Central Lancashire, University of
Sunday 01 July 2012
University of Central Lancashire
History: Founded as the Preston Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge in 1828, it was transformed into the Harris Institute in 1882, the Harris College in 1956, Preston Polytechnic in 1973, Lancashire Polytechnic in 1984, and at long last, a fully-fledged university in 1992.
Address: Main campus in Preston, slap-bang in the middle of Lancashire. There are further campuses at Westlakes in West Cumbria, Llangollen in North Wales, and the newest university campus at Burnley opened in September 2009.
Ambience: Situated in the city centre, the Preston campus is a mix of old and new. A massive building programme has produced more residences, a refurbished students' union, a library and modern teaching facilities.
Vital statistics: One of the biggest of the new universities, with more than 32,000 students. There are over 2,100 international students from over 130 countries around the world.
Added value: Great for sports with a £12m outdoor sports arena in Preston. The university's Foster Sports Centre accommodates a wide range of sporting activities including an extended weights room. A new £16 million indoor sport centre is has been completed. UCLan has a strong record of student success in various national and international competitions including the Nationwide Mercury Prize Art Competition and Graduate Fashion Week. The university is currently in the process of spending £120 million on new buildings and facilities to enhance teaching, learning and leisure activities. The recently-opened £15m Media Factory includes theatre spaces, available for student performances and visiting theatre companies, a digital television studio with control galleries, a film and photographic studio, video editing rooms, music practice and ensemble studios, and a studio for theatre, film and dance.
Easy to get into? It all depends. Requirements range from 180 to 300 UCAS entry points. Journalism is pretty competitive.
Glittering alumni: Joe Lydon, former rugby league international; Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent; Victoria Derbyshire, Radio Five Live Presenter; Tjinder Singh, lead singer of the band Cornershop; Phil Mackentire, manager of comedian Peter Kay.
Transport links: Good road and rail access. It takes two-and-a-half hours by train to London and Glasgow, and one hour to Manchester.
Who's the boss? Vice-chancellor Malcolm McVicar, an expert in public policy and education management.
Teaching: 62nd out of 116 for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide.
Research: 87th out of 116 in the Research Assessment Exercise.
Overall ranking: Came 69th out of 116 in the Complete University Guide.
Nightlife: There are lots of pubs and reasonably priced places to eat next to Preston campus. The new £6.5m students' union building has three bars and the '53 degrees' venue for live music, comedy and club nights.
How green is it? Very – 6th out of 145 universities graded by People and Planet for their 'Green League 2012'.
Any accommodation? Yes. A room in halls costs between £83 and £99.47 per week. There are 2,100 rooms in the university-owned or leased halls and a large number of privately owned halls, all offering modern facilities. All rooms come with free wireless internet.
Cheap to live there? Very – around £64 per week for a room in a rented flat.
Sports Ranking: 46th in the BUCS league table.
Fees: £9,000 per year for undergrads starting in 2012.
Prospectus: 01772 201 201 / www.uclan.ac.uk
UCAS code: C30
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