Thursday, June 08, 2006

All hail the elite, before I smack their faces

The longer I stay at UWA, the longer I am exposed to this general attitude that UWA is the "best" university in Western Australia, and that it offers the "best" degrees. I'd like to touch on this for a moment.

Consider the situation of many of my friends. We all live in Joondalup (or further north). We all wanted to go to University, and we all got reasonably high TER scores- certainly just about all of us could have got into UWA if we wanted, with its entrance requirements (which are higher than everyone elses, generally). Only two of us did. Now why then do I have numerous friends going to "crappy" unis like ECU then? Well, consider this.

When I travel to uni, I spend a minimum of $4 a day on parking, assuming I drive, and probably $20-25 a week on fuel. If I catch a bus, it's still around $2.50 a day, and it takes nigh on 2 hours to get to class from home. So, the tyranny of distance, fine. But isn't the "better" degree worth it I hear you ask?

I don't believe there's such a thing as one degree that's better than another- only that there is a degree (and university) that best suits each of us. I chose UWA's BCompSci. This is seen as a "weaker" degree than the 4 year Software Engineering degree- why? Because they learn things like Physics in first year, along with all other engineers, that have nothing to do with SE? Oh shit, my program won't compile- what was it Newton said about refactoring Java?

Now, I probably have more technical and research-based knowledge than my friend who does BCompSci at ECU at Joondalup. Think he cares? Think I care? Nope. He's doing the degree which suits him- it's close, he actually has a chance to work and have a social life, and he'll get a nice job placement thanks to the industry contacts that ECU has. Whats more, he's had the opportunity to branch into some really interesting areas such as graphic design which are completely not on the menu at UWA.

Finally, onto this concept of UWA having the "best social scene". Now I've had my fair share of fun at UWA- but to claim it's a 24/7 festival is a farce. We have a few big events every year, and i'm sure every other uni has those too. As for the clubs like bay 13, leisure and so forth- their events are the biggest, most mindless bouts of alcoholism I've ever seen. That's not my idea of fun. Sure, people enjoy themselves, get pissed, make out with people, damage property, have a good time- but it will only appeal to some, not all. For many of my fellow year 12 graduates from Joondalup, their inital experiences with UWA social life were anything but fun, and probably 70-80% of them left to go to a uni that was closer to their traditional circle of friends.

I hope that you're beginning to see where I'm coming from here. I learn at UWA exactly what I want to learn- I've got good technical IT knowledge, and I've even backed it up with a few business and marketing units so I can bring something a little extra to the table for my prospective employers. I've got a good bunch of mates, and I've got a good degree. I have had lots of fun, and continue doing so- but it's not for everyone. Sure, in the end employers might have the notion that graduates from UWA are better (even though this may not be true any more) but hell, it's not like they'll choose a bad UWA graduate over a good student from another university. Anyone who says or thinks otherwise deserves a swift kick in the head, and a good dose of reality.


At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Ro-Han said...

No way man, UWA is clearly the best man, in 3 or 4 years' time you'll see Silicon Valley companies passing over MIT graduates for UWA graduates dude!

It won't happen overnight... but it WILL happen!


At 10:36 PM, Blogger David Meacock said...


Yeah, clearly better through units like NETWORK MANAGEMENT :P


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