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Loughborough University talk: how to choose your university

21 Oct, 2020
Loughborough University talk: how to choose your university

On Wednesday 14th October, Caroline Feeley — International Partnerships Manager at Loughborough University — presented an online session for students at Kings Oxford and Kings Brighton.

She began the talk by giving students some advice on the factors to consider when choosing which universities to apply to, and which degree course to do. She then moved on to talk about Loughborough itself, a university which many Kings students have selected as their top choice in recent years.

How to choose your university

Caroline suggested a few key things to consider when trying to narrow down your university choices:

Location: city or campus-based? These two types of university can be quite different in terms of the environment and facilities that they offer, so be sure to do your research.

Reputation and ranking — whilst it’s important to take into consideration the accolades and achievements of different institutions, it shouldn’t be the main reason that you choose your university. Look at the whole picture.

Employability — will your chosen university help you to get closer to your chosen career path? Look at statistics such as graduate employment and links with industry.

Courses and entry requirementswhich universities offer the course that you are interested in, and are the entry requirements achievable for you? Every university should have entry requirements available on their website for you to refer to.

Large or small institution? In the UK we have 130+ universities which vary a lot in terms of size. A large university might have 50,000 students, whereas a small institution might have around 5,000.

Facilities — take into account the facilities that are on offer. As well as the academic facilities, you should look into things such as libraries, sports facilities, common areas, and accommodation options

Extra-curricular activities — take a look at the extra-curricular opportunities that are available at the university. Are there clubs and societies that appeal to you? Can they offer you new opportunities and new experiences?

Which degree course?

Next, Caroline moved on to the things that you should think about when choosing which course you want to study at university. She reiterated the fact that your choice of subject should be personal to you, and suggested some useful questions that you can ask yourself when finalising your subject choice:

  • What subject(s) do you enjoy?
  • Which subject(s) are you best at?
  • Is there a course that’s related to a hobby or interest that you have? E.g. Media Studies, if you have a keen interest in film
  • Do you know what sort of job you want in the future?
  • Which subject(s) will help you get it?
  • What are the career prospects for your chosen subject?
  • Which destinations can I study this subject at?
  • Is the course professionally accredited (if required)?

Loughborough University

The presentation then moved on to focus specifically on Loughborough University and to introduce the university in detail to Kings students. Loughborough University is currently ranked #7 overall in the UK according to the 2021 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. It was also awarded ‘University of the Year’ in the 2020 ‘WhatUni? Student Choice Awards’.

Loughborough is located in the East Midlands, in the middle of the UK, close to large cities such as Leicester, Derby and Nottingham. It’s 1 hour 20 minutes from Central London by train. The university is located on the largest single-site campus in the UK — it takes around 20 minutes to walk from one side of the 438-acre campus to the other! The local town centre is 15 minutes’ walk from the campus.

The university has around 20,000 staff and students, and 16% of the students at Loughborough are international. Currently, they come from over 130 different countries around the world.

Loughborough offers a wide range of academic subjects across 10 different academic schools. Subjects include Architecture; Business; Engineering; Computer Science, Politics, History and International Relations; and Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences. All undergraduate degrees at Loughborough University include an optional placement year, where students will spend a year in industry earning a salary and getting a taste of the job market.

Caroline gave an overview of the average entry requirements for Loughborough University, which are:

  • A-level: ABB-A*AA
  • Kings Advanced Level Foundation: the exact requirement varies depending on the degree subject. The requirement for Business is 75% overall, with minimum 65% in each subject.
  • English language: IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in each band; GCSE/IGCSE grade C (4) (or B or 6 for Business and Sport programmes; plus wide range of other English language qualifications.

The student experience at Loughborough

At Loughborough University, the overall student experience is very important. This encompasses a variety of things, from campus facilities and student clubs and societies, to accommodation and welfare.

There are a huge number of sports facilities and clubs available on-campus, including netball courts; dance studio; Olympic-sized swimming pool; tennis courts; athletics stadium; and more.

There are 16 halls of residence with over 5,000 rooms available, offered on either a catered or self-catering basis. The halls are safe and secure with live-in wardens. International students at Loughborough are guaranteed a room on-campus for their first two years of study. On-campus health facilities include a Medical Centre, Dentist and Optician.

The Students’ Union at Loughborough offers over 130 societies across a wide variety of interest areas including sports, music, drama, academic, volunteering, cultural and national groups.

Graduate careers

Finally, Caroline talked about the careers and employment opportunities for Loughborough University students, including the annual Careers fair, and the longstanding links with employers across many different industries.

At the end of the session, a current international student at Loughborough University, Nuschka — originally from Malaysia — joined the presentation to give her perspective on her experience at the university so far. She told Kings students how much she enjoyed the volunteering and extra-curricular activities at Loughborough, and the value that she took aware from her placement year working in recruitment in London.

Thank you to Caroline and Nuschka for hosting such a useful session introducing Loughborough University to Kings students, and for giving some great advice on the key factors to consider when choosing a university.