liverpool, sheffield or manchester uni?

(41 Posts)
BerylThePeril44 Sun 06-Oct-13 19:44:41

Hi. Does anyone have any experience or advice on these universities? Been to open days and prefer Sheffield from a mothers point of view. Son liked Manchester...it did have a great buzz x

UptheChimney Sun 06-Oct-13 19:56:18

Well, it's your son who's looking at going to university, not you!

It's impossible to make that choice for someone else. There's heaps of advice on various threads here about things to help your DC (not you) make a decision.

Which degree? What subject? What's his preference for the style of student life he'd like? Campus university? Obviously he wants a big city. Be a sounding board for him, but really I'm not sure that "a mother's point of view" is the main thing here. What you could do is identify what you mean by that -- is it personal safety, costs, or whatever? and then discuss those points with him.

But IME of teaching the UGs if the university/degree course is chosen by parents rather than the student, it rarely ends well ...

SatinSandals Sun 06-Oct-13 20:02:12

I don't think that you are looking from a mother's point if view! Leave it to him. If he has been to the open days he must have the information he needs to make up his mind.

SatinSandals Sun 06-Oct-13 20:04:37

I think they need to leave parents at home if they are going to get over involved. We went, because it seems expected those days, but he asked the questions and made the decision.

UptheChimney Sun 06-Oct-13 20:08:16

SatinSandals it's really not expected by the universities. You're welcome of course, but most universities lay on stuff (that costs us scarce resources) because parents have increasingly demanded it over the last decade (it predates fees). Somehow, some parents see the ability to cater for parents as a reflection of how suitable the university will be for their DC.

I think I'd rather we spent the money catering (literally) to parents on stuff related to actually educating students, but there you go ...

SatinSandals Sun 06-Oct-13 20:25:09

It is expected now! When my eldest went it wasn't. 10 years on and everyone, more or less, had parents with them. We were sent coffee vouchers and there were special tours for parents and talks for parents. I don't think they should, but he would have felt a bit out of place on his own! I think it is here to stay and will probably get worse, as shown by OP.

SatinSandals Sun 06-Oct-13 20:28:03

My eldest visited Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. He went by train on his own from the south of England, they did then. I couldn't have gone anyway with 2 much younger children. Now you get whole families attending!

UptheChimney Sun 06-Oct-13 20:37:20

As I said, it's the parents themselves who've created that expectation. In my couple of decades working in universities, I noticed demands from parents that we cater specifically for them coming about 10 years ago. We now have to set up separate programmes for parents, and also on occasions it's quite awkward as we have to give candidates preference on seats in lectures & information sessions, bus tours, and the like. Some parents can be quite difficult when you ask them to step back to allow all the 6th formers in first.

Take it from a university person: it really isn't expected by us.

creamteas Sun 06-Oct-13 20:39:46

Now you get whole families attending!

Yes, but we really really don't actually want them too.

The tours and talks for parents are put on because parents started demanding them, not because universities thought it was a good idea.

Hulababy Sun 06-Oct-13 20:41:08

Parents went to Open Days at universities even when I was there - so that's now a good 20 odd years ago! It was usually in order to get there and back without it taking so long, and at a reduced cost to having to go via train or bus. It was that or the odd one arranged by the school itself, which tbh was very limited as to which ones.

I didn't really do any Open Days but lots of friends did, and even back in 1990/1 parents took their children to university open days. It is not a new thing!

BrianTheMole Sun 06-Oct-13 20:42:19

Sheffield <biased>. but its up to your son, he's got to live there. Manchester is supposed to be a great place for students, too busy for me, but everyones different.

SatinSandals Sun 06-Oct-13 20:55:34

I understand perfectly what you are saying, but you have no hope of turning the tide! I found it all very interesting and they did at least explain the finances very simply.

BerylThePeril44 Sun 06-Oct-13 20:58:25

Sorry...seemed to give impression I was forcing my opinion on him. I'm not! In fact, if it was up to me, he'd be going to our local, well respected uni and saving the 15 grand it would cost in hall feesfees. However he will make his own choice and we will support that...my 'mothers point of view' was about safety. Xxx

UptheChimney Sun 06-Oct-13 20:58:54

Oh I know, Satin and of course, it's a good way for parents to get to grips with the finances etc, but < sigh > I'd rather be spending the money on resources & services for the undergraduates.

And creamteas I sometimes wonder if I am your evil twin somewhere! grin

VivaLeThrustBadger Sun 06-Oct-13 21:01:58

I go to Sheffield and like it my brother goes to Manchester and likes it <helpful>. grin

SatinSandals Sun 06-Oct-13 21:03:37

I think it was much better when they went on their own, but since there is no chance of going back it was an interesting day out!
I wouldn't think there was much to choose between them for safety.

MissFenella Sun 06-Oct-13 21:13:26

what is he studying and is it Sheff Uni or Sheff Hallam?

VBisme Sun 06-Oct-13 21:18:43

I think we need to know which subjects, and I'm assuming your talking about the traditional universities in those cities rather than the new ones?

BerylThePeril44 Sun 06-Oct-13 21:29:33

Thanks for your interest. Its such a huge decision, and obviously we want to help him make the best one for him. Just want him to be happy and safe. Its sheff uni and other traditional unis. He wants to study history and politics. Any advice...on this matter...welcome xxx

VivaLeThrustBadger Sun 06-Oct-13 21:36:21

My brothers studying history at Manchester and has really enjoyed the course. He's managed not to get shot/killed/beaten up in three years. I think the student areas and bars are as safe as student areas/bars in any other city. They don't go to the "rough" areas.

UptheChimney Sun 06-Oct-13 21:39:49

He needs to think about how he likes to learn, and what areas he may want to focus on. And then he needs to match that against the information about the syllabus and teaching styles that he's given in talks at each university.

He REALLY needs to take note of that information, and look at Departmental websites.

What I find very frustrating is that we will give information about their curriculum, examination and assessment, availability of specialisations etc (I can bore for Britain on our syllabus, credit points etc) and then within a few weeks of the start of term, there'll always be one or two who complain & whinge and say "It wasn't what I was expecting."

VBisme Sun 06-Oct-13 21:43:35

For History I'd put Manchester above Sheffield, but I could be out of date on this.

Either city is brilliant for students, Sheffield is probably friendlier (I've lived in both cities).

I'm sure he'll be fine whichever he choses.

Viviennemary Sun 06-Oct-13 21:50:59

I agree it is up to the individual student and their preferences. If I was young again (wishes!) I think I'd choose Newcastle. Students seem to love it there.

Sheffield ranks above Manchester for Politics I think.

I know what you mean about the cities, OP - Sheffield is smaller & feels friendlier & safer. (The weather's much better there too grin)

BerylThePeril44 Sun 06-Oct-13 21:52:58

Thank you vbisme. That's what I thought...and he thinks that too. Sheffield is better for politics apparently. But Manchester definitely felt more vibrant...

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