Reading or Kent University?

(31 Posts)
bbpp Mon 15-Feb-16 14:10:31

Assuming you have received an identical offer for both, which would you choose as your firm?

To take into account:
Reading has better transport links home.
Kent is higher on league tables, but Reading higher for subject.
Kent took longer to respond (about 2 month) than Reading, less interested and more likely to reject if you're down a grade?

Also don't know the area very well but good pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants and shops would be good.

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bojorojo Mon 15-Feb-16 15:35:54

Reading then based on nightlife! Length of time taken to respond means absolutely nothing. Depending on the course, I think these can be recruiting universities with plenty of courses in clearing. There may be wriggle room at both. Employers may not look at league tables for anything - they change all the time and neither university is a real high flyer.

cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 16:37:50

bojorojo - thats a bit harsh/judgemental/unnecessary and ignorant. You dont know what course the OP has applied for. Overall uni ratings are one thing - but many unis have a specialist course which may well be the best in its field and therefore "high-flying"...

OP - Kent is more isolated campus than Reading - it is some distance from the town wheras Reading although campus is set with the town. Reading quicker to London (cross rail coming soon) and better connected to the rest of the country by location and transport. HTH

bbpp Mon 15-Feb-16 17:01:41

Thank you! Yeah I have friends in London and it's only two trains to get home from Reading so that's temping.

For my course they're both in the top 10ish. Not Oxbridge, no, but I don't think I'm scraping bottom of the barrel either. And the options of what I could apply for was limited because I wanted to be in the South East.

Just wanted to see if anyone had a reason to pick one over the other.

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bojorojo Mon 15-Feb-16 17:02:27

I said university not course - specifically! Why is that harsh/judgemental/unecessary/ignorant? I also specifically said the wriggle room depended on the course. That was supposed to mean that some courses at these universities are sought after. So that is harsh/judgemental/unecessary/ignorant is it? The OP mentioned league tables. I said employers may not look a them. Harsh and ignorant? No, fact really. I also said Reading was good for a night out. A well known fact if you live near Reading.

Tollygunge Mon 15-Feb-16 17:06:19

Kent is a great uni- and Canterbury lovely city. Reading a bit depressing imo

bbpp Mon 15-Feb-16 17:19:46

Kent is the one I've had my heart set on all this time tbh, but now it's come to making a decision I'm panicking a bit! I love the course, it's a decent uni imo, the city is gorgeous, it's just going to take me about 4 trains and multiple buses to get home and I'm not sure whether it really has good nightlife? I keep getting mixed reviews. And while it doesn't really matter I feel like I'm missing out a little that I didn't apply for Leeds or Newcastle where I know it's guaranteed.

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bojorojo Mon 15-Feb-16 17:23:01

I did not mean to be rude bbpp. I am sorry if i came acsross that way. Must you go this year? If you really are not happy, and you want a good night life, can you not apply for next year? Don't end up somewhere for 3 years and always wish you were somewhere else. Life is too short!

bbpp Mon 15-Feb-16 17:28:46

It's fine! I think I've got to go this year. I've already retaken a year at As and I'm not sure I can keep living at home much longer grin

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LaContessaDiPlump Mon 15-Feb-16 17:30:54

Reading is a pretty good place to live - you can go anywhere from there. Good nightlife, shops, cinema, culture etc. Campus isn't bad either - nice and green smile

WhirlwindHugs Mon 15-Feb-16 17:37:24

I went to Kent (again, well rated for my subject) I liked the feel of it. It has it's own nightclub, multiple bars, theatre and does cinema screenings (there's also one in town).
Balls at least once a term, two campus music festivals in the summer with student/local bands, comedy nights...
Unless you are particularly unfit it doesn't take long to walk into Canterbury centre (it's only 2 miles!) and there are lots of bars/pubs there. There used to be 2 more nightclubs in Canterbury but I think they'be closed, however there's also two other HE campus' in town with their own bars and club nights and you can get into those too. KIAD was particularly good!
Good luck deciding.

WhirlwindHugs Mon 15-Feb-16 17:39:55

National express do coaches from canterbury to london and there are trains too (admittedly they take a while, but you shouldn't have to change anywhere)

bbpp Mon 15-Feb-16 17:51:07

Thanks whirlwind! The multiple train issue is that I live up north, so it's a train into London, then to Sheffield/Leeds/Wakefield, then another train to my town, and then buses! Which is obviously manageable but won't be fun with carrying all my belongings. With Reading I wouldn't have to go into London to come home.

