The UK’s 5 Best “New” Universities

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By Matt Deo

The term ‘new universities’ refers to any of the former polytechnics, central institutions or higher education colleges that were granted university status since 1992, when the “Further and Higher Education Act” came into force. Here we discuss the top five new universities and the grades required to secure a place there.

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes has been crowned the best modern university by the “Sunday Times University Guide” nine times. Much of this is due to the high standard of teaching, with teaching in 24 subjects rated at the highest level – excellent. As a result of this, two thirds of the students at Oxford Brookes gain 2.1 or first class degrees. Due to its great reputation, there is also competition for places with almost six applicants for each place.

Typical grades required to get a place: 280 to 320 UCAS points

University of Brighton

The University of Brighton has campuses across Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings. It recently added a highly popular £28.5 million medical school and 94 percent of courses contain the opportunity for some work-based learning. It is best known for its Art and Design courses and these courses are very popular.

As with Oxford Brookes, the teaching standards are very high and research departments at the University of Brighton are highly regarded.

Typical grades required to get a place: 260 to 300 UCAS points

University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth is one of the best and most popular of the new universities. Again, the teaching standards are acknowledged as being very high, particularly in Maths and European Studies. It also has one of the highest student satisfaction ratings.

Typical grades required to get a place: 240 to 320 UCAS points

Glasgow Caledonian

This is Scotland’s fifth largest university and is located in the heart of Glasgow. It has recently spent more than £70 million improving the facilities to make them world-class, all on one single campus. Since the improvements, world-leading research has been developed here and its reputation as one of the great universities is gaining pace. Undergraduate degrees here are largely vocational with a focus on professional courses.

Typical grades required to get a place: 170 to 320 UCAS points

Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is based across two campuses – one in the centre of town and one in the leafy suburbs close-by. The majority of places here are on business and management courses based in the city centre. A huge level of investment has been put into an ongoing programme in improving the facilities. A number of high profile businesses are involved with the business programmes at the university, improving employment rates for graduates of these courses.

Typical grades required to get a place: 220 to 280 UCAS points

The ‘new’ universities are no longer derided for being ‘ex-polytechnics’ but they are now competing successfully with the best universities in the country, with high standards of teaching and research, great degree results and significant levels of investment. It seems certain that their future is very bright indeed.

Author Information

Matt Deo is a freelance education and private school blogger.

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Categories: Academics