Course Vacancies: Re-named poly offers law student a chance

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The Independent Online
CANDIDATE: Kenneth Hughes, 19, Merseyside.

NEEDED: BCC for Geography at Hull University.

RESULTS: CEE in Geography, Maths, Physics.

NOW: 1st year BA Economics and Law at Anglia

Polytechnic, Cambridge, soon to be Anglia Polytechnic University.

'I WANTED to do Law at university really, but with my grades, the chances of it were minimal. So I started looking at polytechnics. I was lucky with Anglia - it was a new course and so there were vacancies.

'I hadn't heard of Anglia before I started looking in the paper to see where there were places. I rang up and spoke to students who man the telephones over the clearing period and they were really helpful. They told me all about the course and soothed my nerves a bit.

'If Anglia hadn't become a polytechnic though, I think I would have chosen a different law school - or tried to, anyway. I suppose it's just snob value. I wanted to go to university - if it wasn't going to be university it was going to be poly, but I wouldn't lower my standards any more than that. I'd rather have gone back and re-sat.

'In fact, I like the course a lot. Chelmsford, which is part of Anglia, is a very well-established law school and Cambridge is expanding fast - numbers are going up by 40-50 per cent. As long as the library keeps pace I think that's a good thing.

'Obviously in Cambridge there's a difference between the facilities of the poly and those of the university. We are the cheaper neighbours, but there is no tension between us; we can join all the university societies.

'We're not always worse off. For instance, I've been in a student house this year where the landlord has installed a jacuzzi]

'I don't think that by being called a university Anglia will be any different, though it's nice having the title. I suppose it might make a difference to the prejudiced. A lot of people think students who go to university are better than those who go to polys. Having been here, I don't know why I had that prejudice before.

'Possibly it will make people regard my degree differently; though I think they'll remember for a long time which universities have always been universities and which were former polytechnics. But in any case, they shouldn't think differently about it. I hope they don't'

(Photograph omitted)

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