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Reasons to re-think ANU. (2 Viewers)

Stewartanderson

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Also, I'm going to move to America anyway. I've heard ANU and UMELB have better recognition and reputation over at the states. That's all I care about.
 

MikeLloyd

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Yes.
What uni you reckon will get me into Harvard as a postgrad?
2 of my cousins got into Harvard as postgrads and they graduated from ANU. Does that make a difference?
Congratulations on the tuckwell - I didn't make it past the interviews.

Any university can get you into US leagues if you have high GPA / sound extracurriculars / good application / decent externals.

If you're doing law, Usyd has harvard as an exchange partner, that's about the closest you can get to an advantage in ivy admissions. UNSW specializes in their business school, and they have Wharton as an exchange partner.

Again, not enough context. For most students at ANU, if you have a 90 WAM and a polished application - you're probably fine.

ANU has no ivy exchange partners, so you're not going to get any special treatment. Generally for undergraduate, because Australia's top 4 Go8's are largely undifferentiated it doesn't matter when you apply for postgraduate - however if you get an exchange in the US it can greatly improve your chances of acceptance (granted you also have excellent scores).
 

Stewartanderson

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Congratulations on the tuckwell - I didn't make it past the interviews.

Any university can get you into US leagues if you have high GPA / sound extracurriculars / good application / decent externals.

If you're doing law, Usyd has harvard as an exchange partner, that's about the closest you can get to an advantage in ivy admissions. UNSW specializes in their business school, and they have Wharton as an exchange partner.

Again, not enough context. For most students at ANU, if you have a 90 WAM and a polished application - you're probably fine.

ANU has no ivy exchange partners, so you're not going to get any special treatment. Generally for undergraduate, because Australia's top 4 Go8's are largely undifferentiated it doesn't matter when you apply for postgraduate - however if you get an exchange in the US it can greatly improve your chances of acceptance (granted you also have excellent scores).
Wait a second, you haven't actually studied at ANU? So you're currently in year 12 as well? Lol, what makes you think you're qualified enough to criticise ANU? Why'd you apply for Tuckwell if you absolutely despise of the ANU anyway? And to think I was going to give up 100K based on YOUR opinion.
 

MikeLloyd

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Also, I'm going to move to America anyway. I've heard ANU and UMELB have better recognition and reputation over at the states. That's all I care about.
Umelb - Yes, they have ivy exchange partners. (Upenn, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia)
USyd - Yes, ivy exchange partners. (Upenn, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard)
UNSw - Yes, ivy exchange partners. (Upenn (Wharton), Princeton, Cornell, Columbia)
ANU - No ivy partners.
 

MikeLloyd

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Wait a second, you haven't actually studied at ANU? So you're currently in year 12 as well? Lol, what makes you think you're qualified enough to criticise ANU? Why'd you apply for Tuckwell if you absolutely despise of the ANU anyway? And to think I was going to give up 100K based on YOUR opinion.
Most people who are actually studying at ANU don't take the time to research the admissions process and quality of ANU. I'm from the US, sibling studying at Ivy as transfer from Au. I study some of my math at ANU.

I don't despise ANU, I just posted some of my criticisms of the universities admission selection process. What makes anyone qualified to criticize other universities? The people who are probably the most qualified to comment on universities are prospective students who are putting 100+ hours into understanding the undergrad market. Do you really think someone who has a massive sunk cost as an ANU grad is more qualified?

For all I know, I might even end up studying at ANU. That decision is 100% dependent on my scholarship offers / final results. I would much prefer ANU over the majority of universities, but in comparison to other top Go8's, criticism is due.

You're the one who asked me. I didn't go out of my way to tell you anything, if you really gave up 100k based on something someone on the internet claimed - I would question whether or not you've done enough personal research into Australian universities.
 
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Stewartanderson

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Honestly, if I were so salty about a Uni as you are about ANU, I would've transferred. I'm curious, MikeLloyd, why are you still studying at the ANU? Why not transfer to a more 'selective' school like UNSW or USYD?
 

MikeLloyd

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Honestly, if I were so salty about a Uni as you are about ANU, I would've transferred. I'm curious, MikeLloyd, why are you still studying at the ANU? Why not transfer to a more 'selective' school like UNSW or USYD?
I'm not 'salty' about ANU. I have enough criticism of it as I do of UNSW. This is an ANU subforum, and a thread where other users are criticizing ANU.

