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Students name the most underrated UK universities

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UK students have named the universities they believe to be the most underrated in an online chat forum.

In just two weeks, the thread titled Opinion: most underrated university among the general public, generated more than 200 replies from students, all naming the universities they think deserve further acknowledgement from fellow scholars and education professionals.

More than 60 universities were named overall, including the University of Bath and the University of East Anglia (UEA). UEA received 16 recommendations from individuals claiming that the institution was particularly underrated for subjects like medicine and law.

“UEA and Loughborough are two universities that are up and coming (in various fields however), and will certainly challenge some that are bigger than them in the near future,” one contributor wrote. “Depends on the subject – Loughborough are becoming a bigger and more popular university for engineering, whereas UEA are constantly improving and moving up the rankings for law.”

Loughborough was ranked 202 for Engineering and Technology in 2015’s QS World Universities subject rankings, and features as a Top-15 university in all major UK league tables.  UEA was ranked 198 overall in 2015’s THE World University rankings, and made the list for the Top 10 UK Law departments in the 2016 Guardian League Table.

Thirteen students expressed that the University of Bath deserved more recognition, with one student noting that it “isn’t RG (Russell Group) or that well-known in my circle, but is great at Architecture and Engineering.”

The University of Bath was ranked Number 1 in The Complete University Guide’s 2015 subject rankings for Architecture, and Chemical Engineering at the University was ranked Number 1 for teaching satisfaction in the 2016 Guardian University Guide.

The University of Manchester also inspired a detailed discussion, with the general consensus being that while it has achieved an appropriate level of international prestige, the institution deserves further acknowledgement from the UK itself.

Another recommended institution was the University of Southampton, which is in the Top 1% of universities worldwide, and was ranked 14th by The Guardian University Guide 2016, with a total of 13 subject areas making the Top 10.

“Southampton is definitely underrated overall,” wrote one contributor. “It’s the second best in the country for engineering. They are really good for STEM subjects because they are not great in humanities, they are not in the top 10.”

Another student noted Bournemouth University for its high levels of graduate employability. “I know people who went there and they say it’s brilliant for the course they did,” wrote the student. “ I also know the uni linked them to great internships so one is doing that in London and the other has finished and went straight into good employment after – again got there through a uni link.”

The University of Nottingham, also a Top 1% worldwide institution, was named by a number of contributors who urge that prospective students should not be put off by lower entrance grades, as higher entrance requirements do not guarantee a higher quality course.

The University of Kent was praised for its surroundings as well as its student support; De Montfort University was named as having “one of the best law schools” in the UK; the University of Central Lancashire was said to be a great choice for those wishing to study media; the University of Derby is ideal for Forensics; while Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen are ideal choices for those who “want a career in oil and gas.

Of the 64 universities mentioned in the thread, almost 50 percent feature in the Top 200 of the THE World University Rankings 2015-16; overall, only 11 “underrated” universities had not achieved a league table position.

A total of five “underrated” universities also feature in the Top 30 of THE’s World University Rankings: Imperial College London, University College London, the London School of Economics, the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London.

Click here for the full list of the UK’s most underrated universities.

Image via Shutterstock.

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