We asked ChatGPT for each Russell Group uni’s stereotype and some are genuinely offensive
It called Exeter students ‘Cornwall Weekend Warriors’
Every Russell Group Uni has a well-known stereotype. Durham is full of Oxbridge rejects, York is boring and Exeter is full of posh girlies. As soon as you get to uni you know exactly what yours is.
But with the rise of ChatGPT across UK campuses and more and more students turning to AI to help them with their uni work, what does AI actually think of UK universities and their stereotypes?
We asked ChatGPT all of the Russell Group uni’s stereotypes and although some of them were accurate, some were surprisingly savage.
The University of Oxford
No surprise here, it thinks Oxford is posh. “Oxford is often associated with extremely intelligent and high-achieving students, given its academic reputation. There might also be a stereotype of Oxford as being traditional and elitist due to its long history and association with the British upper class.”
“Oxford students and scholars are often quirky or eccentric due to their focus on academia and unique traditions.” Quite possibly the two least cool adjectives to describe anyone ever.
The University of Exeter
ChatGPT picked up on the posh girlies that can be found at Exeter, calling them “Cornwall Weekend Warriors” for taking frequent weekend trips and holidays to the coast.
It also commented on the sustainability at Exeter: “Exeter has a strong commitment to sustainability, and students may be associated with a passion for environmental and social issues.” This is definitely a hint to the Vinted and Depop queens at Exeter.
The University of Leeds
ChatGPT picked up on the Leeds students’ love for a night out. “Leeds is often considered a friendly and welcoming city, and its students may be stereotyped as approachable and sociable individuals. Leeds has a vibrant nightlife scene, and students might be associated with enjoying the city’s bars, pubs, and clubs.”
In a very niche observation, it also pointed out Leeds Uni students’ expertise in “navigating the Parkinson Building”. “The iconic Parkinson Building can be challenging to navigate for newcomers, but a stereotype may involve students proudly showing off their ability to find their way around it.”
The University of York
“Some may think of York as having a more relaxed and laid-back campus environment compared to older, traditional universities,” ChatGPT said. In other words, York is just boring.
It also picked up on York’s obsession with ducks and geese: “York’s campus is home to a variety of wildlife, including ducks, geese, and squirrels, which may lead to playful stereotypes about the students’ interactions with these animals.” Nothing on Long Boi’s death though, seems suspicious to me.
The University of Nottingham
For Nottingham, all it seemed to care about was Robin Hood? It actually called Notts students “Robin Hood Scholars” as students apparently “humorously identify themselves as “Robin Hood Scholars,” combining academic pursuits with archery skills.”
It added: “Building on the Robin Hood theme, students may humorously embrace being “Sherwood Cafe Connoisseurs,” always on the lookout for the best coffee shops on and off-campus.” Not sure how that’s Robin Hood related but you do you I guess?
In what actually might beat Robin Hood Scholars, it also called Notts students “Forest Frolickers” for, you know, all that forest frolicking they do? It said: “The University of Nottingham’s main campus is set within a large park known as University Park, and students may be playfully associated with “The Forest Frolickers,” making the most of the beautiful green space.
The University of Manchester
According to AI, Manchester University students are all footballing legends. “Manchester is famous for its football clubs, and some stereotypes might involve students having a strong interest in football and engaging in discussions about the sport.
It also highlighted that “Students at Manchester may be perceived as having a strong sense of community and camaraderie with their fellow students.”
The University of Edinburgh
For Edinburgh, ChatGPT picked up on the Scottish weather and also that Edi students are really philosophical. It said: “Edinburgh students have an exceptional ability to hold philosophical discussions in the midst of pouring rain, with each raindrop supposedly adding an extra layer of depth to their debates.” Can’t say I ever want to find myself in a philosophical debate with an Edi student in the pouring rain but each to their own.
It also described Edinburgh students as “common festival-goers” making reference to the upcoming Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “Edinburgh hosts famous festivals like the Fringe Festival, and students are often seen as active participants in these events,” it said.
The University of Bristol
AI seems to think that Bristol is full of eco-friendly legends. “Bristol has a reputation as an environmentally conscious city, and students may be stereotyped as being engaged in environmental and sustainability initiatives,” it said. Nothing was mentioned about the amount of Elf Bars they get through, though.
It also pointed out that Bristol “has a lively social scene, and students may be associated with enjoying the city’s nightlife, music events, and cultural activities.” Basically, it’s a fun time.
The University of Durham
At Durham, there was nothing about Oxbridge rejects but ChatGPT admitted “Durham has a reputation for academic rigour and high-quality education. Students may be perceived as diligent, ambitious, and academically focused.”
It also said: “Durham University, like many old institutions, has Latin mottos and phrases associated with it. A funny stereotype may involve students playfully using Latin phrases in everyday conversations.” So basically just that Durham students are insufferable.
The University of Newcastle
AI pointed out the “party culture” at Newcastle. It said: “Newcastle has a lively nightlife, and students may be stereotyped as enjoying socialising and participating in the city’s vibrant party scene.” ChatGPT loves a Newcastle night out.
Newcastle students also apparently love a Greggs. Greggs is a popular bakery chain in the UK, and there is be a playful stereotype about Newcastle University students always grabbing a bite at Greggs.”
University College London
According to AI, UCL students are massive Harry Potter fans. “UCL’s iconic buildings, such as the Wilkins Building, may remind people of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. Students may playfully embrace the magical atmosphere.”