I'm contributing.

I'm not studying my bachelor yet - I'm waiting to receive my final results. I study a further mathematics program ANU offers. How do I transfer from that? I'm not studying at ANU, I'm studying part of my HS cert at ANU.

I'm planning on going to UNSW or USyd. It's all dependent on my GE / Scholarships / final scores. I might even go to ANU depending, because I don't judge a university as a whole - I look at the cost benefit relationship of different courses and how available I am for them.
 
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Stewartanderson

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I would love to hear your criticism on UNSW and USYD :)
Umelb, USYD and UNSW are my other options (in that order) and I really want a balanced opinion on all four of my options!
 

MikeLloyd

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I would love to hear your criticism on UNSW and USYD :)
Umelb, USYD and UNSW are my other options (in that order) and I really want a balanced opinion on all four of my options!
I'll message you some of my thoughts (emphasis it's my opinion, feel free to disagree) tomorrow morning.

But, imho Umelb and Usyd are great universities. What area are you studying? (I'm going into AdvMath / Actl Sci)
 

Stewartanderson

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Hmm, I would much rather prefer you post it on this thread!
Haha, I really don't care how good they are in Australia, I care about their international reputation. I just did a search online and it turns out that yes, in fact, ANU and UMELB have the best international reputation. Of course I have to agree with you on the exchange partner post. I think it's a shame that ANU has no Ivy League/Oxbridge exchange partners, but that doesn't stop ANU graduates from studying at Ivy leagues as postgraduates? Like I mentioned before, both my cousins ended up at Harvard!
Look, I have to give you credit on some of your criticism. But I think you were a bit too harsh on ANU... In my opinion, UNSW is not on par with ANU at all. UMELB definitely is, but not UNSW. But there are some subjects UNSW is better than ANU at, for example, commerce/business! I do give them credit for that.

I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavours, I'm sure you're going to succeed :)
Haha, I'm not sure at the moment. Still stuck between medicine or law/economics :/
 

xixander

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Alternatively, as intelligent adults using the internet, we can present arguments and debate the quality of universities using available information and facts, future university students can read and filter that information and form an opinion on the the quality of those universities. In this example, it is the responsibility of said students to use their brain and critical thinking to process facts.
Well said, and I mean this genuinely. As we don't seem to be getting each other's points across and our debate isn't moving in particularly productive direction, however, let's just leave it here – all those smart, critical-minded applicants can make up their own mind.

I should also say that it's evident you've made an impressive effort to research potential universities. Please be assured I would never dismiss your opinion because you're still in high school. Regardless of which stage of your studies you're at, your willingness to look into data alone makes you more qualified than the vast majority of uni students who simply went with the first option presented to them.

By the way, you're thinking of doing AdvMath/ActlSci?

This analytical mindset will serve you well should you ever go into finance. A degree from UNSW/USyd will additionally help you if that's your goal.

Someone I know worked for the securities division of a bank in Sydney, and he was pretty much the only ANU person there. The place is flooded with UNSW/Usyd alumni, as indeed top students from these institutions tend to go for a corporate job, while their ANU counterparts usually choose to continue on to postgrad research. They're different crowds, which is something I tried to point out in my very first post on this thread.

Umelb - Yes, they have ivy exchange partners. (Upenn, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia)
USyd - Yes, ivy exchange partners. (Upenn, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard)
UNSw - Yes, ivy exchange partners. (Upenn (Wharton), Princeton, Cornell, Columbia)
ANU - No ivy partners.
You're spot on about ANU having not-so-great exchange partners. That is a criticism I can get behind, and it's probably the one thing that really annoyed the heck out of me while I was an undergrad there.

We had a few good places like ETHZ, Toronto, UCLA and Berkeley, but they were often put "on hold" because of insufficient students from these institutions wanting to come our way. I don't blame them: an exchange to Australia is something kids from such schools do for the lifestyle and travel. Realistically, who wants to spend their term abroad in Canberra when you can enjoy the beaches in Sydney instead... it all comes down to location, especially when attracting Ivy students to Oz.

That said, I don't think exchange partners should be the decisive factor for picking a university – though, of course, it's one of many considerations you should weigh.
 
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xixander

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You reckon I should give up my scholarship and not go ANU?
ANU w/ Tuckwell is pretty much as good as it gets if you're staying in Australia.

