A-Z of universities: Sheffield Hallam

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The Independent Online
Age: 144, if you count it from the birth of Sheffield School of Design.

History: College of design begat a college of art, which merged with a college of technology to become a poly in 1969, then a university in 1992 (Hallam is the ancient name for what is now Sheffield city centre).

Address: Main campus in city centre; two other campuses in leafy suburbs.

Ambience: Both university and city have been undergoing a multi-million pound transformation. There are new engineering and IT buildings and an atrium in which students and staff can socialise. When the city centre development is finished there will be a new winter garden on the doorstep plus a millennium gallery, new squares and cafes.

Vital statistics: One of the first three polys to be established, now has 17,000 full-time students plus 7,000 part-timers. Strong links with business and industry. Large number of sandwich courses. Many courses are applied rather than theoretical and devised in co-operation with industry. Limited sports facilities, but city compensates with its brilliant equipment built for World Student Games in 1991.

Added value: New library at the Adsetts Centre with 1,600 places. University claims there's no queueing.

Easy to get into? Depends on course and number of places. For physiotherapy, you need grades BBC at A-level; for primary education (specialism in English) BCC; for metalwork and jewellery, admission depends on high standard of creativity and skill.

Glittering alumni: Nick Park, animator of Wallace and Gromit; Bruce Oldfield, fashion designer; Howard Wilkinson, Football Association technical director,

Transport: Next to the city's main bus and railway station (Sheffield Midland). Or hop on a plane at the new airport.

Who's the boss? John Stoddart, mover and shaker in the university world, is leaving this summer and handing over to Diana Green, arriving from the University of Central England. Stoddart presided over the transformation of the university.

Teaching: Rated 22 out of maximum of 24 in materials technology, town and country planning and housing, and sociology; 21 in general mechanical and manufacturing engineering, building and landed property management; 20 in history of art; 19 in modern languages, communication studies, film and media; 18 in electrical and electronic engineering and civil engineering.

Research: 59 out of 101 in the research assessment exercise, top of the new universities. Achieved grade 4 (top grade is 5) for biomedical sciences, art and design, and history.

Financial health: Was in the red to the tune of pounds 890,000 in 1995-96, according to Noble's Higher Education Financial Yearbook. In 1996-97, deficit was pounds 960,000. That was because of a voluntary severance scheme. But it expects to be in the black this year.

Nightlife: On campus students can stomp in the Nelson Mandela, the union's club venue. Or at one of the 20-plus clubs in the city. See Dirty Stopout's Guide for inside info. More than 500 pubs and loads of trendy caffs.Good theatre at the Crucible and Lyceum.

Cheap to live in? Yes. University accommodation with food pounds 68.50; without food pounds 33-pounds 50. Rental in private sector pounds 36-pounds 38.

Buzzphrase: Nar den, dee (Now then, you).

Next week: School of Oriental and African Studies.

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