Calling all students living in Manchester or thinking of heading there. Which is the most popular city for studying in the UK? Yep. London of course. You might have expected that to be the case, but just give it some rational thought and you’ll probably be a lot better off heading to the ever-popular second city (forget Birmingham) and capital (forget Leeds) of the north.
According to the QS Best Student Cities survey, London comes out top, for obvious reasons, because there’s a fantastic choice of top universities. But just think about the negatives: the exorbitant cost of accommodation and just about everything else (London is ranked 82ndfor affordability); the overcrowding, like standing on tube trains every day; the pollution; the noise; the violence. Fortunately, Manchester rates highly in the top ten list – it’s the second most affordable city in the country.
It has lots of attractions: Leading academic institutions of course. Home of Manchester United and Manchester City for the footie fanatics. Textile industrial heritage. The Castlefield conservation area with its preserved canal system. The quirky Afflecks market, an emporium of eclecticism. The trendy Northern Quarter. The Whitworth Art Gallery. And Manchester has a super tram system too. We’ve come across quite a few student quotes to support all this, so let them do the talking.
“If it wasn’t for Manchester, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Manchester has tested me, moulded me. Manchester is a very diverse city.” Saqib, Law LLB (Hons).
“The Northern Quarter is filled with vintage shops, cute tea rooms and amazing bars.” First year student, UoM.
“The comedy scene in Manchester needs more recognition because it’s great.” and “42’s nightclub because it has good music and nice people.” Both from first year students, UoM.
“The nightlife around MMU is amazing. There are so many clubs, bars and pubs to choose from. Student club nights and events are run every single day of the week, in various locations. It is very social and MMU is right in the centre, making everything easy to get to”. First year student, Manchester Metropolitan University.
“It’s like London, but everything’s closer together, there’s less crowding and living costs are a fraction of the price.” Dave, Graduate.
“The famous Northern Quarter is home to artistic, fancy bars with all sorts of cocktails.” Third year student, Manchester Metropolitan University.
So if you’re heading to Manchester, for accommodation choose Rusholme as a cheaper, quieter but popular area, or Fallowfield where many students enjoy the buzz of plenty of shops and bars.
And, if your main aim is to make friends, head to one of the multiple homes like the many on offer from Manchester Student Houses. You won’t have any regrets about plumping for Manchester rather than London for a rewarding few years of valuable study and rewarding fun.