Totty and beds totted up

June 19, 1998

Lancaster University has the best "totty" of both sexes and the best freshers' week for them to get together. The place to be for a night out, however, is Leeds, where students boast the best nightlife in the land. To rest afterwards, Durham University is tops, with the finest student accommodation.

So says a "survey" of students' verdicts on their own universities by Redmole, claimed to be the "ultimate web resource for students and recent graduates".

Over nine months, 12,493 students from 108 higher education institutions declared to Redmole their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their institutions. They voted on 12 categories, including accommodation, attractiveness of males, attractiveness of females, institution architecture, access to computer facilities, the fun had during freshers' week and quality of careers advice and union services.

Overall top is Durham University, which made a strong showing in all categories and, its students said, has the best accommodation and architecture. Behind Durham was University of Glamorgan, followed by University of Wales, Swansea.

Although Lancaster students argued that their university was "top of the totties" and had the best teaching, union services and careers advice to boot, the university was let down by "appalling accommodation and architecture" and fell to 16th position overall.

Students at well-established universities appear to hold their institutions in low esteem. Oxford was 35th overall, Cambridge 42nd and Warwick 47th.

Redmole editor Paul Rapacioli cheerfully admits that his "alternative university ratings" exercise lacks rigour. Although Mr Rapacioli's employer, Reed Personnel Service, supports the site, Mr Rapacioli stresses that he has complete control of editorial content. "The ratings are not meant to be ultra-serious, but I do think they give a good idea of what students think."

Mr Rapacioli, an economics graduate from Bristol University (30th overall), said a few institutions did not get any votes. "We cut out any institution that had fewer than 40 votes. It was hardly fair to judge on such a small number." Redmole will start taking votes for the 1999 rankings in September.

REDMOLE'S UNIVERSITY RATINGS

Top five overall

Durham, Glamorgan, Swansea, Portsmouth, Royal Holloway

Bottom five overall

Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Cranfield, King's College Slavonic and East European Studies, London Guildhall

Best teaching

Lancaster, Imperial College, York, Bangor, Durham

Best accommodation

Durham, Glamorgan, Aberystwyth, UMIST, Kingston

Best computer facilities

Kent, Glamorgan, East Anglia, UMIST, Imperial College

Best nightlife

Leeds, Northumbria, Nottingham Trent, Imperial College, Strathclyde

Best relationship with locals

Lancaster, Durham, York, Aberystwyth, London School of Economics

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