Deciding between Uni’s in a Covid world

(13 Posts)
Flyingflit Thu 28-Jan-21 20:26:43

DS has offers for engineering at Warwick, Bristol and Southampton (he also has Manchester and Sheffield but doesn’t seem so keen).

How are people’s DCs deciding between uni’s if they haven’t had a chance to visit them?

Courses are slightly different so I’ve told him to really look into course content, approach to teaching etc. But so much of it is also the place itself isn’t it? We’ve talked him through the campus vs city thinking, but he’s still isn’t much clearer at this point. And I’m conscious that he shouldn’t be influenced by our thinking/preferences.

Any suggestions/ideas on how people are deciding (other than hoping lockdown lifts in time for us to at least drive him around them?).

OP’s posts: |
Xenia Thu 28-Jan-21 21:47:08

Status of institution - I tend to put Bristol above Warwick and Southampton below the two of them so of those I would pick Bristol. On the other hand 3 of my children went to Bristol and adored it so I am probably biased....

Covidcorvid Thu 28-Jan-21 21:49:34

I would still visit the cities. Can you walk round the campuses at those unis even if not on an open day? Some unis have more open campuses than others. Unoffical student YouTube videos from the different unis.

Sideplate Thu 28-Jan-21 21:54:22

Look at accommodation costs, both first year halls and private houses, unless money isn't a factor. They vary hugely. Bristol is expensive. Not sure about Warwick and Southampton. Manchester and Sheffield (ditto places like Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Cardiff) are very reasonable.

SaraGilbert Thu 28-Jan-21 21:57:06

For Engineering, Southampton or Bristol would rate higher in international rankings than Warwick. Southampton is ranked slightly above Bristol.

Flyingflit Thu 28-Jan-21 22:26:12

Thank you, useful thoughts. We’ll definitely try to get round the cities so he can get a feel for them. Will look at accommodation costs and YouTube/student sites etc,
I’m sure he’ll enjoy whichever of them he goes to, they’re all pretty decent places and he’s lucky to get the choice!

OP’s posts: |
thesandwich Thu 28-Jan-21 22:30:41

Depends also on what sort of engineering interests him and what he wants to do after uni. Look at destinations/ salaries post uni
Look at accreditation to imeche etc. Also if years in industry are possible- and how they work- do students find their own placements?
All good unis- depends 9n what sort of city he fancies.


ReviewingTheSituation Thu 28-Jan-21 22:49:29

They're 3 places I'm very familiar with, and such different unis.

Warwick uni isn't in Warwick (where I live) at all, it's in Coventry (albeit on the outskirts, not in the city itself). So there is a lot of on campus accommodation. 2nd years often live in Leamington Spa, where there's a good student population, but it's very much a town, not a city. So if they hanker for city life, it may not be for them. You can easily get to Cov or B'ham, but it's not a drunken stagger back from the pub/club/gig to your accommodation. The uni has great facilities though - including a brand new sports centre which is amazing, if that's his thing. The on-campus arts centre also attracts good comedy performers, but is less well served for 'current' music acts.

Southampton is a great place to be a student (or was 15 years ago...). The uni isn't in the city centre, but it's still easy to enjoy both the campus and the city. Halls are in good locations, the campus is lovely and it's very highly regarded for engineering. There's easy access to the coast, New Forest, but also London and Portsmouth (for big-city change of scene).

Bristol (most of my family live there) is a great city. It's got such a great feel to it. Good shopping, a real buzz on the harbourside, lovely green spaces to escape to, a campus much closer to the city than the others.
I think of Bristol as a very 'manageable' city. Apart from my time at Uni, I've never lived in a city (I'm a country girl), but I've always said Bristol is the one city I would very happily move to.

None of which answers your question about how on earth you decide where to go... If you can, I'd go and visit the cities/campuses. I think you'd tell a lot about them just from a 'drive-by', particularly Warwick which I'd say is the outlier in the 3. If you do go there, be sure to drive to Leamington too.

BackforGood Thu 28-Jan-21 23:08:07

There is also a Facebook group, and also a website called WIWIKAU (what I wish I knew about University).

Parents of dc currently looking post questions "Waht can anyone tell me about Warwick, Bristol and Southampton" in terms of accommodation, or in terms of engineering courses, or whatever.
The Facebook Group has loads of these questions and moves fast, but is difficult to search, so the do keep asking people to post what they know about specific Universities on the website.

The group can be quite annoying sometimes there are some helicopter parents on there but, overall, most people are helpful and it is a great resource for anyone applying for University's parents.

Flyingflit Thu 28-Jan-21 23:38:09

All really helpful, thank you!

OP’s posts: |
GCAcademic Fri 29-Jan-21 01:34:10


For Engineering, Southampton or Bristol would rate higher in international rankings than Warwick. Southampton is ranked slightly above Bristol.

The QS rankings are a load of tosh. Do not base decisions on this. All league tables have dubious methodologies; this is one of the worst.

Lara53 Sun 14-Feb-21 19:01:03

The engineering facilities at Southampton are world class. My DS has to decide between Leeds and Southampton for Comp Sci.

NotJackieWeaver Fri 19-Feb-21 13:22:56

.... not disputing the tosh-ness of any particular table but is it not the case that Warwick is stand-out for certain subjects? (I can't remember which)

Xenia is a lawyer and I would also say yes def. Bristol for law.

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