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Offtopic, but Middlesex or Oxford Brookes?

Offtopic, but Middlesex or Oxford Brookes?

Old Feb 11th, 2004, 01:51 AM
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RAR
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Offtopic, but Middlesex or Oxford Brookes?

I'm going to be applying to study at one of these two schools in England. Can anyone tell me the pro's and con's of each school? Aside from the obvious that Brookes is in Oxford and Middlesex is in the London suburbs. I know that Brookes is cheaper. I'm interested in the areas around these universities (how nice it is, things to do, good atmosphere) and how inviting the universities are themselves. Thanks
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 02:06 AM
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Oh, and which one would be more fun to live in? I define fun as a good nightlife and outdoorsy things.
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 02:42 AM
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Neither of them is really a campus university. Neither would win any prizes for attractiveness.

Brookes is spread over several sites around suburban Oxford. None of those sites are in the more horrid suburbs, and Oxford's bus network makes all the sites reasonably accessible from almost anywhere. There's some, but limited, integration with the better-known university's resources and social life. And central Oxford, at weekends in term, turns into one large student piss-up anyway.

Middlesex is seriously spread out across a huge swathe of north London. Its campuses include some of the drabbest buildings in London's most dismal areas. Archway, for instance, has to rate high in most people's list of Europe's most dismal places (though it's perfectly safe. Just the kind of place where 1950s authors lived in bedsits with unreliable plumbing. Or most of my friends lived for a depressing first year in London before they could start to buy somewhere nice)

On the other hand, even if in the suburbs, you're still living in the world's greatest city. What's there to do in London? How many years have you got? What's there to do immediately around Middlesex campuses? Pubs.

Oxford, however pretty it is in parts (and Brookes isn't in any of those parts, although if you look in the right place, the view from its Westminster campus is one of the best "dreaming spires" vistas of all), is still a tad provincial.

Crucial fact though: Central London is probably quicker by train from Oxford than a lot of the Middlesex campuses. With the new Stagecoach superbus, it's also cheaper. And the other two coach companies between them offer a service into London almost every 5 minutes.

Depending on where you choose to live, Middlesex can be either over an hour from open countryside or (in the case of Enfield Chase) practically in what passes for country in London suburbia. There are lots of footpaths, towpaths etc that can get you from central Oxford into open country, along a green trail, within a couple of miles.

Suburban sprawl in the most exciting place in the world? Or the leafier suburbs of Britain's best-resourced smaller town, that's turning into a London suburb anyway?

Only you can choose
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 02:58 AM
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Very interesting post! Thanks a lot, and I'm still interested in hearing more ideas. Funny that Oxford would be faster to central London than a "London" university.
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 03:23 AM
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I did say "probably" and I did say "by train".

When the Marylebone Road exit off the A40 is blocked, the bus journey can take hours. And, although the train company is one of Britain's most reliable, I'd say 1 in 5 trains are late (on summer evenings, rather more). But then so the Northern Line's not too reliable either
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 03:33 AM
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My gut reaction on reading the headline was Middlesex- on academic grounds. Oxford Brookes doesn't get a very good name.
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 05:41 AM
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There was a time when it was considered amusing to call it the Shorter Oxford University.
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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According to the Times Brookes has been ranked best new university for a few times running. And it finished ahead of Middlesex on their rankings.
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