You won't do badly either way, although if you're the kind of person who can get an offer like this... well, I don't see what trouble you'd have getting into HYPSM directly for undergrad. So don't be complacent: make a booking for the SAT now (you might still be in time), throw in a few applications before Christmas and see if you get a decent financial aid package. You can start at ANU anyway then move after a semester if it suits you, and you'll be no worse off for it. (Of course, you could just move for postgrad – which I can confirm several people from ANU do every year with full funding – but I don't see any good reason to wait. That's my 2 cents anyway.)
 
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Dichromate

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You're absolutely right. I have been planning on studying at the ANU since year 10, but the 15min I spent reading these posts (not sure why OP even made this thread in the first place? What point are you trying to provie Dichromate? That ANU doesn't deserve its #1 rank?) have influenced me so much to the point I'm willing to give up my scholarship and goals. Can someone who actually studies at ANU give a better perspective?
I can sit here and make a thread on the reasons to reconsider UNSW/USYD all I want but I know some people on this site endeavour to study at those institutions, so why be salty about it?
Well, I'm an ANU alumnus so I figured I'd give some feedback so people can see the other side of things. The job aspect is very real and it's only going to get tougher for grads in the coming years, if you choose to move to Canberra and choose to focus on the Canberra job market without understanding what that really means until you move back to Sydney in frustration 8 months after you graduate, you can do yourself lasting damage.

The uni rankings are largely based on research output so in that sense ANU "deserves" it, but those ranks aren't so relevant for undergrads.

Also I agreed with xixander that a scholarship is a decent reason to go to ANU if you don't have an offer for one elsewhere, (especially if you can live on campus) the only real exception for that is for Engineering: I would be very careful there because ANU's Engineering faculty is abnormal and you actually can't study most normal engineering majors there, if you were intent on doing Chemical/Process Engineering or Civil Engineering or something and ended up doing one of ANU's majors just to get a scholarship you might regret it when you graduate with a niche systems engineering degree.


The overall point is that undergrad at ANU isn't actually that amazing and that living in Canberra has real downsides, if you've got a great scholarship and are looking to live on campus that's something to weigh up, but if you're just weighing up between USyd, UNSW and ANU and are leaning toward ANU because you've heard it's the #1 uni in Australia and think going there will mean you'll come out ahead of the USyd kids in the job market, think again.
 

Dichromate

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There is a common perception by prospective Y12 students that ANU is more prestigious, and many are deceived by the "1st in Australia Rank" line (QS Stars have very questionable credibility). This, for the most part comes down to ANU having no competition apart from UC which caters to a very different demographic - and that there is no other Go8 university in the ACT to compare it to. Even with the 'monopoly' of prestige ANU has, they still cannot generate the demand they need for many of their courses to justify selectivity - with the internal transfer requirements being much lower than the ATAR equivalents, and the ATAR requirements being notoriously low across the board.

It was only until this year that ANU removed academic bonus points from LLB because every man and his dog was getting 5+ bonus points, and in other courses that are considered difficult and selective (I.e Actuarial Science), there is automatic allocation of bonus points for meeting the prerequisite criteria.

If the ATAR requirement for Act Sci is 95, and by meeting the requirements there is an automatic allocation of 5 bonus points, then technically the ATAR requirement should be 90 without academic bonus points. Compared to UNSW and Macquarie that have entry requirements of 98 and 97.5 respectively with no bonus points. This occurs for nearly every course ANU offers, making the advertised ATAR cut-offs very questionable.

These are only some of the pet-peeves I've found as a prospective student, and I'm sure there are many more. ANU is one of the worst when it comes to faking selectivity.
Just regarding the bonus points, ANU has always been extremely generous to students from regional areas and sucks in a lot of students from regional NSW (and some from further afield) that way.

If you go to any school covered by:
http://www.uac.edu.au/eas/schools/

it's an automatic 5 points.

Because it goes all the way to "inner regional" areas it basically means anyone from outside Sydney, Canberra, and (I think) Newcastle + Wollongong gets bonus points, including people who went to school in decent sized rural cities like Wagga Wagga, Lismore, Tamworth etc, as well as from smaller towns, so you have middling students at partially selective schools getting 5 automatic bonus points just because they aren't living in Sydney or Canberra and then up to another 5 for their subjects. No university is really that difficult to get in to (aside from courses like medicine) if you're at least moderately intelligent and reasonably determined, but as you say, ANU is actually really easy to get into for most courses, much more so than it appears from the official cutoffs.
 
