I'm thinking of having Royal Holloway as one of my choices for UCAS 2011 and I've heard such mixed opinions about the place. Some people rave about the beautiful campus and whatnot and others complain that they wish they'd never applied there at all! What is it about RHUL that makes it so... marmite? To people who've studied or visited there what are the major pros and cons?
Also - I'd be applying for English & Creative writing there and I've heard bad things about the English lecturers. Are they really that bad or is this another thing that people have completely different opinions on?
I loved RHUL. It's far better than Kent, which is where I'm at now.
I just think Royal Holloway is such a friendly place, the people are intelligent, and the settings are stunning.
I don't drink and I'm not interested in going clubbing, so RHUL was ideal for me as it wasn't constant raves and what not. Not to say that people don't go out here; they do, and there are often trips to local clubs.
I feel happy when I'm at RHUL (so much so, I go back as often as I can), and everytime I walk through the gates and see Founders I'm amazed at how impressive it is.
It depends on the sort of person you are, really. I'm not even there yet, technically, but I can see exactly why it isn't some people's cup of tea. It doesn't have everything, so if you're looking for massive night out after massive night, raving until three in the morning when you've got lectures that day, visiting four clubs in one night, all that sort of stuff, then you won't find that at RHUL. It has plenty of other stuff to offer, but not that.
As far as I can tell, the major pros (discluding anything subject specific) are as follows:
- Beautiful setting and scenery
- Good range of accommodation
- Friendly atmosphere
- Not too big and so easy to get around
- Within a reasonable distance of some nice towns and cities
- Very good for sports clubs and societies
- Lack of nightlife (there's some, just not much in comparison to other universities)
- Some students might not like how small it is
- Not located in a large town or city. You have to travel if you want to do a major shopping trip
Some of the pros can be viewed as cons and vice versa depending on what you're looking for. It seems to me that the people who tend to dislike RHUL are the ones who didn't quite realise what they were letting themselves in for, so to speak.
Of course, if there's anyone who's spent more time there than myself and wishes to disagree with any of the points I've made above, go ahead.
I'm about to go into my second year at RHUL and study English so my post may be useful to you
I am surprised by the comments about the lecturers - My overall experience of them has been quite good. There are one or two lecturers that I am personally not a fan of, but even then they have provided me with help when I have needed it in my studies.
RHUL was not my first choice for a university, but I don't regret coming here. I agree with the points the other poster made, they do fit with my experience of RHUL. I think the univeristy is best suited to someone who isn't interested in the nightlife.
The location isn't that bad, but it does run up costs to keep travelling out of the area to do things. Egham itself is quiet, but it is located near Windsor and Staines. Windsor has a few clubs and Staines is the nearest shopping centre that is pretty good. Also near Virgina Water. I would say it is easy to get to London. About 40 minutes and you are at Waterloo Station.