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Leeds vs Royal holloway ?

(57 Posts)
Helenluvsrob Sun 05-Feb-17 10:58:34

I know it boils down to course and what dd thinks but any general comments / dc experience of these universities ?

ive a few thoughts but will wait for yours before I add my 2p worth. Thanks.

hellsbells99 Sun 05-Feb-17 11:11:26

I have a DC at Leeds and they are loving it. Lovely campus. Very sociable. Gym facilities are excellent. Good night life for this who want it including an excellent student union with its own nightclub.

Decorhate Sun 05-Feb-17 11:51:21

My dd also at Leeds & loving it. Depends what you like - we live near London so she wanted a reasonably large, lively place.

From what I've read, Royal Holloway is in quite a suburban area. Not really what a Londoner would class as London.

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 05-Feb-17 12:30:28

Completely different environments! Dd1 applied to both, and dd2 applied to Leeds.

RH campus is lovely, but you'll only get accommodation for a year, and after that you're living in Egham ... We went to a Saturday open day and the student union building was closed - apparently this is what happens on Saturdays and "everyone" (according to our tour guide!) gets a coach to London to go out. Dd did apply still because she liked the course and the faculty staff - and knew it would be a nice low offer which she might feel like she wanted! - and thought that she could reserve the option of moving back home in year 2 as we're very easily commutable and she might have a decent social life that way!

Both my girls loved Leeds, fantastic city centre campus which is what they both decided they really wanted, and Leeds is clearly a great place to live. The courses are very flexible, and they were both impressed with their different departments. Dd1 put it as her insurance (and was slightly disappointed when she didn't go there as she'd convinced herself she was!), dd2 picked two others in the end due to course specifics.

LIZS Sun 05-Feb-17 12:34:00

What subject? RH campus is quite low key in terms of nightlife but benefit is access to U of L facilities and London. You also get London weighted student finance although cost of living is (slightly) less.

quietlycrazy Sun 05-Feb-17 12:58:15

Agree with Decorhate -- depends on who you are and what you like.

DD is at Royal Holloway and LOVES it. She's only ever lived in big cities, but is revelling in the beauty of the campus, the lovely old buildings (Founders!), while being close enough to London to meet up with school friends or go to a protest when she feels like it.

She finds the university to be well run, the professors engaged and interested in their undergraduates, her course well structured. She also likes the diversity of the student body -- probably similar at Leeds. She did one term at a different uni last year and was miserable. This year has been a completely different experience.

BUT -- it's also true that there is not much of anything in Egham. DD is very happy with her social live and doesn't mind that Egham is dull -- she says there's enough happening on campus and in London. But she's not into clubbing. I've heard Leeds is more lively.

quietlycrazy Sun 05-Feb-17 13:09:24

PS. Just noticed Atia's post. DD says the campus can be quieter at the weekend, but it doesn't empty out; and she has never taken a coach into London to go out!

But that said, different people get their fun in different ways, and Royal Holloway isn't for everyone.

Helenluvsrob Sun 05-Feb-17 13:18:03

Thanks all. That rather goes with my first impressions.

Dd applying for liberal arts. Slightly complicated by a lowish offer fromRH which is unconditional if she firms it.

I went to Leeds with her. Seems to offer the combo of living in a big city - that she is used to - with a campus university. Course structure seems great too I think.

RH I dunno I wondered if it would be an almost boarding school thing with it emptying at the weekends. I don't know about the course structure- offer holders day Saturday will be interesting.

She's also looking at choral scholarships so that's an added complication! If you get a choral scholarship at RH you have to firm them- she thinks before you apply - I don't think that can be correct though.

Difficult choices when you are 17!

LIZS Sun 05-Feb-17 13:48:54

RH has a very well respected music department and the chapel choir get invited to do things because of its proximity to London.

Quietly, ds also there atm and certainly finds enough to be involved in whike the more relaxed social lifestyle suits him. Liberal Arts is a newish concept though and he hasn't come across anyone doing it yet!

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 05-Feb-17 14:17:59

Lol, yes quietly we definitely took that "everyone" with a pinch of salt!

GinIsIn Sun 05-Feb-17 14:24:32

RHUL is definitely a bit more isolated and quiet, but it is lovely and the choir are fantastic. If she wants to go somewhere relaxed and friendly then it's the right choice, if she wants to party and have a huge social scene she'd be best off at Leeds I think?

VirgilsStaff Sun 05-Feb-17 14:29:49

Slightly complicated by a lowish offer fromRH which is unconditional if she firms it

I always think this looks a bit desperate by the university - we're seeing a number of competitor places doing it.

They are both excellent places for an arts degree - she'll have a great time at either, and be challenged & stretched.

