This is what Ulster University students really think about QUB

In a country that’s famous for being divided in two, Ulster students have had enough of old jokes and cheap laughs, which are just becoming exhausting and no longer funny


The QUB vs. UU rivalry is a tale as old as time and one which, realistically, is not going away any time soon.

Yik Yak (if anyone in uni now is even old enough to remember) was a key platform for really original, ‘Getting a waste management degree from UU for binning your ex’ or ‘Getting an art degree from UU with some crayons and a colouring book’ jokes which, although pretty funny in most cases, highlight the unfair attitudes many Queens students hold towards Ulster.

This one really did make me laugh

Queen’s students cling onto their holy ‘Russell Group’ banner with such pride and joy, reminding all UU students at all times that Queen’s is one of twenty-four, ‘world-class, research-intensive universities,’‘yet fail to mention that even an Oxford University professor can see its faults, claiming it, ‘is a danger to the reputation of the wider university sector’.

As a UU girl living in a Queen’s world I frequently see the exclusivities held against me, such as the look of total disgust on the McClay librarian’s face when I, an Ulster University student, enquired about becoming a member (just borrowing a friend’s card now instead of giving you over £100 a year), or the drunken argument I had with a member of Queen’s RAG who told me I couldn’t join due to being a UU student (not very charitable???). My da may indeed work for your da, but I don’t see what that has to do with me?! Your da probably wears Jack Wills polo shirts and asks your friends how much their parents earn, but I’m not one to judge.

I decided to ask my fellow Ulster students what they thought about Queen’s students and the divide between us.

“I definitely think there’s a Them vs. Us vibe that doesn’t sit right with me. I feel that a lot of Queen’s students feel they’re better or smarter than UU students and it makes things awkward. Overall I’d say it does make me love Ulster a wee bit more cause I feel like it’s the scrappy underdog uni’ – Rebecca, Spanish and International Development

“The whole Queen’s vs. UU debate has become exhausting: why should there be a stigma pro or against one campus or the another? I’m tired of expecting Queen’s students to ask me whether I do my assignments in crayons, and I am sure they are tired of being considered stuck-up jackasses. Whatever you think of the campus’ reputations, pedigree, under- or postgraduate programmes, aren’t we bigger than this? Isn’t a country that was ripped apart due to ‘religion’, due a reconciliation when it comes to education? When push comes to shove, the universities are there for educating: they are not there to encourage discrimination or snobbery. We both need to get over our own prides and start focusing on changing our behaviour. We need to learn to play nicely, or be sent back to play-school to relearn some of those basic lessons again.” – Nesta, English

“I feel like QUB do think they are better/ receive a better education. Personally I don’t care too much about it or think about my degree any different, I actually turned down Queen’s and chose Ulster instead.” – Rebecca, History

“There is definitely a stigma from Queen’s students towards UU students in a way very similar to the Grammar/Secondary school dynamic. At the end of the day we’re all going to university and we’re all going to get a degree so there’s no real need to act as if you’re better than anyone. The “Your da works for my da” jokes are fine but an actual prejudice based on where you go to uni is outright pretentious.” – Andrew, English

At the end of the day, just like Nesta sassily said, we’re living in a country that’s famous for being divided in two, and we are the generation who get to change that. Besides, as a uni that holds a place in the Top 150 Universities in the World Under 50, and that has beaten QUB in the NSS teaching excellence ratings, we aren’t even all that bad.