Newest Review: ... little further south/south west of the city centre. Overall facilities at the University are quite good and suit all of my personal needs... more
Coventry University is a great experience and could be considered a way of life
Coventry University in general
Member Name: chrisc92
Coventry University in general
Advantages: One of the top 100 universities in the country
Disadvantages: You get what you put into it
Coventry University as it is now known can trace its roots back to 1843 when it was known Coventry College of Design. In 1970 Coventry College of Art merged with Lanchester College of Technology and Rugby College of Engineering Technology to form Lanchester Polytechnic.
When I studies between 1986 and 1988 for my HND in Physical Science (Physics) it was undergoing change and the front of its administration block in Priory Street was Coventry (Lanchester) Polytechnic. The Polytechnic as it was then had deep roots in industry across not just Coventry but the Midlands in general and it was no surprise that Lanchester was taken from an engineering pioneer Dr Frederick Lanchester after whom a high quality make of car was designed. It was granted University status along with many other Polytechnics in 1992.
Although the name changed to Coventry Polytechnic in 1987 it still kept its old roots with the name of Lanchester.
I joined in 1986 purely by accident as they were offering a new course and were short on numbers so with only 1 A Level (Chemistry), a father who didn't really care less about his 3 children and a sense of adventure I left for bigger and better things.
Typically after agreeing to join and despite them having over a month to plan, I found on the day arrived that they had not sorted out any accommodation despite their reassurances that first year and final year students would get preferential treatment. I like many others spent what seemed an eternity (about 10 days) sleeping on the floor of one of their halls of residence and is not one I would recommend to anyone. Not only that but, it was pretty depressing and I remember despite having over £300 from my part-time job spent nearly all of it in that period on silly things and admitedly stuffing my face and spending hours with other similar students at one of many local bars. In the end the student accommodation section left students to find their own - pathetic really.
I also remember the massive queues in the Beko bar waiting for their student grants (yes grants not loans) ranging from about £800 per term to the 1-3p ones that many just framed.
Although not a bar person, I did spend quite a while in their 2 bars the Beko and Madella and at the time there was a lot of protest towards Barclays with their links to South Africa - which the student union tried to pass on to members.
At the beginning of the course we had about 40 students on the course, of which about half continued on to the second year, a number transferred to the degree course and quite a lot either failed the exams or were fed up and left.
Like some that I noticed have written reviews there were issues then as to the ability to locate lecturers and the many technicians without doubt were the lifeblood of the Polytechnic and without them I don't think it would have functioned.
My personal tutor had a carefree attitude (Mr Layng) and volunteered me as a rep on the course committee which I held for 5 terms despite not having the backing of my fellow students which made my representation a total waste of time. Another lecturer (Mr Smith who taught physics) was set to retire and made it clear of his MSc and would wear his white lab coat at every lecture no matter where it was. Many others were brought in to make up the numbers and one was studying his PhD made no attempt to show his annoyance at having to teach us.
Of the teaching staff my main annoyance has to be aimed at Patrick O'Connor the head of the department of Physical Science and whom tried to prevent me and a number of fellow students from taking the option we were legally entitled to for the final year. In the end myself and 2 others went to the then Vice Chancellor Dr Goldstein to complain, and following his intervention I am one of only 3 in the whole country that has ever done that particular option (as it was combination of physical science and computing).
It was my first taste of city life and I enjoyed it. Whilst I was there Coventry City won the FA cup, they had motor racing cars driving round the city centre and they staged a leg of the Milk Race (cycling).
The main thing with the university which still holds to this day, is that is very much part of the community and it was no mistake that the main site was built across the road from the old and new cathdedrals and literally a few hundred yards from the city centre. Nor is it accidental that the university has links to the sports centre which seems almost part of the campus.
I have visited the university a few times on their open days, and although it is now 21 years on, it seems like only yesterday that I was a student. When I was there D block was very much geared to science and many of the lecturers were busy with research, and F block the onsite hall of residence was known to sway in the wind, people have changed as have the puposes but the buildings are very much the same.
Coventry University is listed in the top 100 in the country and its all a matter of perspective, but to me is a place that I would consider part of me. Today, it stil remains at the heart of the city and now includes the university hospital and lots of student accommodation around the city. It has significantly improved its customer focus (ie its relationship to its students) and is a place worthy as place of learning.
As I had mentioned earlier, Coventry University is very much at the heart of the city and has strong links with many local businesses throughout the Midlands, and many of its students (unlike me) have gone on to be successful in buiness or as designers. It is a place where you can develop and for those considering life beyond A levels I would have no hesitation in recommending it.
Like everything else it's what you make of it and Coventry University is no exception for those that are prepared to work it offers an awful lot - but you have to be prepared to put the effort in, and you will not be disappointed.
Summary: Of all the universities I can't think of one that is more focused to local residents
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