Friday 24th March § 1 Comment
I've come to a tentative decision about which uni I would like to spend the next three years of my life. There are a few reasons not to choose Leicester.
- I have doubts about the faculty, De Montfort's accreditation was removed from 2003 but has since been re-validated in 2005 and guaranteed until 2009 (the year that I leave), this whole debacle would point to a failure by the faculty in recent years and probably a recent restructuring of staff which may not be a wholly negative thing.
- The city isn't as lively as Oxford or Liverpool, but I really like the multi-cultural feel of the place. According to Granny, Leicester has a higher population of Asian decent than of white so the contrast with mid Wales could not be more extreme and something I imagine will be really interesting (lots of lovely music). A definite plus point there.
- De Montfort doesn't have the same reputation as somewhere like Oxford Brookes.
- Perhaps not as 'artsy' either.
- It might not attract the most prestigious lecturers.
- A high drop-out rate.
- Red isn't my favourite colour.
I think I need to add a few positives to redress the balance:
- The friendliness of the staff (at least the ones that I met)
- The compact campus. Nice/cheap accommodation on the same street as the central crossroads about which everything revolves (student union, library, the engineering building and the Fletcher building which contains all the workshops and architecture studios).
- A reasonable percentage of firsts (see the chart below).
- Comparatively cheap cost of living.
It's camera shop heaven. (not really a valid reason)
- Ease of access. (4 hours on the train with 2 changes, which for the Heart of Wales is really easy)
- It's got that feel good factor.
Discounting Oxford, as it'd just be stupid to chose a Uni with higher grades (Only a D and an E and the Welsh Bac needed to get to Leicester, surely I should have added that to the list of positives) I'm left with a choice between the easily accessible Liverpool John Moores and the arty but small town feel of Canterbury's University College For The Creative Arts and since Liverpool is a capital of culture, easily accessible, a generally friendly disposition, and some very beautiful girls you can see why I'd choose Kent as my backup choice (Good links to industry, a feeling of real innovation, nice staff, plus I only need two E's to get into Kent although on the downside Canterbury is the kind of place you try leave as soon as possible).
As part of my decision process I drew up these pie charts using data from the TQI Website which is a good resource which I'd recommend for anyone applying to uni in the UK. They round their data to the nearest five, so what you see here is only a vague approximation but it gives an idea.
The darkest grey symbolises the Firsts, the medium shading indicates a 2 1, the next lighter a 2 2 and then the zigzagged sections represent the amount of third class degrees achieved.
Warning, skip this paragraph if you are easily bored by statistics.
The really interesting result is Oxford Brooks which I would assume would come the highest but while Brookes student's average degree was a 2.1 the number of Firsts achieved is surprisingly low at 7.5%.
Kent did very well out of this comparison although two fifths of their students only got a pass in their honours degree.
Only about a third of students at De Montfort get higher than a 2.2 but then they had nearly no students just scrapping through with a pass and the percentage of Firsts achieved is a respectable 12.5%.
After thinking about this a lot today I've decided that my two choices for University, in order of preference, will be:
- First Choice: De Montfort
- Second Choice: University College For The Creative Arts, Kent (previously known as KIAD)