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Announced as the ‘University of the Year’ in 2008, Loughborough University is considered the UK’s ‘Sports Central’. It has totally dominated the British Universities & Colleges Sport league for thirty one years and counting.
Loughborough University is home to over 17,000 students, who’ve rated the institution as having the ‘Best Student Experience’ for five consecutive years (2007–2011). The university is also ranked 19th overall in the Complete University Guide’s 2012 University League Tables.
Loughborough University has three core faculties: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. An extensive list of courses can be studied, which are taught within its 21 academic departments and 40 learning/research centres.
Loughborough University offers BA, BEng and BSc degrees at undergraduate level, with some subjects being offered as extended-study programmes, leading to MEng or MSc degrees. Sandwich placements are part of the curriculum in 65% of the undergraduate courses on offer. Loughborough University also has a few bespoke courses structured and sponsored by reputed companies, such as BAE Systems, Ford, Adidas and Rolls Royce.
Loughborough’s alumni line-up is as good as a ‘who’s who’ list of British sports. However, many movers and shakers from other walks of life make an appearance too. Sebastian Coe, Paula Radcliffe, Steve Backley and Tanni Grey-Thompson lead the sports contingent, while other big achievers include Ian Storey (opera singer), Mihir Bose (former BBC sports editor), Malcolm Sayer (Jaguar E-type designer) and Tom Karen (industrial designer).
Loughborough University boasts the UK’s largest, single-site university campus, occupying 437 acres, one mile away from Loughborough.
Campus facilities include: fully-equipped lecture halls, study areas and laboratories; extensive library and I.T. resources; arts, design and biological engineering centres; theatres and auditoriums; a separate conference centre with hotel accommodation; and cafes, restaurants, shops and banks.
However, the two most significant and talked about areas of the campus are the sports complex (see Sports & Societies) and the Loughborough Students Union (LSU), or the Lufbra Students Union as it’s more popularly known.
LSU is completely owned and managed by the students themselves; the only student body in the UK with this distinction. The union building houses a nursery, the students’ employment exchange (Empex), the Piazza, which serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, and other student union department offices.
Other LSU amenities include four retail stores and two online shopping portals. The brick-and-mortar stores are the: Arts Shop, College Shop, The Purple Onion Shop and the Union Building Shop. The online portals sell Loughborough University and Rugby branded clothes and memorabilia.
The university guarantees campus accommodation to first-year undergraduates with a confirmed place (unconditional or conditional offer), provided housing applications are sent before 31st July.
Loughborough’s halls of residence are located on-campus or close-by. Study bedrooms across all types of accommodation come with a bed, chair, desk, shelves, storage space and a pin board. Student tenants are also provided access to common amenities, including launderettes, games rooms and the HallNet internet connection.
Of the eighteen halls of residence at Loughborough University, seven catered and eight self-catered halls are open to undergraduates. The catered halls are: Cayley, Towers, David Collett, Elvyn Richards, Faraday, Royce and Rutherford. The self-catered halls are: Butler Court, Falkner Eggington, Harry French, Hazelrigg-Rutland, Robert Bakewell, Telford, The Holt and William Morris.
Tenancy periods are between 39 and 44 weeks and fees can be paid in three instalments. All contracts stipulate an additional fee of £35.80 to £115.90, payable towards accommodation provided during freshers’ week (first-year students only).
Weekly rates for catered rooms range from £112.71 (single without basin) to £153.98 (en-suite with large bed). Self-catered rooms will cost you £70.10 (single without basin) to £142.50 (studio flat).
Off-campus, private accommodation available to Loughborough students is advertised by the Student Accommodation Committee, along with a list of university-inspected and approved accommodation, which is published every year. Private accommodation can cost between £65 and £100 a week. The committee is also available for any housing-related issues, queries or guidance.
Students enrolling for undergraduate studies in 2012-13 will pay the maximum fees of £9,000 in accordance with new government guidelines.
It doesn’t cost the earth to live on campus. Diners-plus and Cash-plus cards can be used across the campus and in halls of residence, not only for food and drink, but also for laundry, stationary and other sundry items.
New undergraduate students on full-time courses who come from low income households are eligible to receive an annual bursary from the university, subject to all relevant requirements being met.
The university also offers several scholarships to new undergraduates, including first-year, subject-specific merit scholarships on enrolment. Eligible students receive a £1,000 award, based on the grades they received in their A-levels (or equivalent qualification).
The Loughborough Students’ Sports Foundation (LSSF) awards sports scholarships to students competing in various sports at junior international levels, as long as they enrol on a full-time undergraduate study programme.
Talented student musicians meeting certain eligibility criteria receive scholarships of £500 per annum. Additionally, students demonstrating brilliant musical ability are offered twenty music lessons for £25.
A pint on-campus costs £1.80 (about 40p more in town). There are plenty of bars in the Student Union building and a few halls around the campus have their own watering-holes too. About fourteen bars are located on-campus in total! Other entertainment opportunities on offer on-campus and in town include: cinemas, theatres, gigs and stand-up comedy shows. The year closes with a bang, with the Student Union hosting a grand Graduation Ball.
Loughborough University is famous for its turnover of sports champions and is the designated official training camp for the British Olympic contingent. The university’s SportPark is a huge facility, equipped with world-class facilities.
Sports enthusiasts also have access to over 50 sports clubs and societies. Students with non-sporty interests, however, are not neglected by any means. Many other societies are thriving on-campus, covering every interest from music, dance and drama to languages, religion and volunteering.
There’s also a fortnightly student magazine, Label, a 24-hour radio station, LCR, and the LSU TV channel for you to get involved with.
There’s plenty of stuff going on for new students at Loughborough University. Not only does the Students’ Union organise freshers’ week events, but so do the individual halls where newbies will be spending their first year at university. The freshers’ fair will also give you a good introduction to the clubs and societies operating on campus.
Loughborough University’s Careers and Employability Centre (CEC) boasts a team of over twenty personnel and student coordinators. These guys provide in-depth information, advice and resources across the entire spectrum of career planning, employment and employability skills.
The team is available from Monday to Friday during term-time and can be reached via email, fax and telephone, or by appointments which can be booked through the CEC online portal.