This is to any prospective students at UWE.
I am a student at UWE, currently in my second year. I chose UWE as my first choice university because:
- I liked the course content
- I liked how it is a campus university
- And other minor reasons, like accommodation, etc.
Although I have enjoyed most aspects of my course. UWE is not what I'd thought it would be.
- I thought others coming to UWE would have also chose it for being a campus university; how wrong I was! Most others I know chose it partly because it's in Bristol, so the nightlife is good. Many people come from London and Cardiff and choose the university because they want to be in a big city, not on a campus in a smaller place. This means that many of the people at UWE (not everyone) but a lot of people are more that way inclined - they are outgoing and all about living the city lifestyle. Don't get me wrong - I like to go out and have a fun time, and Bristol is a nice city, but I thought that UWE would have more of a community on campus, which it lacks. I thought that activites would be centred around the campus and just go into town for a night out once a week or so, but that's not the case. I think this is also because:
- The SU is shocking - too small (even though it's newly built) and very few activites there other than clubnights. There are lots of clubs, but I feel that unless you are into sport, an international student, or religious, there are few other societies for you. There's no baking or cooking society, for example, and many of the subject socieities or charities are not very active. There's also no music groups. There are music groups run by the centre for performing arts, but most of the members of theses are from the local community, meaning that friendships from these are limited.
- Accommodation - before coming to UWE, I thought the vast majority of first year students lived on campus, with just a few choosing to live in halls in the city centre. However, the student village only has around 2,000 beds; carroll court 200 approx and wallscourt around 400. This means that many students do not ever live on campus during their time at UWE. This is partly why there is a lack of a "campus feeling" at UWE. Also, the campus' location means that there are limited numbers of student houses located near it. And those that are near are usually very expensive because they are on modern housing estates. Also, they lack any nearby aminities that are within walking distance, like shops and pubs. This means that many second and third years have to travel long distances to univeristy each day. With the congestion in Bristol being so bad, it can take upto 30 minutes for many students to get home each day.
Overall, UWE is not what I thought it would be. I do like my course, and there are good things about the univeristy, such as bookable workspaces, 24 hour library, the sports centre and the quality of the accommodation on offer, so I am not trying to slate the univeristy. I am just warning prospective students what UWE is actually like. If you are looking for the big city lifestyle, it will suit you fine, but for others who are looking for a smaller, campus environment with a sense on community and belonging, it may not be the univeristy for you. From speaking to people at other universities, I recommend looking at places such as UEA, Exeter, York, and Lancaster if you are looking more for that kind of environment.
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