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Best University for Student Accommodation

(52 Posts)
Dancingdreamer Mon 29-Jun-15 21:46:56

Ok starting to think seriously about uni choices (at least I am and DS is willing to humour me). His subject choice gives him scope to go to lots of unis so we need to start narrowing options. I have talked to him about course content, reputation etc. however, the only thing he seems interested in is which university has the best halls and accommodation!

The sort of place he is vaguely interested in are the redbricks, plus Bath, Exeter etc. but he hated Durham when he visited with the school.

Which universities generally have the best accommodation and food? Any suggestions on where to look or alternatively where to avoid at all costs?

titchy Mon 29-Jun-15 21:48:36

No idea but I like that best food is a criteria - suspect this'll be ds's criteria in a few years!

Decorhate Mon 29-Jun-15 22:09:02

What does he mean by best accommodation? New built halls with ensuite rooms? Most places we visited seemed to have those if you were happy to fork out.

Dancingdreamer Mon 29-Jun-15 22:20:44

Thanks for quick replies.

Yes the boy probably is looking for the Ritz for students with luxury accommodation and Michelin starred food! What we hope to find for him is a university where there are a range of averagely priced places that aren't too old, shabby or smelly and won't have bugs in his food. (His words)

He was interested in Nottingham and Manchester but has been looking on the internet and was shocked at some of the pictures of ghastly halls and less than glowing student reports.

2rebecca Mon 29-Jun-15 22:21:55

Really depends on what you mean by best. Some people love all inclusive halls, others find them too restrictive and like the flexibility and additional independence of self catering.
You're only in halls for the first year for most unis any way so then course content/ how much you like the city/ other people at the uni/ clubs etc are all much more important, and affordability.
I think Oxbridge have the most beautiful halls but it never seemed real to me in the 80s and my son was put off Cambridge for the same reason. The halls were beautiful but it was like being in a stage set (and it was rowing not kayaking)

SecretSquirrels Tue 30-Jun-15 09:31:25

Well if food is a criteria look at Nottingham. I went last week to an open day. He liked the course, which is probablymore important than accommodation, so we looked around the halls. One had the dining room open with catering staff and menus on hand. I could move in tomorrow.
A friend's DD went last year and put on a stone in term 1.
Of the rooms we looked around some were very basic, also cheaper. The better rooms were lovely.
DS also visited Manchester (with a school trip) and agreed the halls were grim.

DS really wanted self catering but if he chose Nottingham I think he'd be well fed.

WhisperingPea Tue 30-Jun-15 09:44:02

Lovely new built self catering accomodation at Northumbria - Trinity - video tours on their website.

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 30-Jun-15 09:47:19

Many Oxbridge colleges have the massive financial advantage of being able to house you for all 3 years, although the rooms themselves vary.

That's probably not enough of a reason to get you in though...

theconstantvacuumer Tue 30-Jun-15 09:49:07

Accommodation can vary greatly even within a university so I don't think you can say which one has the best accommodation. And even if you choose on that basis, you might not be allocated your preferred choice. I find it bizarre that this is the criteria your DS is using to pick a university.

ISingSoprano Tue 30-Jun-15 14:17:07

Reading have some lovely accommodation. 50% of it has been built in the last 5 years apparently!

SilverBirchWithout Tue 30-Jun-15 18:30:50

Price is also an important factor. Look at the range of options each Uni has, and also whether students have to move everything out of rooms at Xmas and Easter - some Uni's use accommodation for conferences in holidays.

Also look at likelihood of getting accommodation for 1st choice and reserve.

Birmingham's Yr1 accommodation is mainly all on same site, makes socialising easier and has a good choice of price ranges self-catering or catering. Good choice of Yr1 & 2 privately rented houses near to campus as well.

Oldprof Tue 30-Jun-15 18:31:37

If accommodation is the only thing he's interested in, he shouldn't be going to university. Waste of a place.

Leeds2 Tue 30-Jun-15 18:34:27

I went with DD to Bath last week, and some of their rooms had mood enhancement lighting, a double bed and an en suite with loo, sink and shower. I was very impressed. No idea how much it cost, but I know there were cheaper options available.

