Issue 20 – How They Do It In The UK

Top 5 UK campuses that’ll make you feel ashamed to study in Hamilton

If you’re to forget about the rampant knife crime, scooter crime, general cost of living, having to admit that you live in the UK, the soul crushing absence of bakery pies, being in close proximity to people who care about the royal family, and the fact that unless your parents are minted your student accommodation would make the gutters of Cameron Road look appealing – the UK really hits the mark on student life. 

There’s no doubt that Waikato can be a dreary hole of despair, especially when looking at the piss poor student engagement on campus, but in comparison to other uni’s, we’ve got it fairly sussed. Flats are generally decent, it’s a shitload cheaper than other cities, and you get the added bonus of people thinking you’re semi down to earth for making a sensible decision. Obviously if you were looking for that hectic student lifestyle you’d have fucked off to dunners by now, but you didn’t, you’re still hanging about in Waikato itching at the bit for your next fix of anti-Hamilton propaganda. Luckily we’ve done some moderately lazy research to satiate your masochist tendencies and provide fantasies of the greener pastures 18,000kms away.

5. University of Dundee

Located in the heart of a city about as forgettable as Hamilton, Dundee is a home away from home. Ranked as Scotland’s best university for student life it’s a safe enough bet. The city is small but full of life, the students’ union is regarded as a dead set good night, and since it’s located in a country with functioning public transport, it’s easy enough to pop down to Edinburgh and Glasgow when you’re craving the metropolitan buzz. There’s no big defining characteristic which makes this uni stand out, it’s more or less just everything Waikato wishes it could be – the lovable underdog which cares more about it’s students than profit.

Positives 

– Student life is “buzzing” and “vibrant” according to their official website 

– There’s a functioning campus bar 

– Their students’ union achieves something other than providing a their directors a stamp on the CV 

– It’s not in England

Negatives

– You’d be referred to as a ‘Dundonian’ 

Campus is fairly fuck ugly

4.  Lancaster University

On Google maps this campus looks like the equivalent to Lincoln uni, it’s small, fucking ages from everything, and gives off the impression that it’s full of country bumpkins trying to escape their secluded youth. One slight difference though, students love it. Regarded as one of the top universities in the UK you’re sure to come out with an employment worthy degree, the cost of living wont completely break the bank, and most importantly the best nightclub in this overgrown village is run by the students’ union and pulls in awards year after year. 

Positives

– Countless spots for ~lush~ gram opportunities in and around campus 

– You could finish up lectures and pop straight into the students’ union nightlife precinct for hydration 

– Subsidised public transport runs you straight from the campus pub into the city or back 

– Blackpool is just down the road so you’ll never need reality TV again 

Negatives

– They refer to student reps as ‘officers’

– It’s in England

3.  Oxford, Cambridge, 

and the rest of those Ivy league equivalent fucks 

Obviously these big dogs had to make the cut – despite how unattainable their entry requirements are for anyone enrolled in Waikato. There’s no research needed here, obviously their students’ union will be kitted out, all of their exclusive societies are sponsored by humongous corporate firms, and you’re almost guaranteed to end up earning more money than you can handle even with a degree as pointless as political science. 

Positives

– Think about how ridiculous “Cambridge University” would look on your Tinder profile 

– Your parents would finally be proud 

of you

– You’d probably end up writing a New York Times Best Seller in your late 20s once you’ve surpassed the corporate ladder about the trials and tribulations of how hard you worked to overcome being a big brain rich kid 

Negatives

– You’d need to take out a mortgage each semester in order to survive

– There’s really no other negatives, just look at the fucking photos 

2.  Queen’s University 

YEOOOO what’s the craic?? Arguably one of the most sub par universities in the UK, this Belfast based beauty is sure to leave you as a hardened shell of your former self. What they lack in a functioning students’ union they compensate with one of the grimiest and most feral student suburbs in the northern hemisphere. Referred to as the ‘Holylands’, this appalling excuse for student housing would make even the most dedicated breathers shudder. Putting all this aside, the campus is handy, picturesque, and is located in one of the cheapest and most underrated cities in the UK.

Positives

– You’ll constantly have enough money 

to get bent out of shape

– Their students’ union building is currently a damp pile of rubble but is destined to become a top tier spot for regretful nights

– St Patrick’s Day is completely out 

the gate

– Your immune system would become unstoppable after 6 months of student accommodation

Negatives 

– Public transport is moderately atrocious

– You don’t get to wear a fancy cap at graduation and nobody knows why 

– You might need a translator to understand the locals 

1. Loughborough University 

Crowned as the 2020 “University of the Year”, Loughborough takes the cake with it’s student first approach. I wish I could take the piss, but aside from being located in the midlands there’s really no downside. During a brief flick through their student’s union website I found myself mesmerized, fantasising of what life could’ve been like if I’d gone to a university packed with opportunities, active societies, and a Freshers week with more than one thing worth attending. You name it, they’ve got it: flexible retail spaces, enterprise funds, 19 halls of residence packed with culture and rivalries, stations to get proper LinkedIn photos taken, industry professionals to help with anything and everything, and even a nursery if you’re studying while raising a young buck. I’m sure there’s bound to be a thriving campus bar and all kinds of wild nightlife to top it all off, but does any of that matter when your university is already providing a fulfilling experience?

Positives: 

– You’re getting the best student experience possible without the cost and stigma of Ivy League equivalents  

– I may have never heard of Loughborough before this, but I’ve also never heard anyone complain about it 

Negatives: 

– It’s in England

– To put the LSU songs as a negative simply does not do them justice.

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