A-Z of universities: Liverpool John Moores

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The Independent Online
Age: 174

How many incarnations? Many. Life began with the Liverpool Mechanics and Apprentices Library, which eventually became the school of art in Hope Street. In the first half of the 1900s a jumble of schools and colleges amalgamated. Four colleges emerged: the regional college of art and design; the college of building; the college of commerce and the regional college of technology. These four colleges begat Liverpool Poly, which in 1992 begat JMU.

Named after? John Moores, founder of Littlewoods, the biggest employer in Liverpool.

Address: More than 30 university buildings around the city. Literally on the doorstep of Lime Street station for the refurbished Victorian North Western Hall, the suave halls of residence for JMU students.

Ambience: Depends on the campus. There are three scattered around Liverpool, ranging from unlovely functional Byrom Street to the Mount Pleasant campus, which houses fine art and some fine listed buildings. Central point is the students' union, hub of an electric social life, and the huge white angular resource centre. Education and community studies are outside the city on a greenfield site on the IM March campus, which is also full of sporty types. Sites operate more or less independently.

Vital statistics: A former poly, 53 per cent of students come from the local area. They are proud of their city and the university. Encourages entrepreneurship. Recently became the first UK university to float a multimedia company with the pounds 2m sell-off of Amaze Ltd.

Added value: Fashion students get to work on Alexander McQueen shows. Media students have placements on Brookside. Jimmy McGovern and Lynda La Plante come and talk to aspiring writers.

Easy to get into? Sports science requires two Bs and a C at A-level; psychology two Bs and a C; journalism three Cs; business studies two Cs and a D; architecture three Cs; law a B and two Cs; mechanical engineering a C and two Ds, microbiology two Ds and an E.

Glittering alumni: John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, dead Beatles who were at the art school; Budgie from Siouxie and the Banshees; Bill Drummund of K Foundation; musician Julian Cope; Caroline Aherne (Mrs Merton).

Transport links: Good. Direct road, rail, air and sea links all over the United Kingdom.

Who's the boss? Geographer Peter Toyne, champion of the green university and a keen trainspotter.

Teaching rating: Rated 18 out of maximum of 24 for town and country planning, sociology and women's studies; 19 for modern languages; 22 for media and journalism.

Research: Came 75th out of 101 in the research assessment exercise. Received a 5 for engineering and sports science and a 4 for astrophysics.

Financial health: Was more than pounds 3m in the red last year, according to

Noble's Higher Education Financial Yearbook, but claims to be in the black now.

Nightlife: Liverpool is one of the liveliest cities in Britain. University has two bars in the Haigh, the student union building, both popular, and two other boozers on IM Marsh and Byrom Street. Students' union club, the Cooler, is a favourite but Cream takes some beating.

Cheap to live in? Yes. A deluxe room in the North Western Hall is pounds 49 a week without food. Private rent ranges from pounds 35 to pounds 50 a week.

Buzz phrase: It's cool in the pool (reference to the Cooler).

Next week: London Guildhall.