Info/Opinions Re: University of Central Lancashire

http://www.uclan.ac.uk/

A young and sheltered relative of mine went to a foreign student spot admission exercise conducted by the University of Central Lancashire. Apparently, even though her undergrad background is Biochemistry, the recruiter offered her a scholarship to do International Business. :dubious:

I’ve been over their website, of course, and I don’t think this place is worth the financial undertaking (she’s based in India and 1 GBP ~ INR 87). The university might be perfectly legit but, honestly, the home page doesn’t feel…well…academic enough to me. (I know, I know…books and covers…)

Furthermore, based on this Times website, they were ranked 87th in the UK itself a few years ago. That’s definitely not a plus.

Could someone with familiarity of the UK education system give me a heads up about this place? Are they known for any particular schools? Anything really great you know about the place? Anything really awful?

Oops.
Could a passing mod help move this over to IMHO? Thank you!

It used to be Preston Polytechnic - it’s a genuine university, although not one of the more prestigious ones.

It’s registed with UCAS (the official university admissions body) and is absolutely 100% legitimate.

It’s ranked 73rd in the Times Good University Guide - a PDF with more details is here:

The business and management school has been rated as “excellent” in the most recent assessment.

Quick background to polytechnics - UCLAN used to be a technical college, but a few years ago all “polytechnics” were automatically made into universities, as part of the govt’s drive to get more people into uni.

This meant that rated against traditional universities (Oxbridge etc) they will always fare badly, as they were not originally designed to do the same job.

They tend to have lower grades for admissions, which leads to less talented undergraduates, and thus the lower ratings. Ratings are also based on the amount of spending per head, and the newer universities are just not in a position to compete with the old, established institutions.

Having said that, individual ex-polys often do certain courses very well indeed - you’d need to do more research into the specific course to decide.

Preson is a lovely place to live, cheap for students and near to L’pool and M’chester.

Worse places to spend a couple of years, but better places if you want something good on your CV.

Very helpful! Thank you, e-logic!

What does your relative want to study? You make it sound like International Buisness wouldn’t be her first choice. Some UK and ex-UK dopers might help suggest places with courses that she is more interested in.

What e-logic says - some ex-polys have extremely high standings in some subject specialisms. And, indeed, some have forged successful identities as ‘true’ universities, such as Oxford Brookes and City University.

And I agree, it’s a very strange design of a website to represent an academic institution.

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Off to IMHO.

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Bippy: As for what she wants to do, well, she has no idea. (Long story.)
For what it’s worth, her undergrad background is a 3-year Biochemistry thing. She was a mediocre student - no failures (I think), no stellar performances, no research output. Iffy, I know.

GorillaMan: That’s exactly what I’m looking for - to find out whether Preston has established an identity as a school for XYZ or not. Does it? e-logic’s PDF mentions that UCLAN is rated Excellent in 13 schools. Anyone know anything specific there?

Additionally, is racism a significant issue in Central Lancashire, or no more so than anywhere else? How’s the local economy? From what I can see, the area is mainly a manufacturing hub, yes?

(One and only bump)

Anyone have anything to add?

I used to live a few miles away from Preston, until I went away to Uni myself. As far as the area goes, its a bit of a mixed bag. Some bits of Preston are really nice, where you’d have little trouble. As far as racism goes, my family who live there say that they’ve never experienced any problems, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. There may be some, especially if you go into certain areas, but I doubt its a widespread problem.