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12 Ways to Tell Whether You Belong in a Campus Uni or a City Uni

Looking to study in the UK but don’t know whether to go for a campus or a city university? Here’s what you need to know to decide.

Kavitha Vijeyavelan
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campus or city

Pick the kind that suits your personality. Which are the factors higher in priority to you in your uni life.

Pop Quiz time- ready? What eats Fish and Chips, checks time with Big Ben, talks to the Queen, and sings, “We all live in a yellow submarine?” That’s right- your dream study destination, the UK!

And before you dive right into your UK uni search- we want to splash one more quick question at you- are you looking to get into a city uni or a campus uni? Not sure what the difference is?

Good you stumbled across this page mate. Because this is something that every student aspiring to study in the UK has just GOT to know. Abso-campus-lutely.

City Universities Versus Campus Universities

So there are basically two types of UK unis: the city unis are the ones you will find- bam, right in the center of the city, as the name suggests and the campus unis are those that are a bit out of town, usually the picturesque types perched on a hilltop overlooking some beautiful creek…you get the picture, right?

Ok, so now that you see the basic difference… let’s sink into greater depth. We’ll break this down for you into quick pros (denoted by the (+) symbol) and cons (denoted by the (-)) symbol.

City Universities

(+) It’s got the whooole world in its hands!

Well almost. Here’s what a graduate from City University London, Bethan Rees, had to tell us, “One of the big plusses for me was that being based in a city centre, you have a huge range of variety.” What Bethan means is a great night life, amazing restaurants, the lively buzz of the city, and the fact that you can get to any place you need to at your own time and convenience- keeping you connected 24/7. 

So it’s not hard to see why a city like London, with its world class attractions, for example, is ranked by The Guardian as the third most popular student city in “The 10 best cities in the world to be a student-2017” list. 41% of students in this city are seen to come from abroad. Despite student immigration changes that have impacted student numbers in the UK and Brexit- London has managed to jump up two spots in the table this year (have a look). I mean of course- we get their love for London. You can just hop on one of those red buses and tour around the city whenever you have some free time.

(-) Running the Course-a-thon!

Literally- we mean just running. Bethan also shared with us that, “Some lessons could be really far from each other. The library might be in the main building, but your next lecture could be a 15-minute walk away or a bus ride down the road; it can be quite time consuming moving between the various sites.”

Hmmm…on the other hand- you could probably burn a few extra calories this way!

(+) Student- the Social Animal

City universities offer that lively feel that students love. You will surely enjoy and benefit from being close to the locals; you will feel like you belong given that you study, live, work, and play among the city residents. It’s nice to feel at home and important too, we think. What do you say?

(-) “I wasted time and now doth time waste me”

We couldn’t resist using a little Shakespeare- UK student life and all. Anyway what we mean to say in uni terms is – again along the lines of running around- you may also lose a lot of time navigating around the city to get to facilities and different classes. In fact – you may even lose a week’s time of your uni life just finding your way around. Just don’t beat yourself about it.

(+) Be Merry Going-Around!

While you are on the go- in between your lectures and your extracurricular activities- you are bound to find a lot of fun places to chill with your friends. You will run a very low risk of leading a boring student life. 

(-) Are they Distant or Just Far Away from You?

Having your friends live all over the city- may get in the way of you making awesome BFFs for life- in the limited time frames you may have. But we encourage you to use this as a reason to join student clubs and stay connected with your fellow uni mates.

Campus Universities

(+) What Happens in Campus Stays in Campus!

For the most part- campus unis are like the Bermuda triangle (in a nice way we assure you). Once you get in- you won’t need to come out- given you may have access to amazing facilities, more attractively priced gym memberships, groceries, and drinks. Some of the items you need may be even priced at half the actual rate they are in town. Thanks to the influence of your uni’s Student Union- you don’t have to dent your wallet just for a couple of drinks in campus with your friends. So why would you even want to leave campus?

(-) Variety is the Spice of Lif…Oh Wait.

There will come a time when you hit what we’d like to call saturation pint (beer lingo we invented!) when you’ve grown tired of visiting the same bars and clubs on campus. But getting out of there and into town could be quite a task and depending on the distance and the mode of transport you prefer- it could cost you. So-yeah-if mono’bar’my is not something you can handle- we don’t even have to tell you- this isn’t the place for you.

(+) The Space Time Continuum!

Come to think of it. Einstein was right- it all boils down to space and time in the end… well OK- that’s not quite what he said. But he wouldn’t mind us warping his theory a little. What we’re saying is that you will find all you need placed in walkable distances from your accommodation halls- saving you a ton of time in the process. This, we hear, was kind of the whole point behind having a campus uni in the first place, so.

And here’s a student’s take on her campus uni- Elizabeth Finnery who graduated recently from the University of Kent … “It meant that all the rehearsals spaces for things like theatre soc and choir were never going to be more than 10 mins walk from any class, which saved me from racing around in a panic trying to get to where I needed to be.”

(-) ‘POP’ Goes the Campus-Bubble!

But living in campus unis are like living in your own little student-bubble. As Elizabeth explains…

Because I was only really going to student bars, cafes and study spaces, I often missed what was happening in the real world. It’s (also) significantly harder to avoid people (who get on your nerves).” Flinch! True that- Elizabeth. We feel you.

(+) Better Safe than Sorry!

Campus unis are communities that look out for each and every student. There are always security teams on patrol around most campuses with names such as “Campus Watch’. So this is one less thing for you to worry about- the uni will take all measures to ensure you are safe and sound on campus.

(-) Checked the Best Before Date?

Sure- it’s all fun and games when you are on campus in your first year- when you get opportunities to mingle with many people as you will be living on campus. But come –second year and third- you may have to live off-campus somewhere. So this could mean you don’t get to enjoy campus night life as much or spend more time just travelling to campus for your classes.

So there it is- all your pros and cons for both types of unis. Pick the kind that suits your personality. Which are the factors higher in priority to you in your uni life (a lively metropolitan vibe or a tight-knit community campus feel)? You get to live uni life only once (ok –maybe twice at the UG and PG levels) so do it right by choosing options that suit what you want out of your student experience abroad.

We hope you found this a useful read. Do let us know if you have any questions or if you would like us to help with any of your uni decisions. It’s what we do best. Reach out to us and we’ll take it from there!

Have trouble short-listing universities?

Neha Jain Neha Jain,
Study abroad expert.
Given the number of options, it is a difficult task to short-list universities that you can apply to. Our advisors can help you out. So, request a call back today. Or call 1800 103 2581 / 1800 103 9634 (toll-free) today!

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