10 reasons to study in the Midlands

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The Independent Online

1. The Midlands offers huge diversity, socially and culturally, which means students can choose from a wealth of good, cheap markets.

1. The Midlands offers huge diversity, socially and culturally, which means students can choose from a wealth of good, cheap markets.

2. Leisure is just as varied, from the Peak Parks in Derbyshire, through golf across the area, canals and industrial archaeology, from Coalbrookedale across the Black Country, to horses and hunting in Leicestershire and water sports in Lincolnshire.

3. Student life includes clubs and pubs, cinemas, theatres and music, the latter particularly in Warwick University. Most areas have good links into Birmingham as well as their own night life.

4. Academic choice includes some of Britain's most popular traditional universities – Nottingham, Warwick, Leicester and Birmingham – all ranking high in national research and teaching ratings. Also new universities, many of them institutions that have grown out of older, technical colleges and therefore have strong links with the region's historic and emerging industries, offer students useful work experience and career contacts.

5. Business, economic and computing courses all reflect the region's industrial and commercial strengths. The motor industry that dominates the centre of the region funds research, provides work experience and careers. New high tech industries on the motorway network around Telford mean modern computing science and IT courses.

6. Art and design, particularly linked to the clothing industry, attract international students. Birmingham has engineering design linked to the car industry, Leicester and De Montfort to leather and clothing. Nottingham Trent has links to traditional lace-making and knitting industries. Stafford has courses on design and ceramics.

7. Arts and humanities academic strengths include English departments with strong links to Stratford-upon-Avon and innovative Shakespeare courses. The region has its own authors, not least DH Lawrence and Arnold Bennet.

8. The area is historically rich, with sites relating back through England's history, including the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution, something reflected in history departments.

9. Science courses include space science in Birmingham and environmental science at Nottingham, plus agricultural science in rural Lincolnshire, at Lincoln University, which also has equestrian sciences.

10. Newer courses reflect the needs of the leisure industry; at Birmingham University there is a golfing course and Lincoln teaches equestrian management.