University Profile: The University of Teesside

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The Independent Online

History: Originally founded by shipping magnate Joseph Constantine, the institution was officially opened by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII, in July 1930. It became a polytechnic in 1969 and pioneered computer science degrees. In June 1992, Teesside became one of the first new universities in the country.

Address: The single-site campus in the centre of Middlesbrough still includes the original Constantine College building, but the university has expanded more than twentyfold since its inception.

Ambience: Buzzing. £70m has been pumped into Teesside in the past decade, resulting in a futuristic virtual reality centre, 600 extra residential places and a brand new learning resource centre. The campus' pièce de resistance is the high-tech £6.5m sports science Olympia building, unveiled in 2003, where athletes can push themselves to the limits.

Vital statistics: 20,300 full-time students; 11,000 part-time. Largest academic areas now health and computing.

Plus points: Single-site campus means all facilities (halls, lecture theatres, the union) are within a short distance of each other as well as being close to Middlesbrough's town centre. Cheap accommodation is also a big bonus, as is the free internet access which will be available in halls as of next month. On the graduate front, prospects are good: Teesside was rated the top new university in the UK (and 19th overall) for the percentage of full-time first degree graduates getting graduate jobs or going on to graduate-level further study. And starting salaries averaged £16,131 in 2002/3, comparing favourably with other universities in the North East.

Glittering alumni: Wendy Craig, Forsyte Saga actress. Skin, lead singer of Skunk Anansie.

Transport links: Direct train links to Newcastle, York, Leeds and Manchester. For London, Edinburgh and Birmingham, change at Darlington. Good for coaches. Teesside airport (from where you can fly to Dublin and Rome, among other destinations) is 20 minutes away.

Teaching: Rated 17 for food science; 19 for sociology, building and civil engineering; 20 for psychology; 21 for electronic engineering; 22 for art and design; 23 for nursing and midwifery - all out of 24. History, social work and foundation degree in chemical technology got excellent QAA ratings in all areas in 2003.

Research: Came joint 98th with London Guildhall in the 2001 research assessment. Best subject was history, for which it scored 5 out of 5.

Nightlife: Students' union has won awards for doing what unions do best - cheesy pop and retro nights in its very own club. The usual array of pubs and bars catering for students' needs can be found throughout Middlesbrough, while more unique nights out can be had at the Empire, famous for its dance nights, or the Town Hall, where the Super Furry Animals and Supergrass have performed recently. A university cinema shows arthouse and classic films on campus.

Cheap to live in? Teesside's affordability - it has the least pricey university-managed accommodation in the UK, according to one recent guide - is one of its main attractions. Average room rate for halls is £51 per week, with the most expensive £56.98. If you want to save money and don't mind sharing, you can get a double for £33. All accommodation is self-catering and campus-based places are allocated exclusively to first years.

Clearing: There won't be any open days specifically for clearing hopefuls but a phone line (01642 384 243) will be open at the following times:

Thurs 18 August (results day): 8.30am - 9pm

Fri 19 August: 8.30am - 9pm

Sat 20 August: 10am - 4pm

Mon 22 August: 8.30am - 7pm

Tues 23 August: 8.30am - 7pm

Weds 24 August: 8.30am - 7pm

For more information: Call 01642 384 228; or visit www.tees.ac.uk

UCAS code: T20

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