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neo o

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Honestly, who gives a hoot about bonus points? This thread is about helping people make an informed decision, not jerking each other off over whether ANU is 'elite' or not. Also, if you're in the top 0.01% of highschool graduates and have snagged a scholarship you're obviously going to have different things to weigh up compared to an ordinary undergraduate.

Also, for the benefit of previous posters, a friend of mine from ANU used the Hawker as a stepping stone to a Rhodes. His academic results weren't actually that impressive either, but he'd been planning to get the Rhodes from day 1 of his admission to ANU.

I graduated from the ANU LLB in 2010.

Specifically for law (things have hopefully changed in the 6 years since I left):

- Scaling was far less generous at ANU than at other G08 universities. In my year the university medalist, despite topping about a quarter of his subjects, graduated with a distinction average. I'm not sure if that has changed, but the brutal scaling had a real impact for people when it came to applying for clerkships (in my day Sydney had a 30% combined D/HD rate while ANU had 1-2% HD and 10%-15% D) - there are very few opportunities in Canberra so people had to look to other major cities and compete against UNSW, Usyd and Melbourne grads who got scaled out the wazoo. Applying for jobs in the APS was brutal at the time because they weighed an ANU HD equally to a HD from the University of the Sunshine Coast, but thankfully academics are more of a hurdle for APS recruitment now - they don't matter for most Departments other than the really competitive ones as long as you get a high credit average.
- There are few opportunities for work placement in Canberra. The private sector is small compared to other cities, there are heaps of graduates competing for opportunities, and there aren't enough placements to go around for 90% of people. There are some niche opportunities with APS agencies and politicians, but keep in mind those APS agencies advertise nationally. However, if you're indigenous, go to ANU, there are lots of really sweet cadetships for indigenous applicants.
- Your elective options are rubbish. International law up the wazoo. Your electives don't matter too much in terms of your future career and graduate opportunities, but you know, if you're interested in working in corporate it'd be nice to be able to have the option of more than 3 or 4 career relevant electives.

Generally:

- The on campus experience is excellent BUT IT'S GETTING WORSE. They are steadily getting rid of the ANU owned public colleges and replacing them with expensive dorms. Unilodges are expensive, full of international students and have no college culture. They are getting rid of Bruce Hall, the oldest and probably the best college on campus and replacing it with a Unilodge. B&G will probably follow soon. That will leave only Fenner, which is off campus, and Ursula, which is very small and two private colleges. Most people probably won't get a real college experience.
- They may have an accommodation guarantee but they don't guarantee where you end up. Most people end up getting shafted and sent to an expensive Unilodge, or if they're really unlucky, people sometimes wind up living in hotel rooms or god forbid, at the International Hotel School, where the staff treat lodgers like retarded highschool kids.
- The nightlife has changed a lot in Canberra. Most of the decent clubs have closed down. Braddon has become gentrified and is full of expensive cafes now and not much else. Most of the alternative scene is pretty much gone, the arty cinemas gone, the edgy clubs gone. I know quite a few people who are still studying their undergraduate degrees at ANU and from what they've told me the experience is much less fun than when I was there. There are still parties, but people tend to stay in, there isn't as much socialising as there used to be etc.

I regret going to ANU for my degree, however, my years at college were honestly the best years of my life so far. With college culture slowly vanishing, I honestly don't think it's worth it, either for the academic experience or the social/collegiate experience.

Full disclosure, I know Dichromate in RL.
 
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Dichromate

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- The on campus experience is excellent BUT IT'S GETTING WORSE. They are steadily getting rid of the ANU owned public colleges and replacing them with expensive dorms. Unilodges are expensive, full of international students and have no college culture. They are getting rid of Bruce Hall, the oldest and probably the best college on campus and replacing it with a Unilodge. B&G will probably follow soon. That will leave only Fenner, which is off campus, and Ursula, which is very small and two private colleges. Most people probably won't get a real college experience.
- They may have an accommodation guarantee but they don't guarantee where you end up. Most people end up getting shafted and sent to an expensive Unilodge, or if they're really unlucky, people sometimes wind up living in hotel rooms or god forbid, at the International Hotel School, where the staff treat lodgers like retarded highschool kids.
- The nightlife has changed a lot in Canberra. Most of the decent clubs have closed down. Braddon has become gentrified and is full of expensive cafes now and not much else. Most of the alternative scene is pretty much gone, the arty cinemas gone, the edgy clubs gone. I know quite a few people who are still studying their undergraduate degrees at ANU and from what they've told me the experience is much less fun than when I was there. There are still parties, but people tend to stay in, there isn't as much socialising as there used to be etc.
Fenner hall is effectively being moved to the Bruce site, the buildings are old and not in great condition, they'll probably sell the site once light rail is done or turn it into another unilodge style thing.

