League Tables – a help or hindrance?

Each year prospective students, academics, employers and university alumni alike all flock to view university league tables.

These tables and guides aim to provide a helpful insight into universities and how they are doing in comparison to one another. There are many versions including; The Times Good University Guide, The Guardian University Table, Hot Prospects and The Complete University Guide . Whilst they all aim to give an accurate portrayal of overall performance they often conflict with one another.

They are a constant bone of contention between universities and ranking rivalry is commonplace. This undoubtedly appeals to some primeval will to win but, is it really helpful?

The regular contradictions, the controversial criteria used and the mass of assumptions that are made when  compiling these tables leads us to question, Do they really tell us anything and do they really help students make a sound, fair and reliable choice?
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Case Study- Katy and Emma Lodge: Studying sisters

Lily and Ollie Lodge, the son and daughter of Katy and Emma.

Katy and Emma Lodge are two sisters who both have experiences of being student parents. Both fell pregnant around the same time; Katy was studying in her second year at Plymouth University and Emma was in the army, but left to study her A levels. Both Katy and Emma spoke to Student Parents to discuss their experiences, the separate challenges they faced at different stages of education, and how they went through it together.
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Tuition Fee Hike? On Your Bike!

It’s well documented that raising a child is the most expensive investment of your life: being a parent certainly doesn’t come cheap. But then again, neither does a degree. For those starting university in 2012, it’s never been a more expensive time to be a student. With tuition fees at most institutions set to rise from £3,400 to £9,000 a year; will the extra expense put off parents, many of whom already struggle to balance their budget?
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Friends, family and teachers: What do they think?

You may often wonder what’s really going through the minds of your friends, family and teachers when you become a student parent. Luckily for you, Student Parents found out! We spoke to Kitiara, whose friend and housemate fell pregnant while studying at university, Siada, whose husband

Kitiara and baby Lily

moved to England to study, and a teacher and lecturer of studying parents. (more…)

Does your University offer the childcare you need?

One aspect that can be a particular worry of parents heading off to university is childcare. Especially for those who will be living away from their friends and family; finding childcare that suits you can be vital. So, Student Parents decided to find out which universities in the UK are best for offering childcare support to student parents.

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Does your university offer accommodation for you?

Student Parents contacted the top 50 universities in the U.K. to try and find out which universities offer accommodation for students. Getting the results was tougher than we thought it would be, but here they are. https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?snapid=S445310_ROF

Click on each red tag to find out which university offers accommodation to student parents, how much they offer, at what price, and if childcare is on site.
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Accommodation prices for student parents: Best and Worst

Student Parents have put together a list of the top 10 universities for price within the top 50 universities in the U.K. Looking at all the accommodation they offer, from studio apartments to 3 bedroom houses, these are the universities that offer the cheapest accommodation for student parents. To see the full list of university prices go to https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?snapid=S445305p2fI

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Case Study- Kyrsty Bonham

Kyrsty with fiance Pete and daughter Issy

We spoke to Kyrsty Bonham, who had her first daughter aged 21, while studying Law and Forensic Science. She tells us about how supportive Staffordshire University was, and how she has not had the same experience at her new university, where she is now studying a Masters.

Although Kyrsty was a student, her pregnancy was not unplanned. (more…)

Case Study- Lucy Rayner

 Lucy, 23, is currently studying Media and Psychology at Kingston University. She had her son Archie at the age of 19 whilst studying for her ‘A’ levels. Watch the clips to learn about her experiences of being pregnant at college and a student parent.

College and Pregnancy

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Case Study – Sophie and Phil Mason

Sophie and Phil met at York University in 2007. During their four years at University, they married and had baby Joshua. Phil is currently studying for a PhD at Hertfordshire University. They talked to Student Parents about their experience.

Robyn