The Key Points to Consider about All Universities and Colleges

Article excerpt

HOME OR AWAY?

The English, but not the Scottish and Welsh tradition, is that you go to a university or college far from home. That's changing fast as increasing numbers of people opt to go to an institution within convenient travelling distance of where they live. To give an idea: last year about 64 per cent of applicants living in Greater London ended up going to an institution in that area.

FIND OUT

l what will it cost to get

there and back each term

l whether you will be able to leave your belongings in store over the vacations

ACCOMMODATION

Mention of student accommodation conjures up images of steaming heaps of unwashed clothes,

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placed casually on top of piles of congealing washing up. The reality is rather different. First, the great majority of students get into university or college-owned accommodation for their first year. This varies from the traditional study bedroom with no mod cons (except possibly a sink), to hotel-like en suite accommodation, or self-catering accommodation in a shared house.

It is in the second year that you are more likely to be required to fend for yourself, and a preferred option is to share a house with friends. Many students find this a pleasant change and although it can be a crash course in budgeting, cleaning and cooking, outbreaks of cholera are rare.

FIND OUT

l what accommodation costs

l what you get for your money

l the terms of the lease

l if you will have daily travel costs

STUDY FACILITIES

Most universities and colleges have pretty impressive-looking libraries and will wax lyrical about their computing facilities. It is worth remembering that the use of these kind of facilities is seasonal, so there may appear to be lots of capacity in November, but there may not be a spare seat or terminal at times of dissertation writing or exam panic.

FIND OUT

l how much study space there is in the library

l whether the sections relevant to your subjects are extensive

l the arrangements for short-term loan of key course books

l what photocopying costs and how easy it is to do it

l library and terminal room opening times

l numbers of terminals available to undergraduates

STUDENT WELFARE

Every university and college has a slightly different way of providing welfare support. …