Talk:Heriot-Watt University

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Former good article nominee Heriot-Watt University was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 13, 2011 Good article nominee Not listed

Unsupported criticism[edit]

I removed the following paragraphs from the article because there are not supported by any references.

Heriot-Watt University is well known because of the high quality teaching in languages (French, Spanish and German mainly) and engineering and sciences (Petroleum engineering courses, for example).
Heriot watts computer science department however leavs a lot to be desired. whereas other universities take the approch of allowing students to sellect a particular field Heriot watt tries to teach a bit of everything. this results in many students reaching there final year with no specialist knowledge withing a particular field meaning that it is much harder for them to find a suitible job in the long run.

See Wikipedia:Verifiability for why we need references. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 04:19, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

University ratings[edit]

(I'm posting this to all articles on UK universities as so far discussion hasn't really taken off on Wikipedia:WikiProject Universities.)

There needs to be a broader convention about which university rankings to include in articles. Currently it seems most pages are listing primarily those that show the institution at its best (or worst in a few cases). See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Universities#University ratings. Timrollpickering 22:06, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


The UK wide universities template contains all the information in the Scottish universities template and more. There isn't any need to use the latter as well when the information it contains is identical to the Scotland field in the UK template. Timrollpickering 21:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Any information on the university's endowment? This is typically included on the template. Llamabr (talk) 15:48, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Notable Alumni[edit]

Please see : Yet again someone has removed content without commenting why. This is really starting to p&8$ me off. I made the original commit putting this information in, I updated the links as they got outdated. So, lets just settle this. Is Lydia Campbell a notable alumna or not? She invented soya cheese, which I think is notable, and the content is encyclopedic and it's not original research. So the only thing I can think people remove it for is a. vandalism or b. they don't think it's notable. If it's b. then FINE but please SAY SO IN YOUR COMMENT. Since I don't know why it was removed (again!) I want to add it back but I'm at risk of the three edits rule or whatever it is.

So can I have your input please. Was removing it vandalism, or was it because the alumna is not notable enough? Thank you for your time. Kymara (talk) 14:20, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Lydia Campbell is not an alumnus of the University. Does that answer your slightly hysterical question? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Nandeep Bamrah was also a notable alumni on that page Kymara (talk). I think that finishing a MBA at 17 is also encyclopedic. Robert HW (talk) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikipedia7007 (talkcontribs) 02:07, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Edit Request[edit]

{{Request edit}}


I currently work for Heriot-Watt University in a digital communications role, and would like to update the institution's page to improve its sourcing, make its structure more coherent and add more independently verifiable information. I've written a draft article at User:Robert HW/draft, but in accordance with WP:SCOIC will not publish it or make any edits to Heriot-Watt related pages myself- rather, I will leave it up to the community to decide how much of it is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia.

If you want to talk to me directly, leave me a message at my talk page- I'll try and contact you as soon as I can.


Robert HW (talk) 11:49, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Robert, your draft is superior in every way except you left out some of the references for the notable alumni. I'm replacing your version with those. Thanks for all the effort you put in to this. (talk) 13:14, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Independence of sources[edit]

Only three of the first twelve sources aren't independent. Thumperward, which section(s) are you concerned about in particular? (talk) 05:50, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

That's certainly not how I'd read the first twelve sources. References #1, #3 and #11 are hosted on, yes, but #2, #9 and #10 are simply links to records filed by HW (and thus authored by the subject) while #4 and #6 are simply direct links to the root of some organisation's website (and when used to reference material based on a particular body, as they are, are primary to that body). Additionally, #4 is broken (it appears to have been an attempt to link to the internal state of a website which doesn't use GET methods to serve information and thus doesn't have permalinks to results). And of course when one looks at the references after #12, they're almost all direct HW web links. So yes, the article certainly needs additional secondary citations. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:35, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

In the case of the NASTE and GASHE links, my understanding was that material published on a third-party site was reliable where that organisation had independent oversight over what it published: NAHSTE's project page implies ownership over the material, and adherence to international archival standards while doing so. It was my genuine belief while writing my draft article that these sites were far enough removed from the subject to qualify as reliable sources- however, I do appreciate that having a conflict of interest may have affected my judgement on the issue. I should also probably say that the data from reference #4 (if it worked) is independent of the university, being compiled from a number of independent assessors.

Robert HW (talk) 13:08, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Simply being hosted on a third-party site doesn't make a source secondary: my understanding is that these are public records. Ideally, we would like secondary analysis of these documents, rather than reading the primary sources and drawing our own conclusions from them. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:51, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

"Research university"[edit]

I've removed the reference to HW as a research university. As far as I can tell, this is original research. In the US, a research university is a status given by the Carnegie foundation to very top universities in which research funding is concentrated. This formal status doesn't exist in the UK, although the 25 Russell Group universities are its obvious analogy: most PhDs are issued by, and two-thirds of significant academic research happens there.

HW certainly doesn't get into that, or the top 20 UK universities in which research funding is concentrated. It has consistently ranked outside the top 40 in the UK. It produces 0.6% of the UK's 5 and 4 star rated research - not terrible, but rather less than a university with 21,000 students might be expected to produce. In terms of the amount of quality research produced by each research-active person entered in the last RAE, HW doesn't get into the top 50, ranking some way below London South Bank University and the University of East London. It's clearly not the case that HW is, in comparison with other UK universities, carachterised by especially high levels of research. --Duncan (talk) 09:36, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Rankings omission[edit]

The rankings and achievements section of this article is currently selectively showing the best results possible for the institute. The major general rankings should be included, as this isn't a pamphlet for the university but a factual encyclopaedic article. I suggest inclusion of:

  • 2013 QS World rankings #369
  • 2014 Guardian UK University rankings #18

Any objections? Jebus989 23:04, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

The Students' Association at Heriot-Watt is a student-led organisation headed by individuals elected from the student population[edit]

This is flowery and meaningless.

Who else would lead a Students' Association apart from the students? (Yes, OK, in a democratic-deficient society it might be different, but we're talking here about Scotland.)

"individuals elected from the student population"? So where else would "individuals" conceiveably be elected from, apart from the "student population"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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