It's nice to know there's stuff going on though. I was getting the impression it was a bit dead. As long as there are places to go and things to do I think I'll be fine, doesn't need to be a huge party city.

Did people ever go into London for nights out when you were there? Seems about 1.5 hour train which I'm not sure many would make the effort for.

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Tollygunge Mon 15-Feb-16 18:29:49

I went into London for nights/days out! I loved loved loved Canters- my heart still yearns for the city. Nightlife mostly pubs/ house parties but tbh if I'd gone anywhere more lively I think I'd have partied too much!

bbpp Mon 15-Feb-16 18:51:34

Aw that sounds great!

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WhirlwindHugs Mon 15-Feb-16 19:29:45

We did sometimes go to London for gigs, or to see friends.

I see what you mean about trains!

WhirlwindHugs Mon 15-Feb-16 19:30:53

One of the lecturers I had worked mainly at LSE so the commute can't have been too awful!

conversationdiva Mon 15-Feb-16 19:33:45

Canterbury is a lovely, homely city I think. Lots of little pubs and cafes. If you like nightclubs, there is one on the uni campus that is pretty good and another in town. Good train/coach links to London too, I know of several people that commute there to see family or and I even knew someone who commuted from Canterbury to London to work at weekends.

TheBitterBoy Mon 15-Feb-16 20:07:38

I can't comment on either university, but I live in Reading, might be worth having a look here for a view of what the town has to offer. I have never been a student here, but the campus is beautiful and there always seems to be a lot on offer, there is an onsite gym / sports centre and a film theatre.

bbpp Tue 16-Feb-16 01:05:00

Thank you everyone

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EBearhug Tue 16-Feb-16 01:47:32

I did my masters at UKC and also worked at Reading Uni. The main difference I remember is Reading used Dewey and UKC was Library of Congress, but unless you're into library classifications, that's probably not an issue... Also, either/both could have changed since then. Used the careers service in both, which were pretty evenly matched back then.

It does depend a lot on the course, and that should probably be the main criteria.

Campuses - UKC up on a hill, looking down over the city and cathedral, a view I was rather fond of. Walkable to town (though quite a lot more than 5 minutes), also buses. A bus ride away from the sea at Whitstable and Margate.

Reading - also a nice leafy campus (originally parkland for a big house), though I think they're about to build some new halls on part of it. Town is closer than at Canterbury, but also buses. Both are up hills, Canterbury is much higher and steeper.

Reading is a bigger town, with a bigger shoping centre, if you like that sort of thing. I prefer Canterbury - it's more historic and smaller. Though Reading has a fair bit of older buildings in between the 19th & 20th century growth. Canterbury is prettier. I felt safe walking and cycling round both (though I've since lost my nerve for cycling on roads anywhere.) Reading's got quite a few cycle paths these days, and some are quite pretty.

Preferred the swimming pool in Canterbury, but there are more choices of pools in Reading. This may not be a consideration for you...

Fast trains to Paddington from Reading take about 25 minutes. The Waterloo line is quite a bit longer. It's also got direct trains to Wales, the West Country and up north. That Intercity Cross Country line from Bournemouth to Manchester is v. useful, stopping at places like Oxford & Birmingham. Canterbury has two lines into London as I remember, and while there are those who commute to London - I think it was over an hour - high-speed it was not.

I enjoyed my time in both places and I think you'll probably be fine at either. Which might not be helpful to you, but I think I'm trying to say don't worry too much, as neither is going to be a bad choice. Good luck!

bbpp Tue 16-Feb-16 02:58:47

They both have their pros and cons I guess then, seems pretty equal at the moment. Is one University not academically better than the other, or more respected, or are they even in that sense too?

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Jenijena Tue 16-Feb-16 03:26:19

I work

Jenijena Tue 16-Feb-16 03:29:46

Sorry about that... I work in HE and have worked at one of your choices. I'd say both institutions are similarly regarded, and that neither gives a particular 'bonus' over the other. on the basis that both are similar for your course, (so 'head' choices are equal) where does your heart say? Reading is great for transport connections, but don't choose a place just for the ease of escaping from there smile

bbpp Tue 16-Feb-16 06:56:18

I'm thinking Kent, going to have a visit and see which stands out to me smile. Didn't make it to an open day for these two which is probably why I'm finding the decision difficult.

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