Dancingdreamer Tue 30-Jun-15 23:04:45

Oh dear some people seem to take things very seriously on here. I'm not saying that DS will choose a university only based on accommodation. However if you are not restricted to the one or two universities because of your course, how do you narrow down your choice? My DS (and I think rightly) doesn't want to find that his chosen university only has one decent hall which he may or may not get into and costs more than a year's salary!

I think it is entirely appropriate to consider the range and quality of student accommodation as a shortlisting criteria. He may only be in hall for a year but it's a long time if you have paid for food that you can't eat and your bathroom is mouldy.

Dancingdreamer Tue 30-Jun-15 23:11:02

Isingsoprano - thank you I will suggest Reading to him.

Sadly Oxbridge is not an option for him nor is Northumbria. He visited Durham and felt the North East was too isolated for him!

Secretsquirrels - which hall did you visit at Nottingham?

AliceInSandwichLand Tue 30-Jun-15 23:13:14

I think most universities have put a lot of money into accommodation of late. Over the last 3 years I've seen a good few open days with two DDs, and really all were fine. Of DD1's friends, the only one who ended up in grim accommodation was in Bristol, which I've heard elsewhere doesn't have enough, either, though others may know more. But it's only a year anyway, and if he doesn't like the food he can supplement it himself, surely?

AliceInSandwichLand Tue 30-Jun-15 23:13:58

Also - DD1 is at Nottingham. Her hall was fine, but not the one she asked for!

2rebecca Wed 01-Jul-15 08:54:11

Glasgow Strathclyde and heriot watt unis have good but not palatial and mainly sc accommodation. My son enjoyed his year in halls at Strathclyde where all the accom is near each other and near the uni. If he isn't doing a techy subject he won't go there though and it is utilitarian concrete blocks nothing fancy

senua Wed 01-Jul-15 09:01:19

He may only be in hall for a year but it's a long time if you have paid for food that you can't eat and your bathroom is mouldy.

It's character-building! Just wait until you get to private renting ... eww.

AliceInSandwichLand Wed 01-Jul-15 10:14:46

senua is right. I very much doubt any uni hall will compare badly with the minefield of student let housing that he'll need to deal with for year 2. hmm

SecretSquirrels Wed 01-Jul-15 10:42:51

Dancing We looked in Lincoln and Sherwood.
There were a a mix of rooms in each. The one DS liked had a 3/4 bed, desk, fridge and a bathroom shared with the room next door.
There was a large communal area with a dining hall, bar, library etc.

As others have said though, at most unis you can express a preference but there is no guarantee you will get your first choice. It's true that second years almost always have to live off site, but the closeness of living in halls helps with meeting new people.

He may only be in hall for a year but it's a long time if you have paid for food that you can't eat and your bathroom is mouldy.
Maybe self catering is the best option for a fussy eater? As to cleaning, I guess that depends on the cleaners. DS1 was in halls this year and his shared bathroom was supposed to be cleaned. Ugh it wasn't. Didn't occur to him to do it though hmm

Lilymaid Wed 01-Jul-15 10:49:08

If you are looking for a hall on campus at Nottingham (main campus), I don't think you get a choice, you are just allocated a hall. The other main option there is to self cater at Broadgate Park which is just off the main campus.
Same seems to go at many universities (e.g. Exeter, where you might want a place in a cheaper hall and get allocated to Holland Hall which costs mega bucks or Hull where you don't necessarily get your choice even with a confirmed unconditional offer of a university place).
Hall food ... the only university I ever encountered reasonable food was Loughborough a very long time ago. Nottingham has loads of dial a pizza outlets which DS1 used a lot!

OddBoots Wed 01-Jul-15 10:53:17

I'm interested in knowing if there are any universities (other than Oxford and Cambridge) that have the option of halls (university owned or private) for all three years. My ds has ASD and would probably find a shared house to be pretty stressful.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Wed 01-Jul-15 10:57:13

Glasgow has some ridiculously fancy halls, one of them is actually above a restaurant!

I don't think you'll get better than this

Within easy reach of Strathclyde Uni, Caledonian Uni and a short bus ride from Glasgow Uni.

PosterEh Wed 01-Jul-15 11:03:46

OddBoots most universities don't have enough rooms for all three years (or even all first years in some cases) but lots of university towns have private student halls which are very similar and I expect not much different in price. I have family members who have used these for similar reasons.

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