

When selecting a university, people frequently look at league tables first. However, league tables frequently fluctuate, and it is important to remember that labels like "Russell Group" are mostly useless. In the process of selecting, it is important to select university depending on their location, programme, type of courses, and how well it accommodates personal preferences, which means studying in a Russell Group isn’t the highest priority.

A building with persony windows and grass.

The Russell Group "has only been since the mid-1990s and began life as a group of heads of universities with medical schools, who convened at London's Russell Hotel," the BBC reported back in November.

Additionally, a significant graduate employer, Deloitte, modified their selection procedure such that it hides from recruiters whose school and institution each candidate attended. The BBC reports that Deloitte intends to deploy an algorithm that takes applicants' academic records into account along with "contextual" information like attending a failing school.

Despite this, it appears doubtful that many graduate employers would adopt Deloitte's strategy and continue to concentrate on visiting what they consider to be the "best institutions" given the competitive nature of the graduate employment market. Considering all of this, I asked graduates from various colleges how crucial their choice of university to be:

Rosie, Queen’s University Belfast

I am attending open days, participating in vacation schemes, and attending training contract interviews to become a solicitor. I have been examining the demographics of those employed by major London legal firms, and I have discovered that the university you attend matters a lot. Russell group and Oxbridge graduates are the majority in even the companies that pride themselves on hiring a diverse workforce.

'Meeting recruiters at on-campus events is incredibly vital to getting your foot in the door because certain businesses only visit specific colleges,' said one student. At my university, a new building was made possible by Herbert Smith Freehills. If they did not adore Queen's, would they have a holiday plan here? Definitely not at all.

This is not to argue that graduates from other universities cannot succeed in large metropolitan corporations; it just makes it more difficult. You need to get much higher scores.

A building with a street and trees.

Ellen, Leeds (Undergraduate), Cambridge (Postgraduate)

"Your choice of university is important since it should be the best fit for you. That does not seem to be related to anything, even university rankings. Just the best school for you should be the one you choose.

For instance, I am happy that I chose Leeds for my undergraduate studies. It was enjoyable and provided me with a wonderful department and a year abroad. But because of the research, the individuals it draws, and the college systems, I am happy I chose Cambridge for my postgraduate studies.

Considering everything said above, it is evident that your choice of institution matters, but perhaps not in the way you might assume. Although there are certain benefits to attending a highly ranked institution, it is more crucial that you choose a school that fits your personality and helps you to make the most of your time there.

Not everyone would love attending Cambridge University, and not everyone also flourishes in a large city like Manchester. Most people, in my experience, wind up liking their university, but if you are reading this while you are making decisions, it is well considering carefully what type of experience you want to have at university.

Considering everything said above, it is evident that your choice of institution matters, but perhaps not in the way you might assume. Although there are certain benefits to attending a highly ranked institution, it is more crucial that you choose a school that fits your personality and helps you to make the most of your time there.

Not everyone would love attending Cambridge University, and not everyone also flourishes in a large city like Manchester. Most people, in my experience, wind up liking their university, but if you are reading this while you are making decisions, it is well considering carefully what type of experience you want to have at university.

Why Hybr?

Check Mark
Find you perfect student accommodation
Check Mark
Free to use for all students and graduates
Check Mark
Search through all types of student accommodation
Check Mark
Get support throughout your rental search and tenancy
Check Mark
Hybr puts you first.
View properties

Get new property updates to your inbox

We'll use your university email to contact you about relevant homes and news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.