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=== Information about the Institute and the building ===
There are 400 colleges in the UK which have on Site University centres and out of those 400, Grimsby institute is rated 5th from the top of that list in terms of academic grades and graduates. In the last 2 years the institute has planned and followed through with their plans for an on Site university building, which cost in the rough region of 20 million to finish. The building itself is white not only from the outside but completely inside as well. It is four stories high. When walking through the doors we notice that all the class rooms and facilities are located in a square around the outside of the building and there is a large open space in the middle of the building all the way to the roof.
Something that is bizarre but cool as well is that the roof is effectively a balloon. Due to the size of the building their open planned roof the steel to create this proved to be too costly. Instead they made it in a balloon like way where there is air in-between each side of the "balloon" inflating it. We are reassured that this is strong enough despite us all joking around about it bursting in the rain. All of the air is artificially pumped into the building due to no windows opening in the entire building, the only "real" comes in through the one revolving door that the entrance that students use to go in and out. This isn't noticeable and we're told this is for new safety reasons, but it's working so far so it's all good.
=== What courses does Grimsby offer ===
Grimsby offer the standard courses that every other University offers from academic subjects to vocational subjects. There is a full list of the courses on their website at http://www.grimsby.ac.uk/ highereducation/courses.php They don't just offer courses that have level 4-6 degrees but they also have masters degree's and PHD courses which are level 7 and level 8. When I was researching what I wanted to do I found lots of courses I never thought I would such as counseling, mental health and other courses. The I chose to take is Criminological studies (Criminology) and you can find all the information on that course here -http://www.grimsby.ac.uk/ highereducation/comunityStudies/courseInformation. php?id=186000196846785#.UFziGbJmSAM I can't talk about other courses they do because I only decided to take one and choose not research anymore once I had set my heart on this course.
=== Application and Enrollment ===
The application is standard, this is done through UCAS and this is done at http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/apply/ to apply is straight forward we are guided every step of the way through out application. Once the application form is completed, paid and sent then it's time to sort out student finance and this is done here http://www.studentfinance.direct.gov.uk/portal/ page?_pageid=153,4680119&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
We are sent letters almost every day updating us on our process, any taster courses before the course actually starts as introductions and lectures to get us prepared, we then get letters about interviews which all stated where to go with maps, who to see and get pointed in the right direction. After we know if we have a place we receive a million letters about enrollment and finally our enrollment pack. This includes a direct map through the college where we need to go, every process from writing down a number to getting our picture taken for our student ID's. Over all, all the paper work is very straight forward and extremely informative.
=== Course fee's ===
The main reason I choose Grimsby University was down to cost, if I had moved away not only would I of had to pay £8950 per course I would of had to find accommodation and a new job as well. However if I stayed in Grimsby, I have a home, 2 jobs and my course fee is only £5950. Even though my course is done via Grimsby University it is actually a BA Honours degree from Hull. So technically I am doing a Hull course for £3000 less than it usually would be. Going to university is a lot of money and a lot of debt so I tried to do anything to keep my costs down.
=== Campus ===
There are a lot of different buildings on the site of Grimsby higher education, there is the main college site in which 14-16 year olds do btec school courses and 16-18 study A-levels. They also have their westward ho art and design block, their animal, horticulture and painting/decoration site located on the Nunsthorpe, the engineering block and now the new University building located on the grounds of the Grimsby college. One of the good things about the campus is they offer free car parking for both students, teachers and even visitors. However despite all the car parking spaces there are thousands of students just in the university centre and that doesn't include staff so the spaces are slim pickings but there simply isn't anywhere else to build another car park. Students travel all the way from Skegness and further to go to university here and Grimsby college supply a FREE coach that goes to all these places to lots of stops to pick up and take their students home.
=== Identification ===
Although I don't like the idea of being watched or the big brother type surveillance, Grimsby has a very high strict policy on Identification. This protects themselves and all the students on site. Everyone on site has to wear their student ID badges and teach badges and every knows where everyone belows by their line yards which have to be worn around the neck at all times by everyone. 14-18 year olds have a black line yard, this restricts them as they cannot go into the university building. University students have green line yards. We can go anywhere we want to but what with us being the only students allowed in our building it means we don't have to go somewhere else. Every staff member even temp and work experience wear a pink/purple line yard and visitors have to wear an orange line yard. This means anyone on site without a line yard will be approached and questioned until they have theirs on. This is so no one who isn't supposed to be there isn't there. Throughout the building there are camera's in every class room, on every corner, literally everywhere and not only do they video you they have audio as well and this is for the safety of everyone, they say.
