UC Berkeley cannot afford to keep its library open, much less retain its top talent. The best professors and faculty get cherry picked to go teach elsewhere such as Stanford. UC Berkeley deserved its stellar reputation in the 1950’s and 60’s before the continuous decline in university funding starting in the 1970’s. Although its academic reputation has remained strong, the teaching at UC Berkeley is embarrassingly poor. In its rankings of the best universities, “US News and World Report” does not include teaching as a criterion. Rather, the most weight is given to the opinion of other university presidents, provosts, and deans (i.e. a popularity contest). This allows UC Berkeley to hide its poor teaching practices and perpetuates the high rankings. In fact, the UC Berkeley Administration purposefully withholds course evaluation results from students. They have to keep everyone from knowing how awful the teaching is. This is a clear violation of the California Public Records Act, which clearly authorizes public access to them, but it is difficult to sue the university. This is yet another example that UC’s legal right to police itself does not work. Since only highly competent students are admitted, they manage to survive, but it may take years longer than anticipated. You never hear from the many who get flushed away due to the faculty’s apathy, infighting, and numerous mistakes on exams. Whenever these issues arise, the student and his or her career will always be sacrificed instead of the faculty member who caused the mistake. The tenure system makes it nearly impossible to remove a professor. They all look out for one another since they cannot be fired and they are stuck with their incompetent colleagues for life. As a result, students are treated like disposable tissue. Unfortunately, most of the undergraduate students have no idea how much better the education is at other universities, and that they are receiving a sub par education at UC Berkeley. In summary, UC Berkeley is a 2nd rate university with a 1st rate reputation. Studying at UC Berkeley may be the biggest mistake that you ever make.
What sets the University of California, Berkeley apart from other schools is that it is unsheltered from the world. Literally, the campus is open to the city; in fact, many buildings and facilities are located off-campus, allowing for an integration with the surrounding community. Historically, Berkeley is famous for its liberal state of mind; the liberty to freely speak one's mind--whether academically, politically, or religiously--and accept others' opinions is invaluable. And academically, the ability to receive world-class education from top researchers and educators--who continue to make an impact in today's society--is priceless.
UC Berkeley offers lectures given by world renowned researchers and incredible professors in the top of their respective fields. We have designated parking spots on campus for Nobel Laureates. The prestige of the people on campus that my peers and I interact with everyday still astounds me. Research opportunities are constantly presenting themselves and there is always something interesting happening on campus. The academics are incredible, but Cal offers more than that. The people, the experiences, and the lessons you will learn are priceless. There truly is no other school that compares.
UCB is one of the most diverse and beautiful campuses I have ever seen. It makes the learning atmosphere enjoyable and worthwhile. Although, UCB is the best public university in the nation, it serves to all demographics and provides opportunities for people of all backgrounds to attend. Students are able to receive an education from some of the world's most renowned professors who want to help them succeed. Professors are charasmatic and classes are lively. Students are challenged academically day to day and with the help of the faculty and staff, they are able to overcome every callenge!
This is a bit off topic, but if you choose to accept the challenge, it is one of the greatest things berkeley has to offer, socially, musically, and in terms of general mental and emotional health. Finding a group of trusted friends and making road trips and trips to concerts in San Francisco is truly something you will never regret or forget. The smallest effort to stay in touch with the music scene in San Francisco, and to keep your close friends on the same page, is very rewarding. Also, take advantage of the many eateries. Explore a little, and choose some good companions.
Berkeley supported and inspired me to make work about modern-day child sex trafficking and spreading awareness and promoting action. While in my last year at Cal, I will be leading a team in creating their own meaningful art projects. As the leader, I will be challenging the members to use unconventional methods in portraying their thoughts and to explore content they care about because I strongly believe a person needs to be passionate about their work in order to send a genuine and influential message across to an audience. This opportunity wasn'y available at the other colleges.
U.C. Berkeley is set apart from the other schools that I considered due to its deep diversity academically, socially, and intellectually. The list of the programs of study is almost twice, if not three times the list of other schools with majors ranging from Peace and Conflict Studies to Nuclear Engineering. This wide array of academia attracts many students from around the nation and world, creating a mini-scale world in a campus no larger than 7,000 acres. This atmosphere breeds intellect like no other, igniting debate, ingenuity, and creativity at the highest level.
Berkeley's unique characteristic originates from the diversity of culture. Like a big "melting pot" of people from different nations, campus life seems to open so many new doors for new things for a typical student to experience. Among one of the most amazing things, although it is my guilty pleasure, is the convenience of being able to try new foods. A quick five minute walk away will be Thai Basil, serving delicious Thai cuisines, and across the street is La Burrita, Berkeley's most famous Mexican parlor. There is definitely a good reason for the "Freshman 15" here.
Berkeley provides a unique balance of high academics and great social experiences, something I feel other schools lack. Most of the time I feel like there is more of a focus on either the academic or social aspect of college, but at Berkeley that is not the case. It is the number one pulbic university in the nation and a degree from Cal carries a lot of weight in the professional world, yet it also provides plenty of opportunity to make new friends and expand socially, both of which in my opinion are essential to having a complete college experince.
The academic and social atmosphere at Cal is completely unique. The student body at Cal is diverse, with students from every walk of life. All of the students I have met are sincerely kind, willing to go out of their way to help a directionally challenged freshman lost on campus. Teachers are engaging and care about students whether it is a class in a huge lecture hall with hundreds of people or a small discussion group of 10 students. Cal has taught me new ways to look at the world, with passionate and amazing faculty and students. Go Bears!