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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 07:13 GMT
Uni is 'top place' for students
Swansea University Campus
Swansea University got high marks for its facilities
The University of Swansea has been voted the "best student experience" in Britain in a newspaper poll.

Over 10,000 undergraduates assessed their universities in the Times Higher Education Supplement survey.

Swansea emerged the overall winner with high ratings for its facilities, prospects and social life.

The university recently announced major expansion plans and said it would consider a move out of Swansea to a site in Llanelli or Felindre.

Swansea University, which was founded in 1920 and has more than 12,000 students, beat 170 other institutions to top the poll.

University 'gem'

Famous alumni include former Wales rugby international Rob Howley and Manic Street Preachers members Richey James and Nicky Wire.

Vice-chancellor Professor Richard Davies said the university had long been one of the "unsung success stories" among British universities.

"I am delighted at this recognition of the life enhancing experience students have here - academic, social and sporting. I am very proud of the environment we have created here at Swansea University," he said.

President of the university students' union Becki McKinlay said she had "never doubted" students had a good time at Swansea, but said it was "good to get the recognition".

She added: "Here at Swansea we have a close community atmosphere and we think that goes a long way towards making students feel at home - and that means they enjoy their time here and engage in student activities."

Student Sara Turner, 22, told the BBC News website Swansea was a "gem of a university".

Beth-Antonio Hodge (L) and Sara Turner
Beth-Antonio Hodge and Sara Turner both enjoy the university

"It's in such a beautiful setting and you can walk on the beach every day," said Ms Turner, who is in the fourth year of her anthropology and Italian degree.

But she said she was disappointed the university authorities were shutting the anthropology department at the end of this academic year.

The university announced last year it was closing five departments, including chemistry and philosophy, provoking one disgruntled student to put the university up for sale on eBay in protest.

Second-year criminology student Beth-Antonia Hodge, 20, said the university offered "fabulous" opportunities.

'Stunning beach'

"We are not the largest of universities, but everyone is so friendly," said Ms Hodge, who runs the dance society.

She said she had chosen the university because off all the different societies on offer - and because of the beach.

"We have a stunning beach just outside of the campus and the whole of the Gower," she said.

Ms Hodge said she thought the campus needed "updating", but warned the university not to make the move out of Swansea.

"I totally don't agree with that. That would just rip the heart out of the university," she said.

University 'for sale' on eBay
01 Mar 04 |  Education

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