East London (UEL), University of

 

 

Overall ranking: 122nd out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: In 1970 it was reincarnated as North East London Polytechnic after linking up with South East Essex technical college in Barking. In 1989 it was renamed Polytechnic of East London and became a university in 1992.

Address: Two main campuses four miles apart, one in Stratford, centre of the 2012 Olympics, and one in London's Docklands. An affiliated lifelong learning centre in Barking and a new centre in Thurrock, as well as studios for fine art and dance at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Ambience: Kaleidoscopic ethnic mix meets Docklands post-modern. Strong vocational emphasis and a high number of adult learners means the vibe is studious rather than party central. Teaching moved in 2006 from the Barking campus to upgraded facilities at the Stratford and Docklands sites.

Who's the boss? Professor John Joughin is vice-chancellor and chief executive.

Prospectus: 020 8223 3333 or request one online here.

UCAS code: E28

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Yes: its raison d'être is to lower barriers to higher education. Mature students are encouraged to apply; special advisors to help them. Typical entry requirements are around 240 UCAS points. Students will also need grade Cs in GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent qualifications) and three other GCSEs at grades A–C.

Vital statistics: Many students are mature and/or from the local area. Two thirds of students come are from ethnic minority backgrounds and almost all come from state schools. Highest proportion of students from low socio-economic groups of any Higher Education institution in England.

Added value: Many programmes start in February as well as September. Innovative courses like complementary therapy, digital journalism and computer games. Special needs a priority with dyslexia workshops and RNIB centre for the visually impaired. Runs a mentoring scheme to match black and Asian students with their counterparts in employment. 2009 saw the launch of UEL Connect, encompassing flexible and distance learning, for which UEL is now a leading provider (3rd in UK after OU), and the Petchey Centre for Entrepreneurship, which offers professional support to students interested in setting up their own businesses. A recently completed £130m development programme includes libraries, studios, workshops and computing centres, with a new £13m library on the Stratford campus. A £21m new sports centre at the Docklands campus featuring state-of-the-art facilities opened in March 2012 and was used by the United States team during the London Olympics. A unique build collaboration between UEL and Birkbeck University houses a range of departments from each institution in a new University Square campus. The campus, which opened in 2013, has 3,400 students and is the home to UEL students studying degrees including law and criminology, dance and performing arts and MBAs. Strong part-time work possibilities with Westfield in Stratford.

Teaching: 97th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 123rd out of 123 with 42.7 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes, there are a variety of rooms at the university's new Docklands Student Village, available to all first years studying at any of the campuses. Rents range between £121.84 to £160.53 per week.

Cheap to live there? Cheaper than central London, but not great. Private rent targeted at students in Beckton, East Ham, Plaistow and Stratford range from £90 to £140 per week. Purpose built private student accommodation (not too dissimilar to UEL’s student accommodation), such as Unite Students in Stratford, range from £179 to £265. See here to find out more.

Transport links: Overground station, tube, buses and Docklands Light Railway.

Fees: £9000 for new full-time UK/EU undergraduate students starting in 2014.

Bursaries: Up to £4,000 for students from lower income families who have 300+ UCAS points, choose UEL as their firm choice and who meet government criteria. See here for further details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Bars on each campus. Regular club nights at Stratford. Two annual balls. Even if nothing on campus takes your fancy, it's London baby! There's a night to suit every taste in our cosmopolitan capital.

Price of a pint: We're in London here, so drinks average around £3.65. Head to local student nights for the best value bevvies.

Sporting reputation: Average- ranked 63rd out of 145 universities and colleges in the 2013/14 BUCS league.

Notable societies: A huge range, including Bright Futures group for helping young entrepreneurs. Cool Nerds speaks for itself, along with plenty of sports such as trampolining, rugby and even Gaelic football!

Glittering alumni: Hilary Armstrong, MP; Ken Russell, film director; Mark Frith, editor of Heat magazine; Imran Khan, human rights lawyer; Tinchy Stryder, pop star.

Alternative prospectus: Check into The Student Room to chat with former, current and prospective students and learn more about life as an East London (UEL) student.

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