East London (UEL), University of

 

Overall ranking: 124th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

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. Nearly half of students come in through clearing. Physiotherapy asks for 300 entry points but most ask for 240. Four applications per place.

Vital statistics: Approximately 14,000 undergrads, and 6,000 postgrads. Many students are mature and/or from the local area. Nearly 60 per cent are from an ethnic minority background and almost all come from state schools.

Added value: Many programmes start in February as well as September. Innovative courses e.g. 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 is set to house a range of departments from each institution in a new University Square campus- due to open in late 2013. Strong part-time work possibilities with Westfield in Stratford.

Teaching: 103rd out of 124 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Research: 61st out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Graduate prospects: 124th out of 124 with 39.4 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 £113.50 and £150 per week.

Cheap to live there? Cheaper than central London, but not great. You'll pay the same for private rent as you do in halls, but without inclusive bills.

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

Fees: £9000 for new full-time UK/EU undergraduate students starting in 2013.

Bursaries: One free text book for every module you study, for new undergrads in 2013/14. The UEL Progress Bursary gives all home and EU undergraduates who successfully progress through their course up to £1,100. Other bursaries include the Sir John Cass’s Foundation Grant, which offers up to £7000 per year for students from low income families undertaking courses in maths, engineering or product design. Several sports and entrepreneurship awards are also available. 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 £3.60. Head to local student nights for the best value bevvies.

Sporting reputation: Average- ranked 63rd out of 148 universities and colleges in the 2012/13 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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