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It has been a little while since I posted a review and that is because I have just started university.
I am currently in my first year at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh studying Mechanical Engineering. This review is based on my experience of the university. While at university I am staying on campus and therefore will be able to comment on the university, its facilities, the course I am doing and the accommodation.
Heriot Watt University has two campuses in Scotland. This review is only based on the main campus which is in Edinburgh.
Heriot Watt is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the UK. It was established by Royal Charter in 1966, but its origins date back to 1821 through the School of Arts of Edinburgh.
The name Heriot-Watt, commemorates George Heriot and James Watt. George Heriot was a renowned 16th century jeweller and financier to James VI (and James I of England) and James Watt, the great 18th century inventor and engineer.
Heriot Watt University is on the outskirts of Edinburgh and has everything based on its beautiful woodland campus. All accommodation and facilities is within walking disntance. I will mention more about the campus later in the review.
I feel for the introduction to the review it would be valuable to take some information from the Heriot Watt website in order to give you a better insight and introduction into Heriot Watt Univeristy and what it offers.
The following extract is taken from the Heriot Watt website (http://www.hw.ac.uk):
Heriot-Watt is a dynamic university at the forefront of the knowledge economy with a mission to:
provide the highest quality education and training to suit the professional employment sector
meet the aspirations of students and help them to realise their potential
deliver world class innovative research in the fields of business and industry exploit knowledge for the benefit of society
Heriot-Watt, one of the UK's leading universities for business and industry, has:
a reputation for innovative education, enterprise and leading-edge research, educating the technologists, professionals and thinkers of tomorrow
an established reputation and graduates who are highly sought by employers
more than 6,300 students on campus in Scotland plus more than 9,500 on external programmes in 140 countries worldwide.
Heriot-Watt has a flourishing research community with an international reputation for scientific and technological excellence, including the commercialisation of academic research.
In the recent UK Research Assessment Exercise, Heriot-Watt came
Top in the UK for petroleum engineering and for actuarial mathematics and statistics
Top in Scotland for built environment, applied mathematics and for food science and technology All research areas in engineering and physical sciences and in management and languages are grade 4 or above.
The University was ranked number 3 in Scotland by the Financial Times.
Major research initiatives are concentrated in niche areas including photonics and new optics-based technologies, business logistics, technical textiles, advanced robotics, nano-science and technology, proteomics and nutrition microsystems, biomimetics, virtual reality and engineering design.
University staff attracts among the highest industry/business research incomes per capita in the UK.
The Edinburgh Campus is home to Europe's first Research Park, which has created 1,000 jobs and has a turnover of £63 million. There are facilities for new business start-up companies at the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders campuses. Heriot-Watt has a long tradition of innovative teaching and learning, geared to the needs of industry, business and society. The university specialises in the built environment, engineering and physical sciences, life sciences, mathematics and informatics, computer science, business management, finance, languages and textiles.
94% of graduates enter directly into work, further study or training
the university is a pioneer in educational technology and distance learning
open and distributed learning programmes are delivered through partnerships with schools and further education colleges in Scotland, and with selected universities and colleges overseas
the new SCHOLAR programme provides text and online materials in a range of subjects for pupils, students and their teachers.
the BA Programme in Management Education is offered in more than 12 countries
The Edinburgh campus is set in beautiful parkland a short car or bus trip from the city, while the Borders campus is set in countryside yet is only an hour away from the capital.
excellent facilities with residences, catering, library, and computing and student welfare services
the sports village provides some of the best university facilities in the country, including tennis, rugby, football, cricket, hockey and squash, and is expanding to support the new sports science degrees
music plays a key role in campus life, from classical to traditional Scottish and folk. There is a musician-in-residence, a university choir, orchestra and pipe band
the Edinburgh Conference Centre is one of the top such venues in the country, catering for more than 500 events every year and welcoming 25,000 delegates on campus. What I love about Heriot Watt is that it has its own campus in the middle of beautiful woodland yet is a short bus journey into Scotland's capital. Basically, you get the best of both worlds. Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and the cities many achievements range from pioneering scientific research, from Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone to the cloning of Dolly the sheep.
The city offers a wealth of entertainment from sports, to cinema, to eating out, to shopping, to clubbing and more. All this, plus a cosmopolitan feel - particularly during its world-renowned International Festival - puts the Scottish capital among the most attractive of Europe's cultural centres.
To have such a lovely city full of atmosphere so close to the university one of Heriot Watts highlights but what makes it even better is that the campus is not stuck in the middle of the busy city - a perfect balance in my opinion.
Applying to any university is simply done through UCAS. I applied through my school and therefore had help from teachers. UCAS is done totally online which made the application even easier. I was given an unconditional offer for the course I wanted which meant I just had to accept it. Accepting the offer is also done through UCAS so there is no direct contact with the university as such. This makes the whole process very simple.
Before arriving, I attended two open days. One was a general open day for anyone who is interested in applying to Heriot Watt Univeristy. This is basically the university doing everything they can to impress you. I was impressed (hence the reason I am now studying here). The second open day was course specific. This gave an insight into the course I was studying.
The Accommodation is reasonable. I am staying in self catered halls with personal bathroom. The room, although small, is spacious enough for the average student.
Fresher's week was brilliant! For those who don't know, Fresher's week is the first week at university before the courses start. I felt this was very well organised and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am studying Mechanical Engineering. Although I am new and have not had much experience of the course, I would like to say my first impressions are very good. Lecturers seem friendly and willing to help
Heriot Watt University boasts its own excellent, on-campus sports facilities. Unlimited access to this for the academic year is £49. This included everything from badminton courts to their state-of-the-art gym. I feel £49 is superb value for money considering the high quality of the facilities.
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with Heriot Watt University and look forward to studying here for many years to come.