Education: A-Z of Universities - Nottingham

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The Independent Online
Age: 117, if you count from when it became a university college of London University, or 50, from when it became Britain's first post- war university.

Address: Main campus of 330 landscaped acres donated by Jesse Boot (of Boots the Chemist) on the western fringe of the city; new pounds 40m campus bristling with hi-tech equipment opens in 1999 a mile away; Sutton Bonington campus, 10 miles into the Notts countryside.

Ambience: Bucolic - views, grass and a lake - with mix of architecture (majestic old and block-shaped new). Big enough for a varied social life but small enough to avoid anomie, ie it's good for meeting people. City centre is a short bus ride away. Famous for its student life - more than 150 clubs and one of the biggest rags in the country. Sutton Bonington, containing agricultural, food and environmental sciences, is quieter. Has its own farm, shop and some social events.

Vital statistics: Claims to be the most sought-after university, with 13 applicants chasing each place. This is a booming institution, growing in student numbers and research reputation.

Added value: Halls of residence abound. University developed a system of on-campus residences serving as social, cultural and sporting hubs for students in the Fifties and Sixties. Today there are more than 5,000 rooms in halls, plus self-catering accommodation. By the end of 1998 all rooms will be wired for workstations and will have a telephone jack.

Easy to get into? Nope. Management studies requires AAB at A-level, history AAB-ABB, computer science BBB-BCC, civil engineering BBB, pharmacy ABB- BBB, environmental biology BC-CCC.

Glittering alumni: Sultan Raja Azlan Shah, King of Malaysia; DH Lawrence; Brian Moore, former England rugby player; Lord Hollick, owner of Express Newspapers; Bob Phillis, head of Guardian Media Group; John Monks, TUC general secretary; Matthew Bannister, director of BBC Radio; Jim Moir, controller of Radio Two; Ted Childs, producer of Morse and Sharpe; Tim Martin, founder of JD Wetherspoon pubs.

Transport links: Situated in the middle of the country, it has good rail links (London is less than two hours away) and coaches galore, plus Midlands Airport.

Who's the boss? Legal philosopher Colin Campbell, brainy Scot who is pondering cloning as chairman of the Human Genetics Advisory Commission. Watches Nottingham Forest in his spare time.

Teaching rating: Rated 24 out of 24 in manufacturing engineering and operations management; 23 in agricultural and food sciences, art history and urban planning; 22 in French, German, electrical and electronic engineering, civil engineering and American and Canadian studies; 21 in sociology and chemical engineering; 19 in Russian; 17 in Hispanic studies.

Research: Came 30 out of 101 in the research assessment exercise. Achieved tip-top grade 5* in food science, French, genetics, German, pharmaceutical science and Slavonic studies. Achieved top grade 5 in agriculture, American and Canadian studies, applied maths, chemistry, civil engineering, economics, Hispanic studies, law, music, theology.

Financial health: Last year ended up pounds 2.7m in the red because of restructuring, ie job losses. Expects to break even this year.

Night-life: Great place for clubbers. Rock City is the main indie/rock venue. 14 bars on campus. Frequent balls and parties. Dog-racing three evenings a week. Oh yes, and theatre, opera and ballet.

Cheap to live in? University rooms from pounds 34.37 without food to pounds 70.35 a week with food. Private rooms pounds 39 a week.

Buzz-question: Eup m'duck? (How're you doing?)

Next week: Nottingham Trent

University of Northumbria: Last week some of the information in the address section was incorrect. The Carlisle campus is 60 miles from Newcastle and offers mainly business management and tourism. The Longhirst campus is in Morpeth, which is about 15 miles from Newcastle and provides some business courses, such as postgraduate, but not the entire business school. The main site for the University's Newcastle Business School is the City campus.