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Despite its name, Buckinghamshire New University can trace its history back to 1893 with the establishment of the School of Science and Art. After various name changes throughout the century, the institution was finally awarded University status in 2007 and was renamed Buckinghamshire New University. It’s going from strength to strength having enjoyed a surge in applications over the past three years.
The University is focused around two campuses in High Wycombe and Uxbridge on the outskirts of London in Buckinghamshire. It offers professional and creative courses that are industry tailored and employer-focused. Of its 8,700 strong study body, two-thirds are mature.
There are two faculties at the University; the Faculty of Design, Media & Management and the Faculty of Society and Health. It offers some pretty unique courses, such as airline and airport management, and it’s well-known for its furniture and textile courses, stemming from tradition of furniture production in High Wycombe.
Famous alumni from its previous institutions include Mighty Boosh’s Noel Fielding (and the man who played Bollo and Joey Moose, Dave Brown), Hammer horror actress Veronica Carlson, and furniture designer Philip Koomen.
Bucks New University has two campuses in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire and Uxbridge in outer London.
High Wycombe is a market town, the second largest town in Buckinghamshire and halfway between London and Oxford. High Wycombe isn’t exactly buzzing, but it has a good market (which has been running since Medieval times), plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants. It is set in attractive Chiltern countryside with plenty of pretty country walks and cycling trails.
The main campus is located in the centre of town, student accommodation is sited nearby. The jewel of the campus is the new award-winning Gateway building. There is an events halls, audio studios, a state of the art fitness centre, cafes, drama studio, editing suites and various other learning and teaching facilities.
Bucks New University’s nursing courses and applied healthcare research are located at the Uxbridge campus. The campus is well-connected to central London and High Wycombe, with Uxbridge railway station within walking distance. Uxbridge is a town on the outskirts of London. It has two shopping centres, a tube station, a canal, plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants. It also has its own snazzy lido.
The Uxbridge campus is based in one building which has a café, a students’ union, plenty of seminar rooms, research and skills labs, IT rooms and a learning resource centre.
Near the High Wycombe campus are two halls of residence, Brook Street Halls with 396 rooms and Hughenden Park Student Village with 222 en-suite rooms. This accommodation is available for first year undergraduates who live outside a 25-mile radius of High Wycombe and room prices range between £88 and £137 a week.
If you can’t bag a spot in one of these halls, then the University has around 450 rooms under the Head Tenacy Scheme (HTS). These are university-managed houses rented from private landlords. Rent will vary property to property.
Bucks doesn’t have halls of residence at the Uxbridge campus but it does help students find private accommodation nearby.
Tuition fees for UK and EU undergraduates starting at Bucks New University in 2012/13 will be £6,000 to £8,000 a year. Eligible students won’t have to cough up the cash up front; in fact the government provides students with tuition fee loans to cover the cost of their course fees. Repayment only commences on the loan once students are earning over £21,000 a year. For more information on the tuition fee rise, check out this article.
Living costs will vary depending on students’ lifestyles. High Wycombe isn’t the cheapest area in the country due to its proximity to London but students should be able to get by on about £6,500 to £9,000 a year, including accommodation, travel, food and other day-to-day costs.
Bucks New University will be offering 101 scholarships of up to £6,000 through the National Scholarship Programme. These will be available for English students with household incomes of £25,000 or less and granted on the basis of the merit of each individual application.
Scholarship packages will be tailored to individuals and will include a reduction on tuition fees, discounted university managed accommodation, funding towards course costs and travel costs, and a cash bursary.
Students on nursing and social work degrees will have their tuition fees paid in full by the Department of Health.
On the High Wycombe campus, the Buck Students’ Union gets the party started at The Lounge, a student run bar with cheap drink deals. It hosts on weekly events, such as comedy nights, pub quizzes, and DJ nights. If The Lounge doesn’t float your boat, then you can sashay along to the next campus venue, The White Room, where the Students’ Union holds themed parties and live music events.
Want to know the best bit? On campus entertainment and events are free for Bucks students. That’s right. So unlike over universities where you might have to cough up some dosh to attend social events, at Bucks it’s all free.
Let’s be honest, High Wycombe is pretty starved when it comes to the clubbing scene, but the local pubs and bars try and make up for it with DJ nights and the like. If the lack of clubs really gets you down, London isn’t that far away.
In the Uxbridge campus, there aren’t any student-run venues, but Uxbridge does have a healthy selection of pubs and bars and the odd club. Hop on the tube and you’ve got the whole of London’s (expensive) nightlife to explore.
Uniquely, Bucks New University offers a range of recreational and sporting activities for free. So whether that’s exercise classes and team sports or drawing classes, first aid courses or singing lessons, there’s bound to be something you’re interested in. Bucks New University also has over 40 different sporting teams and over 35 student societies.
At most universities, you’d be expected to pay at least £30 for freshers’ wristband for entry to freshers’ events. Not at Bucks. All of their freshers’ parties, club nights and balls are free. That’s right: completely free. 2011 saw an almighty freshers’ festival with Charlie Simpson, Sam Duckworth and the Tribes headlining, a “freshbook” t-shirt party, a DJ laden welcome party, a freshers’ fair, and a masquerade ball with guest DJ Scott Mills.
The Careers and Employability team at Bucks New University are there to help you land that graduate job through CV and cover letter sessions, mock interviews, work experience support and career guidance interviews. They have an online CV checking system that allows students to email careers queries around the clock, provide a database of graduate vacancies and manage a careers library. They also host employer presentations, workshops and other career-related events.