Building two halls in place of Bruce means they can axe Fenner without reducing their overall accommodation capacity, once they deal with fenner's site B&G will be next. They did pretty major fire safety renovations at B&G only a few years ago though, it'll probably hang on until 2020 or so but it's already 50+ years old and there's a clear move to do away with traditional colleges, they'll justify demolition based on the age of the building but replace it with something totally different to what's there (ie another unilodge)

Agreed that ANU will probably keep Ursula, they extended it with the shipping container things only ~6 years ago, and it's tucked in with the private colleges, they might try and sell it back to the Dominican order or something, either way there'll be an exclusive enclave of catered colleges up the end of Daley rd for the rich kids from Sydney, and everything else will be Unilodge style rip-off dorms packed to the brim with internationals with no real community.
 

neo o

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Fenner hall is effectively being moved to the Bruce site, the buildings are old and not in great condition, they'll probably sell the site once light rail is done or turn it into another unilodge style thing.

Building two halls in place of Bruce means they can axe Fenner without reducing their overall accommodation capacity, once they deal with fenner's site B&G will be next. They did pretty major fire safety renovations at B&G only a few years ago though, it'll probably hang on until 2020 or so but it's already 50+ years old and there's a clear move to do away with traditional colleges, they'll justify demolition based on the age of the building but replace it with something totally different to what's there (ie another unilodge)

Agreed that ANU will probably keep Ursula, they extended it with the shipping container things only ~6 years ago, and it's tucked in with the private colleges, they might try and sell it back to the Dominican order or something, either way there'll be an exclusive enclave of catered colleges up the end of Daley rd for the rich kids from Sydney, and everything else will be Unilodge style rip-off dorms packed to the brim with internationals with no real community.
They'll reprivitise Ursula. With Bruce gone there are no economies of scale for their catering business.
 

Dichromate

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So Bruce Hall is definitely going to be demolished now and will be replaced by rip-off dorms packed with internationals.

I can't imagine any of the other Go8 universities setting out to destroy their own collegiate institutions. Most such places have members of parliament, state premiers, judges, and even Prime Ministers among their alumni. Off the top of my head, Kevin Rudd went to Burgman and former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett spent a year at Bruce and long serving ACT senator Gary Humphries went to Bruce too. The lists are longer for colleges at older universities, some of which are 100 years old, but ANU did have a good thing going there.

Fenner will be done away with soon and once it's gone B&G won't last much longer either. I feel really sorry for people who move to ANU relying on the accommodation guarantee and end up at one of these shitty unilodge places (which will soon be pretty much all there is). The colleges were the one thing ANU really had going for it.
 

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Whatabout special cases?

I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Bulimia in Year 7 and suffered a great amount of time. My only hope in life is my cat who I have adopted for animal therapy causes. My parents are quite old and will definitely retire after I finish my HSC in NSW and move to Canberra, a quieter place they already bought a house in. I cannot live by myself with my cats in shared housing since I need my parents support. My only options seems like moving to Canberra with them and studying at ANU.
My other passion and possibly the only thing I have interest in is programming. I have taught myself Java as my first language (still learning) and I found computers and their logic captivating. The only courses during High School years I was able to concentrate fully and not miss out on any exams due to panic attacks was my IPT HSC and TVET course in IDT. I want to pursue a career in this field so my options were choosing to study Certificate IV in programming and Diploma in Software development or just do a Bachelor of information technology right after Year 12
I really do not care if ANU doesn't care about undergrads or Canberra's job market is unlike Sydney or Melbourne. I have not tried to kill myself once since my beautiful cat has come into my life. I love her so much and thank her everyday. I can't live without her.

Thank you for reading my rant. I have my half-yearlies coming up in 2 weeks and I am already panicking. I will be back here to check on comments later! bye bye :)
 

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