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Going Higher: 'Thought it would be quiet. Wrong!'

Mark Errington, 23, has experience of both universities in Nottingham. He began by studying politics at the University of Nottingham before taking a one-year conversion course in law at Nottingham Trent University. He is now back at the University of Nottingham studying for his masters degree in law

"I CHOSE Nottingham basically because it seemed such a nice place to live. The city seemed really clean and pleasant. The campus itself was picturesque and has a good mix of lots of things to do whilst being fairly rural and peaceful.

"No one here worries too much about walking around after dark. I was in hall in the first year so my social life then revolved around the JCR and the student bars. There were loads of union-based events and parties.

"After leaving halls, I moved to the Beeston area, where I still live. A lot of the students move in to Lenton which is much closer to the university, but I think the houses are much nicer out here.

"The night scene in Nottingham is great. There's a huge variety of nightclubs. The university has a reputation for being cool and trendy and that's reflected in the way people dress. A lot of the students here are from reasonably well-off backgrounds, so that they have the money to spend."

Twenty-three-year-old Sarah Nash has just graduated in marketing from Staffordshire University. She was based on the Stoke campus, and has enjoyed her innovative four-year course, which included five months at the Grand Canyon University in the US

"That was the real icing on the cake. I went to Disneyland and learnt to scuba-dive there too!

"I come from from London, and chose Staffordshire because I thought it would offer the quiet life. How wrong could I be. The university is closest to Hanley, which offers a wide range of relatively cheap pubs, clubs and restaurants.

"I lived in halls in the first year, but have since lived in a variety of flats and houses. The house I currently live in costs just pounds 32 per week including bills.

"My social life is extremely active. The best club is The Void, which has a 'golden' night when all the best DJs come up from London. The students' union puts on masses of different events and our favourite restaurant is Al Shafiq's which offers baltis for just pounds 5. We nearly always start or end the evening there. All in all, I'll be very sad to leave the place where I once thought nothing happens."