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A small discussion about Universities

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Hello everyone, Hope you don't mind me starting this thread right here, but I found this section the most suitable for this topic. So, a friend of mine has recently told me that he is thinking of going to study at some well-known university in the UK. He said some pretty words about UK and the rank of the univesities over there, It sounded quite interesting to me, that much that he nearly convinced to go there. However I am a bit concerned about one thing, Is it really worth of the money(and traveling as being from Slovakia)? I mean studying Computer Science at ,for example,Oxford is not the cheapest thing :) Is it gonna help you that much in the future? I would really like to hear you opinion about this topic. Thanks for you replies

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Thank you for your reply frob, those are some rather interesting articles, however having the aim to study Computer Science(programming) these articles won't help me that much, as they are aimed at game designers.

Also, I've heard that the Computer Science at Oxford/Cambridge is not so developed yet. I don't know what's true about it, nevertheless I would like to ask which are the best schools aimed at Computer Science in the UK? Are there any Universities in the UK specialized at Computer science?

EDIT: Also, could someone compare the shools in the UK(Oxford/Cambridge) and in the US(Stanford/Berkeley)? Is there any significant difference?

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Those articles are general to all parts of game development. Although Tom tends to focus on the term "Game Designer", these particular articles apply not just to choosing a school, but to all areas of life.

I suggest you start looking locally rather than looking for Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, or Berkeley. There are many good local schools in your part of Europe. You will have a difficult time getting in to any of the four you listed, especially since they have reputations around the world. You will be competing against tens of thousands of rich kids, and that probably isn't what you want.

Ultimately the quality of your education depends on you and your effort, not on the school you attend.

When looking at candidate's education, I check first if they have a degree and what they say they did to get it. I only glance at the school. If it is a school I don't know, that's fine. Depending on the school, I think one of three things: "Wow, he went to my school!", "Did anybody here go to that school?", or "I hope they're not a snob." The four schools you mentioned fall in the last category.

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Quote:
Original post by MePHyst0
EDIT: Also, could someone compare the shools in the UK(Oxford/Cambridge) and in the US(Stanford/Berkeley)? Is there any significant difference?
I think it is unrealistic to expect anyone to have sufficient knowledge of all four institutions to make a comparison and ultimately it would be a waste of time. Game development and CS aren't like law degrees, where a good school counts for something. Game dev degrees have not been around long enough to have reached the point where a schools name counts for anything with an employer.

However there is an ongoing process of Game Degree course accreditation taking place in the UK under the guidance of the government training org Skillset - see Link to article and I expect that other courses (such as the one at Derby) will soon be accredited as well.

[Edited by - Obscure on June 2, 2006 2:59:50 AM]

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There is a difference if you plan on an an advanced education. With a degree from a well known school with a reputation you will definately get more opportunities. The amount of foreign applicants to american top ten engineering grad schools is quite large. If grad school or working abroad is not your thing I wouldn't worry about going to a top western european or american university.

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You said you are from Slovakia; have you considered Krakow? I think they have a decent curriculum in English, and are pretty reputable, though they are Polish and all.

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Quote:
Original post by frob
When looking at candidate's education, I check first if they have a degree and what they say they did to get it. I only glance at the school. If it is a school I don't know, that's fine. Depending on the school, I think one of three things: "Wow, he went to my school!", "Did anybody here go to that school?", or "I hope they're not a snob." The four schools you mentioned fall in the last category.

Yes, I think I've got your point. A similar think has been bugging my head for a while. Anyways, I managed to make a decision, most likely I will make the BA degree in here(to be precise, at the Masaryk University in Brno, which I would like to attend :) ) and then I will try to attend some good shool in the UK to make the Masters degree or possibly the Phd as well.

This will give me the opportunity to somehow get used to University life and get some solid base knowledge as well. And then If I still feel to go studying abroad I will go :)

[Edited by - MePHyst0 on June 3, 2006 4:35:25 AM]

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Original post by MePHyst0
Also, I've heard that the Computer Science at Oxford/Cambridge is not so developed yet. I don't know what's true about it, nevertheless I would like to ask which are the best schools aimed at Computer Science in the UK? Are there any Universities in the UK specialized at Computer science?


It's true that Oxbridge aren't that specialized for computer science but don't be so quick to dismiss them, after all they are the two best universities in the country and you are pretty much guaranteed the very best in resources and support.

More specialized universities would include Imperial College and Warwick University whom I have had friends tell me are excellent computer science institutions (Imperial College in particular)

You can view the tables of the top uk universities by degree stream at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,6734,00.html if you're thinking of looking into it. Like most things in life however you're going to have to talk to the people involved to find out how good something really is on a student basis.

As for my own university (Portsmouth), well it's Computer Science facilities are alright, but hardly the top of their game.

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Really thanks for your reply Doctor_E, it have helped me a lot.

Regading that top UK universities list in Computer Science, it says that Cambridge is the first, Oxford the second and the aforementioned Imperial College is the third.
How is it possible that everyone I have talked to so far said that Oxbridge is not that good in CS, and then this lists states the exact opposite.

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Original post by MePHyst0
How is it possible that everyone I have talked to so far said that Oxbridge is not that good in CS, and then this lists states the exact opposite.


Because Oxford is a huge university that can afford to hire the best teachers in the country, and if they find themselves lacking they can afford to upgrade whatever is falling behind. Do you know why? It's so that they can keep their great reputation, which leads to many students, which leads to MORE MONEY.

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