There are a lot of advantages to studying at Keele University; most notably the excellent standards of teaching and research and the self-contained campus. However, like every university world-wide, there are also disadvantages, which students must consider before making their final choice of educational establishment. Some of those disadvantages include:
Location and accessibility
Although situated in the county of Staffordshire in the West Midlands, which is more or less in the centre of the country, and there are a number of major roadways nearby, most notably the M6, Keele University is situated in the middle of the countryside. Keele itself is just a small town, so students will need to travel farther afield to reach a major city. For those without cars, this means relying on the local bus service, which can be exceptionally tedious. Those with cars are obviously better off, but will need to factor the cost of petrol into their budget, which can be a major burden.
Some students will love the campus at Keele University. The facilities are impressive and there is little need to go off the campus unless more entertainment or a wider variety of shopping is required. However, it can also be a little claustrophobic, especially for students who like their own company every now and again. There is an option to live outside the campus of course, but many first year students opt for campus accommodation because of the convenience. Anyone who is used to being able to escape into the anonymity of a city could find it very hard to become accustomed to Keele University campus.
Availability of courses
There is a wide range of courses at Keele University and most of them have a good reputation. However, a lot of the courses are vocational, including midwifery, pharmacy, medicine, law, forensic science, physiology. If this is what the student in question is looking for, then fine, but for more academic courses and certain subjects, such as languages, it is almost certainly going to be necessary to look elsewhere. That is really only a disadvantage for anyone who has set their heart on going to Keele and wants to do a specific subject, but it is nevertheless worth considering.
Not ideal for mature students
The campus-based nature of Keele may not be ideal for mature students. Living on campus with a bunch of much younger students may not be appealing. However, living off-campus, especially outside of Keele itself, where renting options are limited, is likely to mean that the mature student finds it hard to integrate into the university community. There are a number of mature students at Keele, but, like most universities, the majority are straight out of school or in their early twenties. A mature student willing to make the effort to be included should be welcomed, but it is necessary to make that effort.
The English weather is much maligned across the world anyway, but Keele is very exposed on the side of a hill and so tends to attract the very worst of the weather. Strong winds and rain are common and the winter months can be very cold. For the majority of students, this probably won’t be a big issue, but for overseas students coming to the UK for the first time may prefer to go somewhere a little more protected. The campus is large and there are reasonable distances between buildings, so it isn’t possible to avoid the extremities completely. On the other hand, in good weather, the campus has plenty of open green space.
Not that high in the rankings
Keele is at around 44 out of about 120 in the British university rankings and many students would prefer to go to a university that is higher up. In some cases, this is snobbery, because there are courses at Keele that are excellent and are probably near the top in the country. However, it is worth researching the course in question and deciding if grades are likely to be good enough to go to a university higher up in the rankings. Ideally, a visit to Keele is needed to enable a potential student to speak to staff and students and make their own mind up about the quality of the course in comparison to the overall ranking.
Choosing a university that is right for an individual student is very much a personal choice. Weighing up the pros and cons of each possible university is vital to making a considered decision.