Education: Newcastle gains accolade as sexiest university

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Prospective students in search of attractive women should head for Manchester or Newcastle University. Those wanting attractive men will find them at University College, London and Bournemouth. And those who are more interested in brilliant teaching should apply to Manchester, followed by Oxford and Durham.

That, at least, is the view of students who visited the Red Mole student website, in the last three months. More than 2000 students rated their universities on a scale of one to five in categories such as nightlife and accommodation.

Architecture, careers advice, freshers' week, relations with the locals, student union services, sporting and computer facilities were also assessed. Overall, Newcastle University came first, University College, London second and Manchester, third.

Two former polytechnics, Manchester Metropolitan University and Leeds Metropolitan both made it into the top 10. Students at the University of Central England were unhappiest with their lot.

The University of Wales in Cardiff, the students say, has the best places to stay - followed by Durham and Kent. Thames Valley's accommodation was voted the least impressive.

The contest for architecture was won by Durham and Oxford and lost by the universities of Essex and of Central England. Greenwich and the University of the West of England came bottom for attractive females. Nightlife was rated best in Newcastle with Northumbria University top and its older neighbour, Newcastle, second. Birmingham and Bristol were next but Aberystwyth came bottom.