=== The atrium ===
This is the universities fancy way of saying cafeteria. This is located on the ground floor in the centre of the building with a clear view out of the balloon roof at the blue sky or snowy clouds. This is brightly lit like the rest of the building. There are lots of tables and lots of sofas in which you can simply chilax. There is cafe their which is catered by the students at the building studying catering. They offer full breakfast meals, sausage buns, jacket potato, chicken dinners and lots more. This changes every day and they also make all their own sandwiches and buns. I never tried this at first until I saw someone buy a jacket potato. I decided to get one myself and it was only £2.50 for a massive potato, what looked like a full tin of beans and a real side salad. This was a really filling and delicious meal and something I've had every day since! They also sell drinks of hot and cold, healthy smoothies, fruit, cereals and lots more. The staff here (students classed a staff when working) are all friendly, quick to clean the tables as this is a really busy place and there are only so many tables so they need to be quick with cleaning pots away so more people can sit down to eat.
=== Corner Lounge ===
Next to the atrium we have something in which we can chilax a little more, this is filled with a stage, sofa's, big comfy seats and tables, with windows going fully around 2 sides this is brightly lite and welcoming. Because we are all older students we have a bar which sells alcohol after 3pm until close. This is another reasons why college student's are not allowed into the building, ti stops under age drinking. We also have a costa coffee in here and it's really cheap as well to my delight a large hot chocolate it just £1.85 where as a normal costa hot chocolate would be almost £3 in an actual costa coffee shop. I like sitting in here after I've eaten my dinner, even if I don't buy anything I like to give my table to someone else and go sit in there with my class mates.
=== Tutors ===
I have four tutors and I will have the same ones for the next three years, they are all cheerful, easy to get on with, they all love banta which makes the lessons funny especially in seminars. I have one tutor who is eccentric I swear but she always has a way of relating her own personal life to the lesson at hand which is great because we get a real opinion from here and not an opinion she has to teach and that is the purpose of my course. I don't interact with any other tutors because I don't need to but they are always wandering around and everyone of them so far has been happy to answer any queries.
=== Time tables ===
I am doing one degree course which is full time and my time table is every Thursday and Friday 9am -4pm and within that time I have four different lessons. I like that both my days are together and at the end of the week. I never got to choose when I would prefer but it was no big issue to me. In my time here I have long enough breaks to get a hot meal or a drink and chill out. Even though I'm here only two days I can go in any day of the week to do any work.
=== Library ===
We have a 2 story high library in which is filled with lots of books for every course, quiet study rooms and computers which we can use. My course is filled with reading about theorist and criminology so I can often be found in the library on my days off. One of the best things about this library is that it is open 24/7. Literally! The only day that the library is not open is Christmas day and boxing day. But you can go in at 4am to do some work and it's fine, there are no staff there just the security guards so you need your ID badge so they know you are a student and will let you in.
=== Overall ===
The building itself is very up to date and modern, it always looks clean and a lot of the time is peaceful so you can sit down in many of the spots it has to offer to chillout or study such as in the corner lounge or the atrium, it also has quite areas on every floor there is a section with computers and even more sofa's, we were given the tip of "the fourth floor is the quietest" this was funny because I guess not everyone can be bothered to go up all the stairs but this is great because it means when it is busy around exam times there is still somewhere to go and work. In the building there are not only computers but macs, top quality radio recording rooms and even a film studio with the green backdrops to create cgi films. I love the toilets here because they're really clean and have a mellow feeling to them, they're always clean and stocked up and you can often find a cleaner in at least one of them.
The timetables are easy to work my work shifts around and give me enough time to do my readings and other things like homework and have plenty of time to conduct my research. With me going here personally it would of saved me the very least £9000 over three years and I am extremely grateful for that, it also means I don't have o move away from my family and I can stay at both of my jobs.
All the tutors and any staff at all are all helpful, willing to lend a hand where ever they can, my tutors personally make the lectures and seminars really interesting and I really look forward to going into lesson, I love eating in the atrium, not only does it serve great food and allow the students for work based learning it's a great meeting place. I don't regret enrolling at Grimsby institute and I'm confident that with my tutors I will pass my exams with a high mark.