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London South Bank University has over 120 years of history. It was established in 1892 as the Borough Polytechnic Institute. In 1992, it was granted university status, becoming South Bank University. The institution has always been about professional education, equipping its students with the skills to thrive in industry. It places a big emphasis on employability and 81% of its students find graduate employment six months after graduating.
There’s large student population of 24,000 at London South Bank University. Three-quarters of them are mature (e.g. over 21) and half of the students study part-time. The student population is diverse, with half coming from ethnic minorities. In short, it isn’t your average student population. It’s a University with strong ties to its local area, around a third of its students come from the local community and another third from the rest of London.
Students belong to one of four faculties: Arts and Human Sciences; Business; Engineering, Science and the Built Environment; and Health and Social Care, which in turn are divided up into numerous departments and centres.
Notable alumni who have passed through London South Bank University’s doors include: Dame Karlene Davis, a heavyweight in the NHS; Ann Milton MP: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department of Health); Greg Searle MBE, Olympic Gold medal rower; TV property guru, Phil Spencer; painter Frank Auerbach; and Secret Millionaire, Nick Leslau.
London South Bank University’s main campus occupies an enviable position just south of the Thames in London. True, the immediate surrounding area of Elephant and Castle might be a little rough around the edges, but there is trendy Borough nearby, plus Waterloo and London Bridge stations. Major London landmarks such as the National Theatre, the London Eye and the Tate Modern are within walking distance.
Over the past five years, LSBU has pumped £50 million into improving its teaching facilities. In addition, there’s a £8 million new student centre shortly to open, including brand new Students’ Union premises, and an Enterprise Centre is scheduled to open in 2013. The campus has practical areas, such as classrooms for education students and hospital wards for nursing students, to help students learn work-based skills, highly specialised labs, and even its own contemporary theatre.
There are 1,400 rooms in London South Bank University’s four halls of residence. These are all located within ten minutes of the campus and so handily close to central London too. The largest of the residences is McLaren House, which has over 600 rooms, the vast majority of which are en-suite. Rent comes in at £128 a week.
Dante Road complex has 413 rooms. Rent is a very respectable (for London) £107 a week. David Bomberg House’s 289 en-suite bedrooms are primarily for postgraduate, returning and health students. Rent is £128 a week. The New Kent Road residence is the smallest of the lot with a cosy 81 rooms. It’s also the cheapest, with weekly rent at £104.
London South Bank University will be charging UK and EU undergraduates £8,450 a year in tuition fees. Eligible UK and EU undergraduates who are studying for their first degree can get a tuition fee loan from the government to cover the cost of their degree. They’ll only start to repay the loan one they are earning over £21,000 and after 30 years the debt is cancelled. If you’re confused about the tuition fee rise, you might find this article useful.
Cards on the table, London is expensive. As university accommodation in London goes, London South Bank University does offer some cheapish accommodation, but in all honesty, if you’re living away from home, it’ll be hard to find accommodation under £100 a week. Transport is also very expensive in London, although a student oyster card will help ease some of the costs.
To help, the government offers first-time undergraduates a larger student loan if they are studying in London and students might work part-time or take advantage of bursaries and grants on offer to fund their way through university.
The LSBU National Scholarship Programme is there to help out those with household incomes of £25,000 or less. It consists of £1,000 tuition fee waivers, 100 full fee waivers of £8,450 for one year, or 150 partial fee waivers of £3,000 for one year. You can find out more about the scheme and eligibility here.
There are sports scholarships, scholarships for those from a West Indian or Asian background and care leavers’ bursaries. To find out more, click here.
Well, you’re in London. What more can we say? Elephant and Castle is home to some pretty cool clubs and there are more alternative bars and hangouts around London Bridge and Waterloo. Alternatively, you can hop on the tube to hit the swanky clubs of Soho. There are restaurants galore in London, plenty of cinemas, theatres and art galleries so there’s bound to be something to suit your tastes.
Unlike plenty of other London universities, LSBU does have sports facilities on campus. These consist of a fitness suite, free weights room, and a sports hall. If you like your exercise classes, then there’s plenty going on at LSBU. The Students’ Union Sport Office runs several sports clubs and activities. LSBU is famed for its basketball team and has other teams such as football, cricket, cheerleading, netball and taekwondo.
LSBU’s 2011 Freshers’ Week involved a series of parties put on by the Students’ Union, including a silent disco, UV party, band night and two club nights. Expect pretty much the same thing in 2012 e.g. plenty of chances to get down and party hard.
The Employability & Careers Service at London South Bank University offers a tantalising selection of careers services to students and recent graduates. These include online careers advice, a CV and application form checking service and a Jobshop with information about graduate positions, part-time and voluntary work and work experience opportunities.