The University of California, Riverside (UCR) is one of the least prestigious schools within the prestigious UC system. As one of only two UCs with a business school it should in theory attract a large number of serious business students. In reality, the business degree acts as a catch-all for students who would otherwise be "undeclared" and/or those students who have no interest in business aside from "making my millionz".
Riverside itself is seedy and dangerous. I know only a very small handful of people who were not robbed at least once while living there...I was not one of those fortunate few. Crack whores (in the strictly literal sense) "work" up and down University Ave. less than half a mile from the campus. My own work as a pizza delivery driver exposed me and my co-workers to the ever present danger of armed robbery, gun-violence and gang-activity. That said, with the right perspective, this place offers a valuable opportunity for much of its student body to experience the "real world" in graduated steps, should they choose to do so. I can say from my own experience that it has had an incredible "humanizing" affect on my perception of the homeless and others living in horrible situations.
While the student body is largely apathetic (there is no school spirit as has been mentioned above but no one has bothered to ask whether or not school spirit is an admirable goal or merely a herd-mentality annoyance) there are plenty of very serious students and instructors. Several people have claimed that many instructors cannot speak English. A colleague of mine who is a Sociology lecturer of Chinese descent at UCR often finds that "cannot speak English" is on his student feedback forms despite the fact that he was born in New York, has spent his entire life in the US and speaks flawless English with no accent. I would also contest the notion that students graduating from UCR are bound to mediocrity. I am a graduate from UCR (if I have not already made that plainly obvious) who is currently pursuing his PhD at King's College, London on a full-ride scholarship.
My reason for writing this very loose "definition" is to, hopefully, spread a much more balanced assessment of UCR both as an institution of higher learning as well as a social environment for students. It may not be a great school for parties, but that was never my scene so I couldn't really comment much on that. There are some students who immerse themselves in the community and who generally find whatever it is that they're looking for. There is another class of students who race home every weekend and who treat their time at UCR as an extension of high school. Like anything else, a student can expect to get out of their time at UCR exactly what they put in. I know I got a whole helluva lot, and I’m sure many others have as well.
UCR, while not the most prestigious of UCs, is considered fairly prestigious overseas as it is only known as "part of the UC system"