Perhaps this love of Harry Potter is also what makes UCL have a “braniac” reputation, according to AI. “UCL is known for its academic excellence, and a common stereotype may involve students humorously referring to themselves as “UCL Brainiacs” or “Genius Gulls.” Not sure how much Genius Gulls is going to catch on but sure.
The University of Birmingham
Another uni which is known for a good night out, AI praised Birmingham’s amount of societies and activities: “Birmingham University students may be associated with engaging in a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and societies.”
ChatGPT also seemed to think that “Keep Calm and Brum On” was a thing that Birmingham students say. But I’m not sure how much truth I can see in this. It said: “Playing on the British “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan, a funny stereotype may involve Birmingham University students having a “Keep Calm and Brum On” attitude, embracing the city’s characteristics and quirks.” Ok, sure.
The University of Lancaster
Showing some College favouritism when asked about Lancaster’s stereotype, AI seemed to think that Pendle was the best College. “Lancaster University has several colleges, each with its own identity and pride. A playful stereotype may involve students from Pendle College jokingly claiming it is the best college on campus.”
Like its rival York, it also commented on Lancaster’s obsession with ducks: “Lancaster University’s campus is known for its beautiful lakes and abundant ducks. A stereotype of Lancaster students may involve students having a particular affinity for these feathered friends.”
The University of Warwick
Dodging around the fact that the Warwick campus is actually in Coventry, ChatGPT called Warwick student life “bubble-like.” Warwick’s campus is self-contained, which may lead to a playful stereotype of students living in a “bubble,” enjoying everything they need within the university grounds.”
In this uni bubble, it also pointed out how many cyclists there are at Warwick. It said: “Warwick’s large and picturesque campus may lead to a humorous stereotype of students zipping around on bicycles to get from one place to another quickly.”
King’s College London
Students at King’s are fashionable icons, apparently. ChatGPT said: “Some may stereotype King’s College London students as having a keen sense of fashion and style, reflecting the cosmopolitan environment of the city.” Fancy.
As well as having the best dressed students, King’s students are also apparently coffee connoisseurs: “As with many university students, King’s students may be humorously stereotyped as avid coffee drinkers, always in search of the best coffee spots around campus.”
The University of Sheffield
Without quite mentioning Artic Monkeys, AI called students at Sheffield “Music Maestros”. It said: “Sheffield has a rich musical history, and students may be humorously associated with being “Music Maestros,” enjoying the city’s music scene and live performances.”
Sheffield students also apparently have thighs of steel from all its hills. Sheffield is famously hilly, and a humorous stereotype may involve students being experts at navigating the city’s slopes and hills.”
The University of St Andrews
Producers of Royalty, for St Andrews’ stereotype, AI focused on golf for some reason? It said: “St Andrews is famously known as the home of golf, and many students might be passionate golf enthusiasts or jokingly claiming to have mastered the sport.
It added: “Building on the golf theme, students may humorously refer to themselves as “Academic Golfers,” balancing their studies with leisurely rounds on the golf course.” Random but ok.
The University of Cambridge
It might be one of the best unis in the world, but AI seems to think all the studying goes on is last minute cramming, calling Cambridge students “Champion Crammers”. “Cambridge students may humorously claim to be “Champion Crammers,” excelling at last-minute exam preparation and late-night study sessions.”
Similar to the Oxford stereotype, it also suggests that Cambridge students are eccentric: “Cambridge students may be humorously stereotyped as brilliant and eccentric individuals, coming up with quirky ideas and unconventional solutions.”
The University of Cardiff
The main thing it pointed out for Cardiff Uni is the amount it rains, calling Cardiff students “rain survivors”. So brave. It said: “Given the reputation of the Cardiff’s rainy weather, Cardiff students may be humorously associated with being expert “Rain Survivors,” always equipped with umbrellas and raincoats.”
The University of Glasgow
Focusing on Glasgow’s Scottish location, AI called Glasgow students “Haggis Hunters” and honestly if I was a Glasgow student, I’d be offended. It said: “In a playful sense, Glasgow students might humorously identify as “Haggis Hunters,” either in search of the elusive creature or just enjoying Scotland’s traditional dish.”
It did say though that Glasgow is known for its diverse student body. “The university attracts students from various backgrounds and nationalities, and it may be seen as a culturally diverse and inclusive institution.”
The University of Southampton
ChatGPT just thought that Southampton students were just obsessed with the sea: “With Southampton’s proximity to the coast, it’s joked that some students are masters of “Seaside Studies,” combining academic pursuits with frequent trips to the beach.”
It continued: “Since Southampton is known for its port and being a gateway to various destinations, you might hear jokes about students always being ready to set sail and explore the world once they graduate. This stereotype humorously plays on the idea that Southampton students are adventurous and eager to embark on exciting journeys after completing their studies.” In other words, all Southampton students are heading out on a gap yah after uni.
Queen’s University Belfast
Apparently, Queen’s students are just really good at arguing: “Queen’s University Belfast has a strong tradition of debating societies, so students might humorously be seen as always ready for a lively intellectual discussion.”
“Given the history and political context of Northern Ireland, some may assume that Queen’s students are engaged in social and political matters.”
Imperial College London
It kinda went all in on Imperial students calling them “socially awkward geniuses”, yikes. “Imperial College London is known for its rigorous academic programs, and students might be humorously depicted as exceptionally intelligent but possibly lacking some social skills.”
It did also call Imperial students “lab coat fashionistas”, though. “Engineering and science students at Imperial might be playfully teased about their fondness for lab coats or wearing them as a fashion statement.”