A-Z of Universities; South Bank
Thursday 18 June 1998
Incarnations: Three. Borough Poly merged with four further education colleges in 1970 to form South Bank Polytechnic (named after the South Bank complex). Kept the name South Bank when it became a university back in 1992.
Address: Three locations: Southwark, the main campus, at the Elephant & Castle, London SE1; Wandsworth Road, London SW8; and Whipps Cross (a nursing college) in Essex.
Ambience: London sites are deeply urban. This is concrete rather than ivory towers. The Elephant & Castle consists of two roundabouts and their thundering rush-hour traffic, surrounded by some grim buildings and a pink (yes pink!) shopping centre. But the area is a whole lot better now than it was 15 years ago. The university has invested big-time in new student residences, the new Perry library and the brand new pounds 6m learning resources centre (technological library with Internet access, for example, holds 600 people).
Vital statistics: Expanded hugely in early Nineties and has just under 19,000 students. Stayed true to its gritty south London roots. Courses are practical and vocational. Many include sandwich placement in industry. Many mature students and a rich ethnic mix.
Unusual features: Centre for Explosion and Fire Research and the National Bakery School.
Added value: University now owns South Bank Techno-Park where lurks Piers Corbyn, brother of MP Jeremy and Britain's alternative weatherman (he can forecast the weather by looking at the sun). Good sports facilities - a sports hall and gym plus 21 acres of playing fields in Dulwich. Prides itself on basketball and rugby prowess.
Easy to get into? Yes. Access courses enable people without A-levels to get a foot on the higher education ladder. For law, one of the most popular subjects, you need three Cs taken at a single sitting.
Glittering alumni: Nick Leslau, property developer who bought the Trocadero; Greg Searle, Olympic gold medal rower; Mick Jarvis, international globe- trotting gas exploration expert for Amoco; Nicola Williams, black woman barrister and novelist; Umer Rashid, Middlesex cricketer.
Transport: A kilometre or so south of the Thames, South Bank's not a million miles from the heart of London so it's good for the Tube. And trains. And buses.
Who's the boss? Spurs supporter Professor Gerald Bernbaum, one-time academic (sociology of education) from Leicester University.
Teaching: Rated 22 out of maximum 24 in languages and town and country planning/housing; 20 in media studies and civil engineering; 19 in sociology and electrical and electronic engineering; 18 in chemical engineering, building (including surveying), food science, land and property management.
Research: Came 66th out of 101 in the research assessment exercise. Achieved grade 4 (top grade is 5) in social policy.
Financial health: In the black.
Nightlife: Tavern pub, newly refurbished Isobar (cafe/bar/disco) and the Arc for 1000-plus students and live bands. And you have London at your feet, including ultra-trendy Ministry of Sound club close by.
Cheap to live in? Hey, no. It's London. In hall you pay pounds 72 a week without food for an en suite room or pounds 60-62 for a single study room. Private sector rental pounds 55-65 a week.
Buzzphrase: As It Goes (title of South Bank magazine).
Next week: Southampton University.
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...
Negotiable: AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assist...
£24,451 - £27,061 per annum: Royal College of Music: The Royal College of Musi...
£35 - £45k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Optimisation Analyst is...