As an alumnus, I have some real insight into whether the University Of South Wales is good. However, we’ll also look at what academics and other students think about the university.
I graduated earlier this year from the university and let’s just say I had a mixed experience. But even in retrospect, I wouldn’t have changed what university I went to. The University of South Wales is one of four universities in Cardiff, but where does it rank?
Is The University Of South Wales Russell Group?
Unlike Cardiff University, the University of South Wales is not Russell Group. In fact, Cardiff University is the only Welsh university to make the list. In case you’re curious, here’s the full list:
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- University of Cambridge
- Cardiff University
- Durham University
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Exeter
- University of Glasgow
- Imperial College London
- King’s College London
- University of Leeds
- University of Liverpool
- London School of Economics & Political Science
- University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- University of Nottingham
- University of Oxford
- Queen Mary, University of London
- Queen’s University Belfast
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University College London
- University of Warwick
- University of York
Where Does The University of South Wales Rank?
The Times Higher Education world rankings place it at 1001-1200 place globally. Universities that rank lower than the top 500 have individual scores that can be individually viewed. The THE list is out of around 1400, so USW unfortunately doesn’t rank particularly well.
However, the Complete University Guide ranks it at 91st in the UK, which is a great improvement from the past when it hasn’t made the top 100. This shows that the university is making vast improvements in its eyes.
What Do Students Think?
Although academic opinions are important, students are the ones that actually experience a university and therefore their opinions are just as, if not more, important than world rankings.
Looking at Student Crowd, the university is placed at 105 out of 140, way into the bottom half. Students give it 3.67 out of 5, however, one student did leave a particularly positive review:
“The university provided me with lots of opportunities to advance in my career, and improve my skills. The building has lots of useful facilities with a library that provides a wide range of educational books and journals.”
A Personal Experience
As a student there myself, I have to agree with the ranking that it’s received. Although I’m now in a career that is to do with my degree, I put that down to my own perseverance and determination rather than anything the university did. I strongly believe that a determined student will do well in any university (within reason, obviously) and you can only get out what you put in.
That being said, apart from the odd one, I found all my lecturers to be really supportive and attentive. My classes were particularly small, so we were offered a lot more of their time than many other universities can offer. The course also offered a creative aspect which I found lots of more prestigious universities didn’t which really appealed to me. They definitely delivered on that, which I was really pleased with.
Plus, I met some friends for life which is the main thing reason why I would never change where I went.
I knew I wanted to live in Cardiff as I loved the city. During my course, it’s where I lived, and I commuted to Trefforrest for my classes. Although that probably wouldn’t be ideal for everyone, I found that it gave me the best of both worlds: city living and countryside views.
It seems that academics and students alike agree that the University of South Wales could definitely be better. However, as someone who went, I think it can be the ideal university if you have specific wants and needs. Academically, it might not be the best but you won’t necessarily do well in a high-ranking university either.
You won’t get the experience of a Russell Group university, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.