The North

Bradford: Based in Bronte country, West Yorkshire. University is in the heart of the former Victorian textile capital, mostly modern buildings stretch into the sky. Lots of mature students. Half are on sandwich courses. Strong in science and technology. Strengths also include engineering and management.

Prospectus: 01274 233081

Central Lancashire: Ex-poly in the middle of Preston, has undergone massive building programme. Now has 22,000 students. Courses include fashion promotion, product design, financial services, horticultural technology and management.

Prospectus: 01772 892400

Durham: Ancient. Original college dating from 1079 is in Durham Castle. Good academic reputation, it attracts private school applicants and Oxbridge rejects. Social life revolves around colleges.

Prospectus: 0191-374 2925

Huddersfield: Former poly. The main site in the centre of the old wool town, with beautiful views of the Pennine foothills. Big on sandwich courses. Limited sports facilities. Halls of residence of variable quality but almost all first years get places in them.

Prospectus: 0870-901 5555

Hull: Cosy, friendly campus with a buyer's market for student accommodation, ie rooms are dead cheap. Students drink more beer than any others in the country. Philip Larkin was its librarian. Deputy PM John Prescott was a student.

Prospectus: 01482 444488.

Lancaster: Greenfield site two miles from Lancaster, complete with bunny rabbits, peacocks and ducks. Modelled on a Spanish hill-top village, many buildings are unlovely Sixties modern. Ten colleges give it a family feel. Flexible degree means students can take up to three separate courses in first year.

Prospectus: 01524 592015

Leeds: One of the big civic universities, it claims to be the biggest single campus in the UK, with more than 23,000 students. One of the three most popular universities for UCAS applicants. Good academic reputation.

Prospectus: 0113-233 2332

Leeds Met: Former poly, now a huge university with 32,000 students. Way back it was for artisans. Now it educates the new workforce - teachers, engineers and IT specialists. Stellar sports facilities.

Prospectus: 0113-283 6767

Lincolnshire and Humberside: Former poly which acquired its new name when it opened a new campus in Lincoln. The three sites are in Hull and Grimsby as well as Lincoln.

Prospectus: 01522 882000

Liverpool: The original redbrick university, named after the Victoria Building, made of red pressed brick with decorative dressings in terracotta. Spread over 100 acres - big for a city campus. Churns out high proportion of professionals, doctors, dentists, vets and lawyers.

Prospectus: 0151-794 5927

Liverpool John Moores: Formerly Liverpool poly, now has more than 30 university buildings around the city. Launched Britain's first student charter. John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe were at the art school.

Prospectus: 0151-231 5090 or 0500 564565

Manchester: A great traditional civic university in a very lively student city. Good research reputation. Protected its teaching and research in the early Nineties by not opting for fast expansion. Has 19,000 full-time and 4,000 part-time students.

Prospectus: 0161-275 2065

Manchester Metropolitan: Former poly, it has five campuses. Young and groovy. Active gay scene. Many students choose it for its party-till-you- die atmosphere. More than 32,000 students, many returners to education. Has one of the few women university bosses, Alexandra Burslem, who, like many of her students, acquired her degree as a mature student.

Prospectus: 0161-247 1039/1055

Newcastle: Classic redbrick campus on northern edge of this newly hip city. Victorian buildings arranged in blocks around paved squares. Plus Sixties concrete additions. Good academic reputation and low prices means it's increasingly popular with the cognoscenti.

Prospectus: 0191-222 6141

Northumbria: Formerly Newcastle Poly. Four campuses; student numbers have rocketed, now standing at 23,500. Big on solar power and big for fashion. One of the few places to offer the Bar vocational course outside London for legal eagles.

Prospectus: 0191-227 4064

Salford: Strongly rooted in technology. On the western edge of Manchester, so it's a campus university in a buzzy city. LS Lowry's matchstick men paintings are in an art gallery on campus. Strong links with industry mean tailor-made courses, industrial placements, consultancy links. In 1981 suffered swingeing cut of 40 per cent in Government funding which made it leaner and meaner.

Prospectus: 0161-295 4545

Sheffield: Large civic university with 20,000 full and part-time students in a surprisingly green city. Highly rated for research. Brilliant sports facilities. Journalism course run by ex-Observer editor Donald Trelford.

Prospectus: 0114-222 4127

Sheffield Hallam: Former poly, one of the first three to be established. Now has 17,000 full-time and 7,000 part-time students. Strong links with business and industry. Lots of sandwich courses.

Prospectus: 0114-225 3583

Teesside: Former poly in Middlesborough, a truly northern town. University is emerging from its Portakabin existence into a Campus 2000 redevelopment programme. Close ties with local Further Education college.

Prospectus: 01642 218121

UMIST: In the middle of Manchester. Students clever and nerdy but fun- loving too. Highly rated research university specialising in management as well as science, technology and engineering, though nowadays you can also study social science and the arts.

Prospectus: 0161-200 4040

York: Largely concrete campus wrapped around a man-made lake, complete with ducks and geese. Highly rated for teaching and research, York is one of the most successful of the Sixties universities.

Prospectus: 01904 433527

Colleges of Higher Education

Bolton Institute: One of the biggest colleges of higher education.

Prospectus: 01204 903802

Bretton Hall: Former teacher training college in Yorkshire. Beautiful campus.

Prospectus: 01924 830261

Chester: Established by Gladstone as the first teacher training college, it has expanded into arts, sciences and nursing.

Prospectus: 01244 375444

Cumbria College of Art and Design: Specialists in art and design.

Prospectus: 01228 400300

Edge Hill: Main campus is on edge of Ormskirk, Lancs.

Prospectus: 01695 584274

Liverpool Hope: Offers degrees validated by Liverpool University.

Prospectus: 0151-291 3295

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance: Tip-top dance training in Leeds.

Prospectus: 0113-219 3000

The College of Ripon and York St John: Based partly in Ripon, partly in York.

Prospectus: 01904 716850

Royal Northern College of Music: Conservatoire in Manchester.

Prospectus: 0161-907 5200

University College of St Martin: Former teacher training college, now offers nursing, sport, etc.

Prospectus: 01524 384444

Trinity and All Saints College: Catholic college in Leeds for teacher training.

Prospectus: 0113-283 7150

University College, Warrington: Teaches business and management, media and leisure.

Prospectus: 01925 494494

Lucy Hodges


Mo Mowlam, Northern Ireland Secretary of State, graduated from Durham Uni


Jon Snow, Ch4's respected lead newsreader, graduated from Liverpool University