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The University of East Anglia, better known as UEA, was founded in 1963, with just two degree courses (Biological Sciences and English Studies). Today, the university is the academic home of over 13,000 students, studying over 300 different courses.
Ranked among the Top 20 UK universities by the Guardian, UEA also got the third-highest score in the 2010 National Student Survey and claimed third place (after Harvard and Princeton) in the 2009 Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators.
The university is divided into four core academic faculties: Arts and Humanities; Medicine and Health Sciences; Science; and Social Sciences. UEA was the first university in the UK to offer a creative writing degree; and the first institution in the world to offer an MBA in Strategic Carbon Management.
UEA alumni have made their mark in many areas. The alumni list includes: three Man Booker Prize winners, Anne Enright, Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro; Nobel Prize winner, Sir Paul Nurse (2001 in Physiology or Medicine); film director, Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging); and Radio One DJ, Greg James. Over 20 UEA environmental scientists were also part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
The large UEA campus is set in parkland over an area of 320 acres. The campus is located two miles away from the centre of Norwich.
The Norwich skyline is dominated by a large cathedral and the city is the site of a Norman castle containing two museums and an art gallery. However, the city is also counted amongst the top ten shopping locations in the UK, so it’s not all about history, heritage and culture.
The UEA campus boasts Britain’s largest indoor sports centre, Sportspark, extensive housing facilities with more than 3,500 rooms, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, a recently-upgraded Students’ Union and Norfolk’s largest library, with more than 800,000 tomes.
On-campus facilities include: three launderettes, a mini-supermarket, a post office, a nursery, a medical centre, a pharmacy and banking facilities from NatWest and Barclays.
If cooking is not your forte, UEA’s catering facilities can provide you with three square meals a day, seven days a week (during term-time). The main outlets are Blend, Dolche Vita, Vista and Zest; the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts also has its own restaurant and café.
The Union Food Outlet sells everything, from fresh ingredients, wines, beers and spirits to toiletries, personal hygiene and other items for everyday use.
All of UEA’s halls of residence are located on campus. Over 3,500 rooms are available, two-thirds of which are en-suite. There are no catered halls at UEA; however, every student will have access to a shared kitchen.
Prices range from £66.01 per week for a standard room to £103.32 per week for the swankiest en-suite accommodation. Cheaper en-suite rooms are also available, and these cost £91.00 per week.
Students starting at UEA in 2012 will be charged tuition fees of £9,000 per annum. However, if a student opts to take a course which involves a sandwich placement, they will only be charged £900 for their year in industry.
Overall, Norwich is quite an affordable city for students. Norwich is a desirable place to live, but student rent is quite cheap. Furthermore, if you take advantage of student discounts and try not to go out every single night, your student budget will stretch much further than you think.
With the increase in tuition fees, students will be pleased to know that financial help is at hand. Indeed, UEA offers a range of bursaries and scholarships for students starting undergraduate degrees in 2012. If your household income is below £16,000 per annum, or you are a care leaver, you will be eligible for a £3,000 fee waiver each year of your undergraduate degree.
If your household income is between £16,001 and £20,000, you will be eligible for a £2,000 fee waiver each year of your undergraduate degree. Finally, if your household income is between £20,001 and £30,000, you will be eligible for a £1,000 fee waiver.
Students that are studying Science Foundation Year or Computing Foundation Year courses will be eligible for a fee waiver of £4,500 if their household income is below £42,600.
Scholarships are also awarded for academic excellence. If you get three A grades at A-level (excluding General Studies), you will be eligible for a one off payment of £1,500. If you continue to excel at university and achieve very high grades each year, you may also receive a scholarship worth £1,000.
On-campus, the LCR (the UEA Students’ Union’s main venue) is the place to go for student club nights, such as Hall Wars and The A List. Tons of bands also play the LCR; recent and upcoming acts include: The Vaccines, Professor Green, Rizzle Kicks, New Found Glory, Mastodon and Two Door Cinema Club.
The Waterfront, located on King Street near the city centre, is also run by the Students’ Union and hosts a bunch of club nights, such as Meltdown and Britpoppin. The venue also puts on bands. Recent and upcoming acts include: Napalm Death, The Horrors, Four Year Strong, Roots Manuva, Wiley and Pulled Apart By Horses.
The Students’ Union boasts a bunch of other watering holes, including the Union Pub and Bar, the Blue Bar, The Hive, the Grad Students Bar and the Red Bar. A pint of beer or a glass of wine will set you back around £2.60 on-campus.
Off-campus, drinks will be a little bit more expensive (upwards of £2.80 a pint); however, Norwich has awesome nightlife which is definitely worth exploring further. If you’re a beer connoisseur, there are plenty of pubs selling interesting ales and Belgian beers. However, if you’re after a wild and raucous night, you should head to the infamous Prince of Wales Road.
Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for something more cultural, you could catch a performance at the Norwich Puppet Centre, the Norwich Playhouse or the Norwich Arts Centre.
UEA’s Sportspark is the largest indoor sports centre in the country. Sporting facilities include: an athletics track, a gym, an Olympic-size swimming pool, squash courts, a climbing wall and football, rugby and hockey pitches.
The UEA Students’ Union is a veritable hive of activity and events are organised throughout the year. Students can also join a variety of clubs and societies. The list of societies pretty much satisfies every interest you could possibly have, but if your favourite activity is not covered, you can always start your own.
The Students’ Union also manages Concrete, a student newspaper, Livewire 1350AM, a student radio station, and Nexus UTV, the campus television station.
During Freshers’ Week, students are invited to attend introductory lectures, welcome events and numerous ‘freshers-only’ parties. Some of these, such as the Icebreaker, require students to buy tickets; other parties and events are free though, so you can just rock up and have a good time.
The Careers Centre provides information, resources and guidance on career development and job opportunities. A recent addition to the Centre is the Employability Centre, where students can drop-in and explore temporary and permanent job opportunities.