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Four of the Best Universities in the UK

Posted: 1st October 2018 15:56

University of Oxford

The oldest university in the English speaking world, the University of Oxford consistently ranks as one of the most prestigious global educational institutions. One of the most stringent entry requirements in the world proves well worth the price of admission, the university providing an incredibly intensive educational programme designed to challenge its students and breed excellence. The university’s famous alumni include leaders in every imaginable field, including physics (Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein), playwriting (Oscar Wilde), politics (Bill Clinton, Theresa May) and creative writing (J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carrol), amongst innumerable others, keeping the university at the forefront of global development.

What to study

The University of Oxford’s politics course is legendary, and not just for its incredibly academic high standards. While socialising is a key part of any university experience, no otheruniversity can boast 27 UK Prime Ministers and at least 30 international leaders among their alumni, meaning that the connections made at Oxford could very well set an Oxonian for life. After all, how often can you say you had to scold a head of state for nicking the last biscuit?

Top Attraction

The oldest public museum in Britain, the Ashmolean holds a reputation almost equal to the university itself. Boasting the second biggest collection of historical artefacts and relics in the UK, the museum offers everything from treasures uncovered from Egyptian tombs to the death mask of Oliver Cromwell. Visitors can (and often do) spend days exploring its riches.

University of Cambridge

Consistently ranking in the top five universities in the world, Cambridge has become synonymous with academic excellence thanks to the university which bears its name. Standard-bearers for excellence in studies and teaching alike, Cambridge is one of the UK’s leading research institutions and prides itself on providing engagement between student and teacher to foster greater results. Students at the University of Cambridge can access the copyright library, which is entitled by law access to a copy of every book published in Britain – a handy resource when cramming for essays and exams!

What to study

The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest law schools in the world and as such offers one of the most comprehensive courses on the subject. Law has been studied and taught in Cambridge since the 13th century, with the University developing its own specialist faculty specifically for the subject. Today it offers access to a comprehensive network of societies, exclusive events, publications and research centres, each ensuring that Cambridge’s word is Law.

Top Attraction

Healthy competition often breeds excellence, and the rivalry between Cambridge and Oxford is legendary. Nowhere is this rivalry more on display than at the annual Boat Race along the Thames; a public event which in recent years has attracted upwards of 250,000 spectators. Get there early if you want to see anything!

Loughborough University

Sat on 440 green acres of land, Loughborough University offers its students plenty of space to exercise, relax and study. Each course at Loughborough includes the option for a year in industry, allowing students to experience the workplace during their studies and get a leg-up in the competitive post-graduate workforce market. A self-contained community, the campus includes state-of-the-art sports facilities and plenty of places to eat, drink and socialise, including a large capacity nightclub. What’s more, Loughborough has been recognised for its low living costs and excellent graduate prospects – meaning that your money and your career can go a long way.

What to Study

Loughborough University offers many unique and highly-regarded courses, and chief among them is its extensive sports programme. Consistently placing the university ‘top 10’ tables for the entire UK, sports students at Loughborough join a grand tradition of champion athletes. Loughborough’s stats are so good that if it had been a competing country in the 2016 Olympics, it would have finished 17th. Probably has something to do with the two gyms, High-Performance Athletics Centre, 50m Olympic standard swimming pool… need we go on?

What to do

Loughborough’s Midlands setting offers unlimited access to the great British countryside and with it plenty of quaint towns and villages which can be explored (including Castle Donnington, site of Europe’s biggest rock festival each June). The area also boasts the Cross-Country Inter-Counties Championships at Prestwold Hall – an off-road running event which fully utilises the scenic setting.

Imperial College of London

While most Universities serve as factotums of knowledge, covering a range of specialisms and subjects, the Imperial College of London prides itself on focusing solely on science, engineering, medicine and business. The results speak for themselves; a comprehensive focus on its specialism has seen the college rank as the eighth best in the world in the QS World University Rankings® 2018. Drawing on a staff that boasts  award winners, Nobel Prize holders and prestigious Fellowships (Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Academy of Medical Sciences), you can be sure that the Imperial College of London hangs clean off the precipice of the cutting edge. 

What to Study

While options are decidedly more limited than at other universities and colleges in the UK, the possibilities available to a student of science at the Imperial College of London are endless. State of the art facilities like KPMG Data Observatory (the largest of its kind in Europe) offer unique and exciting ways for students to develop and test ideas. The college serves as a global leader in innovation, yielding an enormous intake of international students each year.

What to do

A prime Kensington setting offers students direct access to London and with it countless opportunities to engage with culture, sports and history. The college’s immediate neighbours include leading cultural organisations the English National Ballet and the Royal Albert Hall, but those seeking inspiration are best served at the museums of Science and Natural History; world-renowned institutions in their own right.

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