After a record year for applications, this week saw 10,000 new students arriving in North London as Middlesex University threw open its doors for the start of the new academic year.
First on the agenda was the traditional ‘Freshers Week’ celebrations and having joined one of the UK’s most diverse universities, students mingled with new friends from all over the world.
Alongside hundreds of north London based students, this year the University is welcoming people from Australia and Angola to Iceland and Venezuela, as well as all parts of the UK.
The class of 2011 will be first to see ‘The Grove’, the University’s new £80m art, design and media centre, located in Hendon. The building boasts world class studios and workshops for subjects like art, design, fashion and photography and a state of the art TV production suite and newsrooms for media students.
The University’s Sheppard Library has also been completely refurbished over the summer with new online systems introduced so students can access support and information on the move.
First year Business Management Student Katy Wickings, from New Barnet, commented about her future and the chance to study both overseas and in London: “I’m hoping to start my own business, maybe in art or make up, and there’s a scheme here where we can study abroad so I’d like to try that. It’s good to build up a network of contacts and this is a great place to meet people.”
Director of Student Marketing and Recruitment, Lucy Everest, is pleased that after a turbulent year for higher education, students are looking forward to university life: “National debates about next year’s fee changes have definitely focussed the minds of students and their parents on the future, but when we talk to people joining us this term or planning for next year it’s great to hear that they are still really excited about the amazing experience that university provides.
“Going to university is one of the most exciting periods in anyone’s life and it’s our job to give our students the support they need to launch their career and get a great job, but also ensure they leave us with experiences they will never forget.”
World record success
Freshers Week took place between 3 to 7 October with new students starting their courses from 10 October. Freshers week activities included welcome fairs, a masquerade ball and on Friday 7th, a group of 310 students and staff broke the world record for the largest ever piggy back race. The University is now waiting for final confirmation from Guinness World Records, but is confident that the record, previously held by Diesel UK with 296 participants, has been smashed after independent assessors counted 310 of the 312 participants over the line, with the winner clocking 19.2 seconds for the 100m course.
The new term is also expected to provide a boost for local businesses. A recent survey by the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research found that students based at the Hendon campus spend an average of £96 per week in the local area.