But they're very different universities, so it might come down to "feel". I love Egham, but when I taught at RHUL, I wasn't an 18 year old who was away from home for the 1st time. When I lived nearby, Egham was very quiet on the weekends. I think the more cautious students liked it because it was London-but-not-quite-London, IYSWIM.

And I adore Leeds, but is she used to big cities? Leeds is a fantastic student city, but it's a bigger city. The University is one of the best in the country - in my field it's really superb, and that field feeds in to the liberal arts offering. Excellent library too. I used it quite a lot for something I was writing a while back.

Either way, she'll have a great time & get an excellent degree.

witwootoodleoo Sun 05-Feb-17 14:34:00

Leeds is an amazing place your live as a student. The cost of living is much lower than in London particularly for things like rent and drinks. Leeds is very much a student city with lots of offers targeted at students

doglover Sun 05-Feb-17 14:53:18

I'm following this thread with interest.

Our DD has been offered a place at Oxford (English) and now is deciding between RH and Bristol for her insurance. As a keen musician, she is drawn to RH's musical opportunities and has loved the 'feel' of the uni each time we've visited (Open and Applicant Days). She doesn't have the same gut feeling about Bristol but knows it has an excellent reputation. (Both have said AAB but RH is unconditional if firmed; this obviously won't happen as she's delighted with her Oxford offer!)

My advice is to put RH as her insurance.

(Sorry to hijack thread but our dilemmas are rather similar!)

bojorojo Sun 05-Feb-17 21:40:45

Royal Holloway is not really on the radar of boarding school children. I do not know a single one of my DDs friends who even went to look at it. It is very much on the radar of London students who want to go and see their friends at the weekend, in London. It is a bit quiet from what I hear.

I know plenty who have gone to Leeds and it is a different experience. Much more going on in the city. That does not mean clubs! Just everything!

Bristol or RH? Bristol every time. RH usually gives lower offers and employers know this. Bristol is a great city and the student areas are among the best. Nothing wrong with the music either! It punches above RH on many counts.

GinIsIn Sun 05-Feb-17 21:45:38

I'm surprised to hear you say that bojo - there were an awful lot of us from boarding school when I went, and 3 of my work colleagues also went to boarding school then RH in the intervening years.

GinIsIn Sun 05-Feb-17 21:47:36

Not to mention, out of Bristol and RH, only one of them has students daft enough to accidentally manufacture explosives, and it's not RH.... smile

bojorojo Sun 05-Feb-17 21:47:49

Not now! Exeter is the new RH!

bojorojo Sun 05-Feb-17 21:49:37

There are idiots everywhere!

DaphneDeLaFontaine Sun 05-Feb-17 21:55:12

My niece likes RH but comes home every single weekend, as she says everybody does. She's a second year.

VirgilsStaff Mon 06-Feb-17 09:13:43

Exeter is the new RH!

This is an odd thing to say: Exeter doesn't have a Music department, while RHUL Music was pretty near the top of the most recent REF assessment.

OP I think that your DD is going to have to see both places & think about were she wants to spend 3 years.

scaryteacher Mon 06-Feb-17 09:30:09

My ds is at RHUL, loves it, and plans to stay there for his MA next academic year. He doesn't get on a coach to go to London every weekend, and Daphne, given that we live in Brussels, ds does not come home every weekend; neither do his friends whose homes are in Iran and NZ! I think your niece exaggerates somewhat.

Ds fell in love with place on open days, likes the campus, and finds his course stimulating. He's happy there, and can pursue his hobby off campus. Win win.

Helenluvsrob Mon 06-Feb-17 09:43:22


Love how threads evolve dd also holding offer for Bristol !

We will see all if them and maybe do the scholarship application for RH . She was offered the Leeds one. There don't seem to be anything similar at her other places.

LIZS Mon 06-Feb-17 11:02:05

We live about an hour and half away from RH by public transport, less by road and Ds has only come home twice , apart from Christmas , since September, for orthodontist appointments. In his block of 20 ish only a few go home regularly at weekends. Some have occasional field trips but most are there, usually either sleeping or doing sport. The SU has events on Wednesday and Fridays plus the various bars are open most evenings. Much of the social life seems to be based around the societies.

EnormousTiger Mon 06-Feb-17 11:21:01

RH is not as good as Leeds as you can always tell by offers, can't you? The unconditionals come from the places who find it harder to fill their places which tells yo all you need to know about how they are regarded including by employers so I would put Leeds above RH.

On the other poster Bristol is much better than RH by a mile and if your child does not go to Oxford surely unless they are going for very unchallenging careers there is no contest and Bristol should be the back up.

Bristol is better than Leeds but tends to give higher offers (my son is holding an A*AA offer from Bristol and one from Durham).

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