When looking at universities, there is a lot of stigma attached to what is considered a ‘good university.’ With the various league tables and rankings, it can become a bit overwhelming when deciding which ones to apply for and it is hard to look at universities with an open mind.
You may have heard the terms ‘Redbrick’ and ‘Russell Group’ being flung around here and there, but what do they actually mean? And do they make any difference?
Redbrick is a term that was created by Edgar Allison Peers a Spanish Professor at the University of Liverpool. It originates from the late 19th to the early 20th Centuries during the British industrialisation. This movement led to the government recognising the need for easier access to higher education in industrial cities, contesting with the pre-existing and prestigious Oxford and Cambridge.
It refers to the original six universities that were established as a result of this movement and include the Universities of Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Bristol.
Russell Group on the other hand, refers to a group of 24 elite universities which are committed to research and academic standards. These universities are known for producing the majority of the world’s most influential research in UK. The group was established after the Redbrick Universities and also includes some of the traditional institutions. Have a look at this list of the universities that are in the Russel Group.
Making the right decision is undeniably important, and ensuring that you go to a good university will affect the choices that you make.
However, employers are not just after candidates from ‘elite’ institutions and top ranking universities. Ultimately, doing well at your chosen university means being confident that you enrol in a course suited to you. Making the most and enjoying what you are studying is what matters. Although these institutions are fantastic opportunities, particularly for those that are planning on taking a course that is research focused, they may not be specialised in your field.
For example, some modern universities are specialised in other fields which are not offered at universities of Redbrick or Russell Group. The University of Bournemouth provides the best media and digital effects in the country where students have gone on to work with world famous names such as James Cameron. This article portrays students’ views on underrated universities and how these may actually be better suited that the highly esteemed Redbrick and Russel Group universities.
Adding to your CV to the fact that you have been to one of these elitist institutions will certainly spark interest from potential employers. Having said that, your skills, experiences and knowledge is what makes the most difference. Adding summer internships and work experience in your chosen field will certainly add value to your CV.
- By Shreena Bagga