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Best Universities in UK

Best Universities in UK

Overview of the Best Universities in UK

There are many universities in the UK, I share some best universities in UK.

St Andrews

St Andrews is known for two things: a golf course and a university. It is the only Scottish university in the UK top 20 (as Edinburgh hovers around number 21), though only about a third of its students are Scottish, with a third coming from the rest of the EU and the balance coming from non-EU countries, creating a surprisingly international community. It is the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, but this claim to fame has been somewhat overshadowed in the past decade, as it has become better known as the place where Prince William met Kate Middleton.

Location

St Andrews is tiny – the local population is less than 20,000, more than a third of which is comprised of university students. The university is woven into the fabric of the town, too, so there is no escaping student life. It is hard to get to anywhere else; the 45 miles to Edinburgh take an hour and a half by train or by car. The scenery nearby is stunning, but you may not get the weather to enjoy it – the average high even in midsummer does not exceed 20 degrees.

Academic standards

The ‘Prince William effect’ meant that St Andrews received a vastly increased number of applications and is now being rather more selective than it once was, leading to what some people view as an inflated league table position. Its typical offer is relatively low for its league table place: AAB to AAA. It’s a very low drop-out rate suggests a high level of student satisfaction.

Accommodation

The usual variety of catered and non-catered accommodation, en suite and not, is available and is guaranteed for all first-year students. Prices range from £100 to £250 per week. Not all students in later years live in St Andrews proper, but instead, choose to live in the surrounding villages or in Dundee (a half hour journey away). St Andrews itself can be expensive, but areas nearby are cheap.

Student life

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the expansive London universities, St Andrews is affectionately known as ‘the Bubble’. It’s said that if a student walks down the street there, they’re sure to know at least one in three of the people they pass. It also has one of the highest percentages of private school students in the country, at 40%. St Andrews stereotypes abound, particularly slightly unkind ones of Sloaney private school students operating within an impenetrable clique. The university is particularly popular with Americans. However, despite – or perhaps because of – the university’s small, isolated location, its clubs and societies are large, enthusiastic and active, particularly at the sporting end of things.

Job prospects

The job prospects at St Andrew’s are not quite as good as its league table position would suggest, but they are by no means bad – it is simply a case of its location making work experience a little harder to come by for its students. St Andrews’ international reputation is such that a degree from there is likely to impress employers all over the globe.

Quirks

Beyond the royal couple, St Andrews is well known for the remarkable percentage of students who end up getting married to one another. As an ancient university, St Andrews is pleasingly awash with traditions, such as the annual Foam Fight on Raisin Monday.

Best Universities in UK

Bristol

Smart, posh Bristol has a more prestigious reputation than its wobbly league table position would suggest. It’s very low drop-out rate argues with its relatively unimpressive student satisfaction scores – it seems that Bristol students are not entirely pleased with their university, but have no desire to leave it. The university was embroiled in a row a few years ago over allegations of positive discrimination towards state school students, leading to a boycott by many leading independent schools, though its levels of state school students and students from low-participation neighborhoods were, and remain, Oxbridge-low. Bristol excels particularly in Geography, Music, Math’s, Engineering and Social Sciences.

Location

Bristol is that rare thing in the UK – a city that suffered significantly from Second World War bombing that has been rebuilt, not with horrific 60s concrete, but in a way that is sympathetic to the remnants of its lovely Georgian and Victorian architecture. It has a population of about half a million and a reputation for being really quite cool, which its lively underground music scene, excellent cider, and association with Banksy do much to cement. It has the world’s oldest continuously operating railway station, as well as its own international airport. It is not only a tourist hotspot but also a focus for the aerospace industry, with a lengthy industrial heritage that is evident around its famous docks, with accolades as a Science City and a Centre of Cultural Excellence. The university is very central, in the upmarket Clifton area.

Academic standards

Bristol is – alongside Birmingham and Manchester – one of the UK’s universities that ranks rather higher internationally than nationally, suggesting it is stronger in research than in teaching. Its entry requirements are more in line with its international standing than its UK standing, and like St Andrews and Durham, it is seen as one of the biggest destinations for candidates who might otherwise have attended Oxbridge.

Accommodation

Aside from the usual range of options, Bristol offers alcohol-free and single-sex accommodation, soothing the fears of those who are worried about non-stop partying in Freshers week. First-year accommodation is guaranteed. Prices range from £72 to £172 for self-catering and £121 to £175 for catered accommodation. Some halls are a little out of the way, but there is a regular, university-provided bus service to campus, passes for which are included in the accommodation fee. Problems in the past have led to students on bunk beds when more student rooms were promised that were actually available, but given the hit that Bristol has taken in student satisfaction scores; this presumably will not be allowed to happen again.

Student life

The university might want to deny the ‘Oxbridge reject’ association, but their Oxbridge-lite traditions, like formal dinners in academic dress, are doing little to solve the problem. Bristol students are also another bunch known for working hard and partying hard – potentially to excess. But there is enough going on in the lively, cultured city, quite aside from the range of student activities that those inclined to quieter pursuits should be able to find a niche for themselves.

Job prospects

Eighty percent of Bristol graduates find jobs within six months of graduation. Prospects for part-time employment in the local area are good.

Quirks

The university is quite down about their current league table ranking, given the dip they have taken in the UK tables, to which student satisfaction contributes significantly. Expect Bristol to be taking serious measures to keep their students happier in future.

Newcastle

Another pretty, red-brick Russell Group university, Newcastle has a friendly ongoing town-and-gown spat with the locals. Given that the university is slightly cliquey and definitely more posh than the city, the fact that the spat remains friendly is a testament to the hospitable and welcoming nature of the town and the general niceness of the gown. The university is enthusiastically sporty and excels in Medicine and related subjects as well as in foreign languages and linguistics.

Location

Newcastle, with its urban population of nearly a million people, must be one of the UK’s most character-full cities. Its nightlife was declared by The Rough Guide to be Britain’s number-one tourist attraction. It is known for its friendliness, its accents, its football, its women wearing miniskirts in sub-zero temperatures and its beer. It may become exhausting to live somewhere that’s quite so aware of its own brand, but for a lively three years of undergraduate study, it could be just the place. It is also culturally exciting, with a whole host of galleries and music venues. Getting there takes a while from any of the UK’s other majority population centers (it’s further north than you think) but it has good train connections and its own airport. The city center is compact for walking.

Academic standards

Newcastle’s typical offer is ABB, and their website emphasizes the help and support students will get on their transition to university. That is not to say that students will get an easy ride; Newcastle has a solid academic foundation and its teaching quality has been praised. Their spend per student is a little on the low side.

Accommodation

First-year accommodation is guaranteed, though some of it via private providers rather than directly from the university. Prices range from £79 to £139 per week, with the usual options for en suite and not, and catered and not – through making direct comparisons on their accommodation website is awkward. Housing in Newcastle is cheap and plentiful, though the city is not quite as inexpensive as it once was.

Student life

Newcastle has a reputation as a city for clubbing and that is reflected back on the university. Those who are not normally party animals might find the excellent nightlife available in Newcastle serves to change their mind. Apparently, a good time can be had at Newcastle without indulging too much in rowdy behavior, but if that is your approach you might be happier somewhere quieter.

Job prospects

Decent – 80% of graduates are employed within 6 months of graduation. There are endless opportunities for part-time work.

Quirks

The city has a working-class reputation, but the local shops sell quail eggs and caviar and lack discount-priced beans.

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Shoaib Maqsood
Shoaib Maqsood
Shoaib Maqsood Lives in Sargodha City
https://globalcollegedegrees.com

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