7 reasons to study in Loughborough

26 Aug 2021
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Loughborough’s sporting and academic prowess is legendary, and its location is perfect for students. For those looking for a family feel, beautiful surroundings and an affordable student experience, Loughborough is an ideal choice. Read on for our top seven reasons to study in this historic market town.

1. Its academic prowess

Loughborough University is a regular fixture in the top 10 of the major university league tables and, in 2019, became the first institution to be named University of the Year twice by The Times and Sunday Times. It was also awarded the same title at the 2020 WhatUni Student Choice Awards, with a record average score of 4.58/5 from the thousands of students polled. It’s this combination of academic excellence and amazing student experience that makes Loughborough University the number one choice for prospective students up and down the country.

The town’s university welcomes around 18,000 students a year, while Loughborough’s second-largest educational establishment is Loughborough College. Specialising in apprenticeships (for which the college was rated Outstanding by Ofsted) as well as a range of undergraduate degrees, Loughborough College was awarded the Gold standard for its teaching by the Teaching Excellence Framework.

2. Loughborough’s sporting heritage

We’ve mentioned the esteemed Loughborough University, but you can’t talk about this institution without discussing its phenomenal sporting heritage. Loughborough has topped the QS World University Rankings for sport for an incredible four years in a row, cementing its global renown for outstanding sporting education. It was selected by the British Olympic Association to act as the training base and preparation camp for Team GB in the build-up to London 2012, which is no surprise, given its world-leading facilities, including athletics centre, 50m Olympic swimming pool and two gyms, which are also home to British Swimming and Youth Sport Trust.

Its alumni are therefore understandably impressive, with Paula Radcliffe, Clive Woodward, Monty Panesar and Sebastian Coe, who is now the university’s chancellor, all studying at Loughborough. This proud tradition shows no signs of slowing down, with Loughborough University students and graduates achieving an incredible 12 Olympic and 22 Paralympic medals at the 2016 Rio games.

3. Green spaces

Loughborough University spans a 440-acre campus, which the university itself describes as its “most glorious asset”. As well as boasting an amazing range of sporting facilities, academic buildings, eateries and accommodation, there are a plethora of green spaces and gardens, which makes the campus one of the UK’s prettiest.

The nearby Bradgate Park and Charnwood Forest provide ample opportunity to unwind and reconnect with nature, featuring miles of walking and cycling routes across gorgeous hills and through beautiful forests, while the nearby countryside is peppered with quaint local villages to visit. For those willing to venture slightly further afield, the stunning Peak District is just an hour’s drive away.

4. Affordability

Ask any student for their top benefits of studying in Loughborough, and the cost of living is bound to come up. Loughborough is famed for its affordability and it was awarded Best Return on Investment in the Country by an independent study from Expert Market in 2017. This took into account the income opportunities for graduates, compared to the cost of tuition, accommodation and living – this included the price of a pint, which is only around £3 in Loughborough!

While its location (we’ll come on to that later) gives you access to a myriad of bustling major UK cities and Loughborough itself has that small city feel with plenty of opportunities for shopping and eating, it’s still a market town, which is reflected in the price of rent and the cost of food, drinks and amenities.

5. The family feel

It might sound clichéd, but there is a genuine family feel in Loughborough. The student halls and university campus provide a wonderful sense of community, with students making friends for life when studying in Loughborough. The town’s relatively small size also means that you’ll meet students and people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

For those who want to be even more proactive in meeting new people, the university has over 120 societies that students can join, ranging from academic and sporting to cultural and artistic, with just about everything in between. On the off chance that you can’t find something that floats your boat among this extensive list, you can even set up your own society, as long as you can find 15-20 members who are just as passionate as you!

6. Its restaurants and pubs

Loughborough is a veritable smorgasbord of cultures and cuisines, which is reflected in its excellent choice of restaurants. Whether you fancy Indian, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, Chinese, Thai or British, Loughborough’s culinary scene has something to suit every taste. You’ll also be sure to find something tasty regardless of your budget, from homely local pubs in the charming town centre to extravagant Michelin star and guide restaurants in the surrounding Leicestershire countryside.

The town is also well known for its superb selection of pubs and bars, with the added benefit that Loughborough is extremely compact; going from one side of town to the other between venues is at most a 10-minute walk. For those who want even more choice of bars and nightclubs, read on for our final tip…

7. Location, location, location

Those lucky enough to study in Loughborough have absolutely ideal access to some fantastic cities. Living in Loughborough gives you the benefit of being located almost exactly in between Leicester, Nottingham and Derby – why experience the culture and nightlife one place has to offer, when you can take in four? Leicester is just a 10-minute train journey away, a trip to Nottingham takes just 19 minutes, while you can get to Derby on a 22-minute train ride.

For any students wanting to go even further afield, East Midlands Airport is just a short drive or taxi journey away from Loughborough, which opens up trips around Europe and to the Caribbean, while a train journey to London for a day of sightseeing takes just over an hour.

So there’s our top seven reasons for studying in Loughborough - the world-renowned centre of sport and academia that also gives you a community feel and access to some of the UK’s best cities, all within an affordable budget. For more information about the city, head to our Loughborough hub or click here to browse our range of student accommodation in Loughborough.

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Staff writer at The Common Room